From James Laxer, as has been the case several times in the last few weeks – and it’s a long one, but I just love this:
In 40 AD, the Roman Emperor Caligula appointed his horse Incitatus to the Senate. On reflection, the emperor may have been an early Keynesian, who suddenly realized that Rome required economic stimulus to aid in the creation of jobs. Whether the appointment of Incitatus to high office improved the empire’s approach to economic policy-making is not known. What is known is that the horse’s high status did lead to the creation of a number of jobs. Praetorian guards were posted around his stables to ensure that he was allowed peace and quiet before competitions. Eighteen servants attended the horse full-time, drawing salaries and this helped generate greater demand for goods and services in the imperial capital.
In Ottawa, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the Caligula’s horse of the Harper government, delivered an Economic Statement only nineteen days ago that already is so outdated that it feels as if it could have been written in ancient Rome.