Tickle Me Economics (TME) is the creation of economic policies designed to placate the masses, gain their approval and avoid revealing the failure of previous policies or long term plans.
It was first used by the current Canadian Department of Finance, a division of the PMO in the fall of 2008 and should not be confused with Tickle Me Elmo, a children’s toy from Tyco-Preschool, a division of Tyco Toys that was introduced in the United States in 1996.
One of the key principles of TME is to always place the popularity of the current government in the forefront, gaining as much political capital as possible and when necessary deflect any negative responses by either blaming past governments or uncontrollable forces from outside of the country.
The success or failure of TME cannot be measured in economic terms, due to the timeline required for such measurement (i.e. number of sustainable full time jobs created, long term result of deficit spending, future cuts to social services etc.). Instead TME is measured by the number of positive press releases, photo opportunities, branding opportunities and of course positive or negative polling results.
TME could be compared to a marketing company’s wet dream, where the marketing company gets to use the client’s funds for self promotion.
However sticking to the Tyco theme, the TME of this current government feels more like a distant relative, that never really cared about you or your family that much, but showed up one xmas in 1996 with a Tickle Me Elmo for your youngest child and then for next ten years continually reminded you of how much they had done for you and your family.
Sorry Aunt Mary, may you rest in peace, but Harper reminds me of you, a lot.