Archive for the ‘Economy/Employment’ Category

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Why a universal job guarantee beats the basic income pipe dream

Monday, August 1st, 2022

Job guarantee programs are crucial for a number of reasons. They keep people in the labour force, alleviate poverty, improve health and well-being, add meaning to people’s lives and help the most vulnerable… Like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, universal basic income might take away the incentive to work for some, resulting in a labour market bereft of workers… a universal job guarantee would be more appealing to voters because it addresses labour shortages while guaranteeing minimum wage.

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The Rogers outage, and other scenes from the death of neo-liberalism

Friday, July 15th, 2022

The premiers met in B.C. this week and wailed hysterically about needing more money to fix health care. I wouldn’t give them another cent till they pass a written test on what went wrong. They adopted the just-in-time principle from manufacturing (which led to bottlenecks and inflation now rampant) for health. They cut staff to a minimum. Why? Because it fit with the neo-liberal agenda to slash taxes and pay for it with decreased spending on public programs… Then when COVID hit, the system began to crumble.

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A self-inflicted recession and a pointless sacrifice to a mystical two per cent god

Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

With unemployment low, we now face a devil’s choice between continued inflation and deliberate recession. We need other strategies for motivating growth when needed, and slowing it when it’s not. Other tools could be invoked right now to control inflation, such as strategic price controls, targeted taxes on corporations and high-income earners, and low-cost or free public services. But the dominant orthodoxy demands monetary austerity, and nothing else.

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Workers didn’t cause this inflation. And they shouldn’t have to pay for it

Sunday, May 29th, 2022

So long as the actual causes of inflation are addressed (by fixing supply chains, energy prices, and housing), inflation would then decelerate, even as wages keep up. Contingent wage protections (like cost-of-living adjustments) would also maintain the purchasing value of wages, without prompting higher inflation. To the limited extent that domestic demand pressures are reinforcing higher prices, it is better to use more focused and fair contractionary measures to dampen spending.

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Antiquated thinking about old age hinders Canada’s economic and social development

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

A revised conception of old age would significantly decrease the number of people classified as old and would more accurately reflect the total number of people in Canada’s working age population. A modern definition would also mitigate stereotypes of older workers and ageism while prodding governments to reform outdated laws and provide a boost to an economy often facing worker shortages. 

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Profit and affordable housing don’t mix. Period

Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Canada has a long tradition of governments at all levels providing affordable housing. Absent a profit motive, they can, as they once did, provide decent homes at reasonable prices and rents… The profit motive has its place in our mixed economy. But it has failed us in the provision of affordable housing. Housing will not be a human right until we accompany that noble sentiment with an abundance of affordable shelter.

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Energy companies profits are through the roof. They should share the wealth

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

… the government backstopped the financial sector through the pandemic with billions of tax dollars that kept incomes up and the banks’ customers solvent. They benefited from government support, and now it’s time to pay some back… The energy companies are in a similar situation… The government ought to tax away some of the enormous profits pouring into the energy companies and use that money to support those being hit hardest.

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CERB is done, and it’s not coming back. Staring down the barrel of a recession gun, how are we going to fix this?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

… why not just bring back CERB when recession hits next time? Because it was too generous to be fiscally sustainable over the long run and not politically sustainable due to sectoral labour shortages. But today’s EI is not fit for purpose either. With less than four in 10 jobless workers able to access it, it’s too stingy. However, there is a lot of consensus on how to fix EI…

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A closer look at the federal budget’s housing plan

Friday, April 29th, 2022

To improve its approach to housing, we suggest that the federal government: 1. Reaffirm its recognition of the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right and use this principle to guide policy-making. 2. Establish a cohesive housing policy narrative… 3. Examine demand-side solutions… 4. Consider other factors that can affect the implementation of more housing supply.

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Too many dangers in promised privatization of care economy

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

People with complications are too costly… They’ll end up in an underfunded public not-for-profit system.  More access to care through for-profit providers does nothing to address the shortage of health care and eldercare workers and early childhood educators. Cheaper, more equitable, high-quality care that creates good jobs won’t happen by expanding for-profit care. Here are 10 advantages of investing more in public and not-for-profit care. 

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