One hurdle is psychological

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It was more so the optimism of public relations, but it would help if the average Canadian held as much hope for economic recovery as Stephen Harper expressed last week.
In the midst of doom and gloom reports, the prime minister said Canada will emerge from the global recession before any other country and in a stronger economic position than ever. In speaking to a business crowd in Brampton, Ont., Harper positioned this country at the forefront of any recovery. One might expect that, as his government continues to promote its economic stimulus plan.
In a way, the comments come across as a cheerleading exercise, since there is no formula as to how to dig a country out of recession. Neither is there a way of forecasting when. But moral support is good, and we can all hope Harper is right in his predictions.
The prime minister continued this theme Friday, in an appearance at a college carpentry workshop in London, Ont. He said that despite the current massive job losses, with economic recovery will come a renewed high demand for workers. Again, while that could be described as the message a politician feels Canadians would want to hear, it wouldn't hurt if a little optimism rubbed off on everybody.
The current downturn, as real as it all is, is accompanied by a psychology that's hard to shake. It would be fair to say that the same psychology was tied in with the huge stock market losses of recent months - shaky investors heard the message and couldn't sell holdings fast enough. That exacerbated an already hurting scene.
Similarly, in the informal reader poll carried in The News Friday, a majority of respondents said they'd cut back on some or many expenditures recently. Doubtless, for some, it's necessary. But the psychology seems to pervade even those whose jobs and income aren't threatened.
The economy, whenever it struggles back to its feet, will have that hurdle to overcome as well.

Geographic location: Canada, Brampton, London, Ont.

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