• 9 Times Canada’s Labour Movement Made History and Shaped the Country We Live in Today

    … it’s not that hard to find examples of how the labour movement helped shape the country we live in today. Whether they’re fighting for shorter work days or better wages, the labour movement has done more than just improve working conditions for ordinary people – by standing up to powerful elites, time and again, Canada’s labour movement set in motion series of events that changed the course of history and moved Canada forward. Here are just nine examples…

  • The missing middle

    Since the Great Recession, temp work has grown 12 times faster than permanent employment for so-called prime-age workers, or those between the ages of 25 and 54… prime-age workers are finding it increasingly difficult to secure permanent jobs – there were 52,000 fewer of them working in permanent positions last year than there were in 2008… The cohort with the highest skills, meanwhile, are enjoying the biggest pay raises.

  • Why the talk of saving the middle class has a sadly familiar ring to it

    … this is not about entitlement. It’s about an expectation that used to be born from healthy economies that spur job growth and offer benefits to boot. By this I mean the “sustained, inclusive economic growth” … On-call shift work, precarious employment, depleting health care benefits from those employers who still offer them. Pensions? … The trickle-down economics argument didn’t hold water. Financialization won… Instead of reinforcing the idea of aspiration, we have gifted to the next generation uncertainty.

  • 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.

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    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…

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    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.

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    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.