In search of the recovery

TheGlobeandMail.com – Politics/Ottawa Notebook
Wednesday, March 31, 2010.   Jane Taber

2. In search of the recovery. Bizarre but kind of funny, Jim Stanford, the Canadian Auto Workers economist, is using videotape and his acting skills to make his point that there is no economic recovery.

For just under $10,000, Mr. Stanford shot a video last December (the editing was just finished and it’s been posted to YouTube) called “The Curious Case of the Missing Recovery.”

In it, Mr. Stanford assumes a Colombo-type character – calling himself Lieutenant Stanfordo. He is dressed in a trench coat; he carries a magnifying glass and chews on the stub of a cigar.

And for the duration of the film, he drives around parts of Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton – “all the hot spots of the industrial meltdown,” he says – in search of the recovery that Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney insists is here.

He talks to CAW members who have lost their jobs or whose companies have gone bankrupt and he deals with disappearing pensions.

Mr. Stanford, who is on a sabbatical right now but still writing on economic matters, says he came up with the idea after speaking to union and community where he would use the detective analogy in his talks.

The official CAW version of the movie is being shown at membership meetings across the country, he said. And it’s on YouTube for all to see.  < http://www.youtube.com/user/CAWMedia#p/u/1/pTjEMTaJeEU >

The video ends with the detective not finding the recovery because there “never was a recovery,” he says. And then he jumps into a Hummer that is driven by an actor, who looks just like CSI Miami’s Horatio Caine (he is actually a friend of Mr. Stanford’s – Robert Storey, a McMaster University professor), and they go to Florida.

Go figure.

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