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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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Posted in Debates | No Comments »


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 »


Raitt’s Three Principles for labour relations only run one way

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Nov. 02, 2011
In Hamilton, where workers held little power, the government stood idly by. It seems it’s only when workers have some leverage that it acts powerfully to “protect the economy.” …there’s no doubt work stoppages cause inconvenience and disruption. But because something is unpopular or inconvenient hardly gives government the moral authority to take away rights, making up the law as it goes – even if it does hold a majority of seats in Parliament.

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Occupy movement: It’s about time

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Oct. 16, 2011
In the 1930s, the last time capitalism failed so destructively, radical opposition movements won the day: Demanding both immediate aid for the Depression’s suffering, but also bigger structural changes in the economy… governments’ response went well beyond “stimulus.” Instead, government was given powerful, countervailing powers to offset the skewed dominance of business and wealth

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Posted in Inclusion Policy Context | No Comments »


Canada’s Billionaires

Monday, October 17th, 2011

October 14, 2011
Just in time for the “Occupy Bay Street” protest this weekend, Canadian Business magazine has come out with its annual listing of the richest 100 people in Canada. So in honour of the protestors and their noble cause (demanding more attention to the 99%, instead of the 1%), let’s peruse together the sordid details of Canada’s ultra-rich.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »


Tim Hudak’s Troubled Geometry

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

… the Conservative party’s campaign is guided by a platform booklet called the “changebook.” It’s an audacious manifesto for significant change in the policy and the philosophy of government in the province, mapping out a long agenda of measures to cut taxes, balance the budget, privatize government assets and agencies, get tough on criminals, change labour laws and arbitration systems to reduce wage increases, end government support for business investments, and many others. The changebook has drawn criticism from commentators on all points of the political spectrum, most pointedly for its implausible claims…

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Posted in Governance Debates | 3 Comments »


It’s going to take more than free-market ideology to create jobs

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Sep. 13, 2011
The dismal experience of Europe has proven that a single-minded focus on austerity and debt reduction is economically self-defeating… the next government should emphasize continuing support for public services and infrastructure, partnership with private sector capacity expansions, and more support for training and adjustment programs to prevent displaced workers of any age from falling by the wayside of the labour market. We also need stronger regulations to protect young workers from abuse by contract agencies and other unfair employers.

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Posted in Policy Context | No Comments »


Think Labour Cost Cuts “Saved” the Auto Industry? Think Again.

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

August 31, 12011
Implicit… is the assumption that high labour costs were indeed the reason why the Detroit Three got into trouble… The flip side is the corollary claim that the reason the companies have recovered… must be because they dramatically reduced their labour costs. Both assumptions are wrong. Labour costs were not the key problem in the Detroit Three’s crisis. And cuts in labour costs have not been the key reason, or even a major reason, for the subsequent improvement in their performance… Yet labour costs (and labour negotiations) seem to get 99% of the attention.

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There are bigger threats to our fragile recovery than the postal dispute

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Jul. 04, 2011
The government has indicated its willingness to interfere in normal contractual relationships between private parties, even dictating contractual outcomes, in the interests of preserving Canada’s economic momentum… Why is the government, so quick to intervene to suppress compensation for the humble folks who deliver our mail, standing on the sidelines while powerful people enrich themselves at the expense of our national prosperity? Perhaps it’s not the economy they’re concerned with after all.

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