With economic prospects for our province looking bleak, it is comforting to see a bright mind manufacturing good news. The latest good news to be conjured up appeared in a Telegraph-Journal editorial last week (No Regrets for Radian6) proclaiming a formula for economic development that would make ancient alchemists proud.
Citing the Radian6 sale to international interests, the editorial declares that the loss of this home-grown business, and 100 jobs with it, was, in fact, good news! New Brunswickers, it seems, should be dancing all the way to the unemployment office.
According to that editorial, such losses of locally-owned businesses and jobs are just what we need to create prosperity! One hopes this prescription for the ailing economy doesn’t kill the patient!
New Brunswick companies were told they must be “prepared to serve as a link in a larger company’s supply chain.” Isn’t that wonderful news? Job losses and foreign takeovers (the two always seem to go together) are not worrisome at all, but evidence of prosperity New Brunswick style.
The editorial asserts, in all seriousness, that sales like Radian6 are a celebration of innovation. What a relief! Once one realizes innovation is best measured by the loss of local businesses and jobs, it becomes clear New Brunswick has been a leader in “innovation” for years. One wonders how much longer we have to wait for the prosperity part to arrive!
There is a saying that “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” Defining job losses and foreign takeovers as “good news” is the kind of economic analysis that makes astrology look credible.
An economic strategy that cheers on job losses and foreign takeovers is simple to grasp. It is so simple one wonders why the economists at the University of New Brunswick or Université de Moncton didn’t come up with it first.