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Livio - interesting post.

Here's a hypothesis: the decades with very high per capita GDP growth were characterized by the movement of activities that were formerly done in the home into the market. So people started going to hair dressers instead of cutting their hair at home, for example, and started buying bread and pies and cookies instead of making their own at home. Also, the decades with high growth saw the development of new forms of stuff: cars, dishwashers, microwaves, stereos, TVs, etc.

What we're seeing now is a trend back the other way. There is more "home production", in the sense that we have more of a do-it-yourself-economy. There's no need for travel agents, or customer service representatives, or stock brokers; people can do it themselves on line. 21st century stuff is making 20th century stuff obsolete - my beloved Samsung galaxy, sitting beside me on the sofa as I write, is a pen and pencil and telephone and radio and library and music collection and newspaper and photo album and camera and so much else all wrapped into one. I don't need to buy stuff any more.

Plus there's the demographic stuff we've talked about on WCI before.

That is intriguing. Given GDP measures market activity, then if more is shifting to "own production" then it suggests standard growth measures are missing a large chunk of activity. On the other hand, a lot of what we used to do for ourselves is still shifting to the market if you look at the growth of food preparation and personal services. Have a Happy Canada Day!

Never understood that hooopla about Canada Day being the "birth of a new nation.". From 1608,whatever the regimerench or British, the place was known as Canada and most of their inhabitants (habitants)as Canadiens. 1st July merely marks the annexation of New-Brunswick and Nova Scotia by the Chateau Clique and the Family Compact...

Or as New Burswickers would say, what a D**m Lower Canadian attitude! Seriously Jacques, you say that south of the Restigouche and you'll wind up with a fist in your face. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia had nothing to do with Canada until July 1, 1867, thank-you-very-much.

Usually it's D**n Upper Canadian but Jacques is a geographic exception.

And need I remind you that Nova Scotia invented separatism in Canada? Quebec is a Jean-come-lately on the scene. ;)

In an unusually provincialist tone for me, July 1st is the birth of a new nation because it was also the divorce and dissolution of the United Province of Canada of late and unhappy memory. Upper and Lower Canada couldn't stand each other for one more minute shackled together in a Legislative Union that neither wanted.

"Dominion" was as far apart as Westminster would let us get. And there was that pesky fact that we either hang together or the Americans would annex us separately. And with no Dominion we'd have never made it to the Pacific.

Determinant: I knew I would rise you up but your point is mine: NB and NS never had anything to do with the concept of "Canada" until July 1867. Even under the French regime, there was no political, economic and even ethnic ties between Acadia and the St-Lawrence system (Quécois originate from Normandy mostly and the Acadians from the southwest, hence the different languages).
Nova Scotians invented separatism as soon as they realized the bad deal forced on them. We never wanted "to separate" as we never wanted it in the first place. Remember how we fought for two centuries to prevent the Conquest? And the 1760's guerilla in the Bas-du Fleuve? And the Patriot war? The fall 1867 election was the most rigged in Canadian history, even worse than the Newfoundland referendum.
The Union was an abomination: how the Clique and Compact, whose behavior had provoked the 37-38 wars, tried to keep power by offering the anglo middle class a crumb of power plus the satisfaction of not being a french-popist. The same deal offered by Jackson in the 1830's "Democratic revolution": power to the white elite, nominal rights for all whites (including the poors), disenfranchisement for all free blacks (including the rich).
We are still paying the price for those "deals".

> Here's a hypothesis: the decades with very high per capita GDP growth were characterized by the movement of activities that were formerly done in the home into the market.

Indeed. The 1940s-1970s period also featured the widespread introduction of women to the paid-labour market, a trend that reached saturation in the 90s.

I wonder what an equivalent "real productivity" graph would look like, with real-GDP divided by the number of workers (or work-hours, but that might not be recoverable from the historical data). If this hypothesis is correct, those graphs would show less variability than per-capita GDP.

Now you're going off the deep end, Jacques. We still have much in common. And need I remind you that after the French Revolution, Canadiens were singing "God Save the King" (and by that they meant Farmer George, not Headless Louis) louder than the English were?

What can I say, Canada is the ultimate "Odd Couple" nation, we argue with each other constantly but deep down, there's love there.

Besides, I am interviewing for a position with the Federal NDP which would essentially entail me spending the next 15 months sticking the knife in the Bloc and twisting. Bwahahahaha! }:)

Not that they need help with that, their recent leadership election shows they aren't a serious party anymore. Really, those Convention expenses should count as a political contribution to the NDP!

"Quécois originate from Normandy mostly"

You mean from the people who invaded and colonized England? And 948 years later, they're still living peaceably together.

The irony is palpable.

Noblemen (former Viking pirates...) from Normandy invaded you. As soon as we could , we escaped here. The guillotine had net yet been invented...

Uh, the actual Viking Normans were 100 years previous. The Normans in 1066 spoke Norman French, not a Scandinavian language. They were French, at a time when "France" was a more an idea than a reality. It took the French kings most of the Middle Ages to assemble France's modern borders.

As you will proudly know Jacques, most French people did not actually speak French until the French Revolution. Instead they spoke a variety of regional variants from Norman to Angevin to outright different languages like Occitan and Provencal.

Quebec French is what resulted when Norman and Breton French met the educated French of the Royal Court, Church and the Royal Army, three groups which did not survive the French Revolution very well, if at all.

"The Normans in 1066 spoke Norman French, not a Scandinavian language."

And contributed much to the gloriously mongrel language that is English.

"English does not borrows words from other languages -- English chases other languages into the corners of dark alleys, beats them senseless and then rifles through their pockets for loose bits of vocabulary."

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