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Economic Crisis

  • Richie Rich goes to space

    As repugnant as these nouveau-cowboy colonizers are, they are not, as individuals, the problem: they are expressions of a system that is destroying the earth and exploiting working people, cleverly justified with an ideology of do-good philanthropy. They are given too much of a free ride by an uncritical media. The answer to polluting industry on earth is not to send it to the moon but create socialist solutions on earth.

  • Climate capitalism and ‘regimes of obstruction’

    While there are thankfully an increasing number of serious books proposing what can be done to actually meet the scale of the crisis we face (including Seth Klein’s A Good War and Max Ajl’s A People’s Green New Deal), it is still worth giving a nod to the essential works that expose the forces holding us back from climate action in Canada—especially because these works get little attention from mainstream media.

  • Public parks are public land

    Is one’s ‘right’ to not be exposed to tents in parks as important as another’s right to safety, community, or shelter? Of course not. The only line of reasoning that could uphold such an argument is one that places profit over people. The clearing of encampments has nothing to do with community safety or park aesthetics—it has everything to do with maintaining control over land and ensuring capitalist access to it.

  • The billionaire space race is an exploitative, wasteful farce

    The promise of some potential future payoff, some trickle-down longshot, is moot in the face of the fact that billionaires are a policy failure and ought not to exist in the first place. It turns out, then, that Mandeville was on to something when in his tale some unseen force was “with indignation mov’d” and committed to “he’d rid/The bawling hive of fraud.” We ought to do the same. Our hive depends upon it.

  • As slogans die, dots are joined

    So many inequities have been with us long before COVID-19. The pandemic made them more obvious to more people. This new awareness was awakened as the loud boosterism of the slogan “We are in this together” proved itself to be so hollow. Paradoxically, the overuse of the slogan intended to hide the true nature of our political economy from us may provide the kind of fuel that is needed to light a cleansing, a transforming, fire.

  • Hounding Toronto’s homeless

    The neoliberal city needs its enforcers as a matter of great priority, writes CD columnist John Clarke. Those who are denied the right of housing must not be allowed to become too visible. If they seek shelter and safety in public parks, they will soon learn that, while there may be no housing or even adequate shelter available for them, there will be no lack of police batons to drive them from view.

  • Capitalism is on life support. We have a decision to make

    Choosing when is the right time to let go is hard. The decision becomes much easier when the pain and suffering outweigh the benefits of living. Over the last 14 months, we’ve seen an economy on life support—capitalism kept alive by injection after injection of public money. Are we ignoring the suffering it brings and simply keeping the system alive because we cannot imagine life without it? Is it time to let go?

  • Fixing the housing crisis will mean treating shelter as a right—not a commodity

    Those who argue that the housing crisis is a state failure neglect the fact the use of market stock as an investment tool is central to the problem of affordability. If housing is treated as a commodity, with the central goal of extracting a return, the market will price out and displace people. To end the housing crisis, we must end the commodity crisis. It’s well past time we ended both.

  • Canada is built on wealth supremacy

    The rich get richer. It is a notion that has come to be accepted in our society. But, when Canadians hear that the 44 richest have amassed an additional $78 billion to their net worth during the COVID-19 pandemic, the natural reaction is anger. The idea that just a few dozen people would add so many zeros to their banks accounts while so many Canadians are struggling is offensive.

  • Is the Canada Recovery Benefit a ‘workfare’ program in disguise?

    Leaving those in financial difficulty behind for a lower-wage future isn’t a bug in the Canada Recovery Benefit system—it’s a feature of a program designed and redesigned to crack down on recipients and maximize “incentive to work.” The CRB was, to this end, designed within the ‘workfare’ tradition that’s marked every social program in Canada since at least the mid-1990s.

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