Archive for the ‘Debates’ Category

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EI Needs A Redesign To Be Recession-Ready

Thursday, October 6th, 2022

… Gray and Busby… propose implementing uniform or more universal entrance requirements across Canada… variations in the length of benefit entitlement periods would be driven by changes in unemployment rates instead of levels in given regions… [and that] the number of regions be sharply reduced… these changes may require a small increase to EI premiums.

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The new villain? Workers fighting for better wages. Don’t fall for it

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

This is an important chapter in the history of workers’ struggles for decent work, a moment of fighting not only inflation but long-standing systemic inequalities.  It has the potential to pit unionized worker against non-unionized worker, and private sector worker against public sector worker. Or it has the potential to pave the path toward decent work, through fairness and equity

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One in six households in Ontario is now struggling with food insecurity. Here’s why it’s going to get worse

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

The chattering classes have embraced a new economic theme: government efforts to fight inflation will trigger more inflation. They’re wrong…  Ontario was the only province where more people were food insecure in 2021 than in 2020… Last week the Trudeau government introduced $4.6 billion in federal aid to be spent on inflation relief until the end of 2023, almost every penny for those with low incomes.

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Show me the money: It’s not a worker shortage, it’s a wage shortage

Monday, September 5th, 2022

One of the key worker reasons for not taking jobs is that the jobs are lousy. One of the key ways that a job is lousy is that the pay is too low. Given the disruption in work experienced earlier in the pandemic, followed by sky-high inflation, expecting 10 people to apply for a $15 an hour job isn’t realistic… Job seekers are waiting for employers to show them the money—and to offer good working conditions too.

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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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