Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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Harper’s economic record the worst in Canada’s postwar history

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

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

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

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?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

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.

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We need new thinking to meet Canada’s new challenges

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Canada’s public service and most of our politicians have been steeped for so long in the neo-liberal view of government’s role in the economy that they cannot conceive of another model…. the big policy frontiers Canada faces today… Productivity growth… a lower carbon future… Income inequality… Canadian federalism… about once a generation Canada needs a major economic policy rethink.

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How our 20-year fight for Canada-Europe free trade finally succeeded

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

International trade agreements frequently have a rather long genesis. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), released last week, is no exception. In 1994 – twenty years ago – when Prime Minister Jean Chretien was to address the French Senate… his text included a proposal for a transatlantic trade agreement between the North American free-trade agreement and the burgeoning European Union.

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Minimum wage in 2013 just a penny more than 1975, after inflation: Statistics Canada

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

“While corporate lobbyists have complained bitterly about recent increases in the minimum wage, these improvements have simply restored the minimum wage to mid-1970s levels after it lagged behind inflation in the 1980s and 1990s.” Of the 13 U.S. states that recently raised their minimum wage rate, 10 have experienced above-average job growth… “It’s not the solution to poverty but it improves the purchasing power of young people, which means they have less debt and more opportunities…”

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Ontario job market undergoing seismic shift: report

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

“Ontario’s workplaces are transforming,” says CCPA-Ontario economist Kaylie Tiessen. “The problems can’t be blamed on a recession hangover. It goes deeper than that. Long-term manufacturing job losses, coupled with a dramatic rise in service sector jobs, is creating a seismic shift from secure, middle-income jobs to a more polarized labour market.”

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No CEOs paid price for 2008 meltdown. Here’s why

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

In North America, 400,000 Canadians lost their jobs and household income, while in the U.S. more than eight million workers were rendered jobless through no fault of their own… A clutch of celebrity financiers pushed the global economy over the edge. But there’s no law against that, also no vigorously enforced regulation and oversight, and it can’t be done without the acquiescence of a vast number of gullible people of all walks of life.

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The Verdict on Thatcherism Is Clear

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Thirty-five years after she swept to power as British prime minister, it is ironic that socialist Norway now has $830 billion in the bank and enjoys fully funded social programs that most of us can only dream of. Meanwhile the U.K. is enduring another round of wrenching austerity and owes over £1.3 trillion — about US$2.2 trillion. That massive debt grows by about $3.8 billion each week, while every seven days Norway adds another billion dollars to their bank account.

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If I Had a Hammer [automation/employment]

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

In many cases today artificially intelligent machines can make better decisions than humans.” So humans and software-driven machines may increasingly be substitutes, not complements… the speed and slope of improvement… [is] very fast and steep… our generation will… [be] relying on fewer people and more technology… we need to rethink deeply our social contracts, because labor is so important to a person’s identity and dignity and to societal stability.

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