• The secret to strong economies isn’t faster growth, it’s no recessions

    Most of the world’s wealthiest and best-governed countries got there without super-rapid bursts of growth. Denmark… frequently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, never experienced what anyone would call an economic miracle… in the 1990s, the country lowered its unemployment rate without having to dismantle its welfare state… In the next generation, the emerging economies may return to these 19th century patterns.

  • Was the ghost of Marx haunting Brexit?

    It certainly looks like a class struggle, doesn’t it? On one side are the winners in the global capitalist economy – well-educated, well-to-do, young, mobile, well-spoken, confident. On the other side are all those who have fallen behind, the losers – those without education, without prospects, sidelined by age and infirmity, crude, frightened, confused, inarticulate and very angry… The new global proletariat, finding itself increasingly marginalized and threatened, is now fighting back.

  • These Liberals get economics

    While it is possible to disagree with the Liberal platform on many points — for example, the narrative of a middle class in decline contradicts my reading of the evidence — its level of economic literacy is remarkably high for a political manifesto… Chrétien came to power campaigning against the consensus of opinion among economists… Justin Trudeau has not made that mistake.

  • Keynes Comes to Canada

    … having bought into deficit panic, center-left parties found themselves in an extremely weak position. Austerity rhetoric comes naturally to right-wing politicians, who are always arguing that we can’t afford to help the poor and unlucky (although somehow we’re able to afford tax cuts for the rich). Center-left politicians who endorse austerity, however, find themselves reduced to arguing that they won’t inflict quite as much pain. It’s a losing proposition, politically as well as economically.

  • Hot!

    Harper’s economic record the worst in Canada’s postwar history

    In short, the Conservatives’ austere, business-led strategy has produced stagnation for the economy, and incredible uncertainty for Canadians. Families worry rightly that the traditional dream of shared prosperity is slipping away from them, and from their children… The Conservative trickle-down vision, focused on enriching corporations and the investors who own them, has failed bitterly. We need an alternative vision, both hopeful and pragmatic…

  • Economist Adam Smith’s greatest legacy is his balanced approach

    He was suspicious of the collusive instincts of producers, and clearly saw the social benefits of competition. He recognized the failure of markets to provide goods such as public sanitation and national defence, and favoured government intervention when the benefits clearly outweighed the costs. He advocated progressive taxation and public education when those ideas were all but unknown… he celebrated the wonders of free markets but also recognized the need for selected government intervention.

  • Where have all the fiscal conservatives gone?

    For a while, indeed, conservatives succeeded in making deficits and debt into dirty words in Canadian politics, something every government sought to avoid. Tax increases were even more taboo. How ironic, then, that this fiscal-conservative revolution was eventually undone by the Right… The Harper government has now re-borrowed the entire $105 billion worth of debt that was paid off between 1997 and 2008, and then some.

  • Hot!

    We need new thinking to meet Canada’s new challenges

    Canada’s public service and most of our politicians have been steeped for so long in the neo-liberal view of government’s role in the economy that they cannot conceive of another model…. the big policy frontiers Canada faces today… Productivity growth… a lower carbon future… Income inequality… Canadian federalism… about once a generation Canada needs a major economic policy rethink.

  • Hot!

    How our 20-year fight for Canada-Europe free trade finally succeeded

    International trade agreements frequently have a rather long genesis. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), released last week, is no exception. In 1994 – twenty years ago – when Prime Minister Jean Chretien was to address the French Senate… his text included a proposal for a transatlantic trade agreement between the North American free-trade agreement and the burgeoning European Union.

  • Hot!

    Minimum wage in 2013 just a penny more than 1975, after inflation: Statistics Canada

    “While corporate lobbyists have complained bitterly about recent increases in the minimum wage, these improvements have simply restored the minimum wage to mid-1970s levels after it lagged behind inflation in the 1980s and 1990s.” Of the 13 U.S. states that recently raised their minimum wage rate, 10 have experienced above-average job growth… “It’s not the solution to poverty but it improves the purchasing power of young people, which means they have less debt and more opportunities…”