Ten reasons we can’t blame the carbon tax for inflation
From the onset of the post-COVID surge in inflation, Canada’s new breed of right-wing populists has worked hard to pin the blame for higher prices on the federal government. They rightly sense anger about the impact of inflation on their living standards. But they hope to divert that anger into outrage at Justin Trudeau personally, and his government more generally.
Getting ready for the global financial crisis 2.0
Like the bank bailouts of 2008-09, the contrast between governments’ fast and forceful actions to protect banks and finance capital, and the austerity imposed on the rest of society, is shocking. We see again that banks have access to the support and protection of an unlimited nanny state, while others are left to fend for themselves.
Deconstructing Loblaw’s inept self-justification
Supermarkets like Loblaw complain they are being unfairly singled out for responsibility for food inflation. They claim they are innocent victims, caught in the middle: merely passing along higher prices they are charged by their own suppliers. These arguments have not washed well with the shopping public, every time they shell out $200 for a cart of groceries.
Direction of post-COVID reconstruction at stake in federal election
None of the major political parties are proposing a program with sufficient ambition and breadth to fully achieve this vision of post-COVID reconstruction. But there is an undeniable distinction between those that (to varying degrees) accept the new parameters of economic policy since COVID, and those that oppose them and want to return to conventional neoliberal practice as soon as possible.
StatCan says 13% of Canadians aren’t working—but the true number is more like 30%
Canada is already experiencing Depression-level unemployment. The true rate is 2.5 times higher than the ‘official’ rate — which itself is frighteningly high. We don’t want another Depression. To avoid one, we will need a long-term plan to mobilize investment, directly create jobs, and provide crucial services and infrastructure.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Canadian economist and author Jim Stanford lists seven ways in which the evolution of work is reflecting a fundamental continuity with long-standing labour practices and relationships that are as old as capitalism itself. To improve the quality and compensation of work, we need to understand—and where necessary confront—those core features.
Harper is fighting the deficit battle but losing the economic war
The evidence is mounting that Canada’s economy may already be in an outright recession. Recent data on investment, exports, building permits and retail sales all paint a gloomy picture, and Friday’s jobs numbers (the private sector shed 49,000 jobs in June, partly offset by public sector hiring) added to the pessimism.
Canada’s transformation under neoliberalism
Neoliberalism represented a multi-faceted, deliberate, global strategy by elites to turn the whole ship around. A generation later, it is sobering to consider how successful that strategy has been. As Jim Stanford explains, it has clearly empowered and enriched corporations and those who own them, and put workers on the defensive everywhere.
The Global Economic Crisis—Part 1
Canadian Dimension posed a number of questions to three well-known economists to reflect on the roots of the crisis and what lies ahead, and to advance some progressive options. This week we publish the responses from Jim Standford, author of Ecomonics for Everyone and economist with the Canadian Auto Workers, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union.
The workers need Chapter 11
As for all that self-righteous hot air about how B.C. teachers should set a better example by obeying the “law,” I can’t imagine a better lesson in democracy than watching a group of citizens collectively resisting injustice.
Karl Marx argued that under capitalism, the legal system was pretty much a tool of the ruling class, designed to protect property rights and keep workers in line. This is quite an oversimplification, but every now and then Marx comes close to the mark. If he could see what’s been happening in British Columbia, he’d probably say, “I told you so.”