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Did this historic trade deal help Canada? No

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Oct. 06 2012
Let’s step back from the rhetoric and consider some concrete indicators of our North American trade performance, then and now… Quantity of Exports… Composition of Exports… U.S. Market… Productivity… In short, it’s hard to find any concrete economic evidence whatsoever that this historic deal actually helped Canada… In reality, last week’s back-patting was all about partisan politics, not economics.

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Posted in History | No Comments »

Policy, not cutting labour costs, is the key to preserving our auto industry

Monday, August 27th, 2012

20 August 2012
Direct hourly labour costs are less than 5 per cent of the total cost of designing, engineering, manufacturing, transporting and selling a new vehicle. Yet they capture 99 per cent of the attention. If the analysts are serious about preserving and building this industry for the long term, they’d better… start to imagine an all-round industrial policy framework – like those in other successful jurisdictions – that offers a more promising economic recipe.

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Fiscal “Crisis” In Context: Two Indicators

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

July 12th, 2012
… choosing today to slash spending on useful public programs very much reflects a political choice, not a fiscal necessity. In the long run, we can and should pay for the public services we need by putting Canadians back to work. In the meantime, there is clearly ample capacity for governments to continue to carry the cost of these programs… it is counter-productive to impose austerity in the public sector on top of the other painful economic challenges we are facing.

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Posted in Equality Debates, Policy Context | 1 Comment »

The troubling truth about free trade

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

May. 21, 2012
If the goal is truly boosting trade (as opposed to enshrining business-friendly economic rules or propping up authoritarian governments in Latin America), then this government is failing miserably. Canada’s export failure cannot be blamed on foreign trade barriers. Instead, we must look in the mirror – at the structural inadequacy of our business sector. Canada has chronically failed to nurture and develop domestically based globally active firms that produce innovative, high-value products for world markets.

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What is Dutch Disease, and How To Cure It

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

April 16, 2012
We need more industries that add value to our resources (rather than exporting them in raw form); that generate more high‑income, high‑quality jobs; that embody technology and innovation; and that contribute to greater suc‑cess in world markets. These policies, and the fiscal tools that could fund them, formed part of the 2012 Alternative Federal Budget (published in March by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives).

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How about ‘Buy Canadian’ for resource projects?

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Mar. 14, 2012
We need a national strategy to maximize Canadian content in Canadian resource developments. Canada, for example, could impose a “Buy Canadian” requirement on future mining projects, similar in spirit to the Buy American rules… If we limit our national economic ambitions to digging stuff out of the ground, all we’ll ultimately have left is a big hole in the ground. But if we’re thoughtful and pro-active about leveraging our resource wealth into all-round economic and industrial development, we’ll have much more to show after the resources are gone.

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Free-market ‘rationalism’ turned Canada from champ to chump

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

February 26, 2012
From Korea to Finland, China to the Netherlands, Brazil to Germany, countries which actively direct and manage growth seem to perform better in productivity, innovation, and global trade. These countries have fostered investment and innovation with focused sector strategies; deliberately favourable capital market, exchange rate, and trade policies; and sophisticated efforts to manage income distribution so that productivity growth visibly translates into higher living standards

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Policy, not technology is killing Canadian manufacturing

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Jan. 24, 2012
… technology can explain some of the job loss, but not most of it. It certainly cannot explain the disproportionate carnage in Canadian manufacturing… The loss of 500,000 manufacturing jobs in Canada over the last decade was far more dramatic than most jurisdictions. Many factors contributed to this miserable record… [but] Caterpillar’s demand to cut Canadian wages in half has nothing to do with technology. It reflects power: a global company’s ability to isolate and threaten workers, one factory at a time. And it reflects policy: an active decision by governments (like Canada’s) to let them do it.

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Posted in Policy Context | 1 Comment »

On productivity, the ‘invisible hand’ lacks visible success

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Nov. 22, 2011
… large government by itself is no more a guarantee of productivity success than small government: Interventions must be smart, efficient and disciplined. But experience shows clearly that market forces on their own cannot be relied on to guide the economy to its innovative, efficient potential… we cannot continue to wait for the forces of unregulated private competition to develop Canada’s economy in a sustainable, diversified manner.

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What do banks actually DO?

Monday, November 7th, 2011

What do banks actually DO? Create credit out of thin air. Were Canadian banks bailed-out? Absolutely, to the tune of $200 billion. And they are still protected and subsidized more than any other sector of the economy. What must be done with these banks? Tax them, control them, and ultimately take them back… A video is available here: < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoOKY5kH9cc&feature=youtu.be >

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

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