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Economic Crisis

  • On the brink: the scenario the IPCC isn’t modelling

    The IPCC report bases itself on the physical laws of the climate system to tell us that we are on the brink of the abyss, on the verge of irreversibly tipping over into an unimaginable cataclysm; on the other hand, it objectifies and trivializes the political-technological headlong rush by which capitalism is once again trying to postpone the irreconcilable antagonism between its logic of unlimited profit accumulation and the limits of the planet.

  • How city-owned developers can confront the crisis of housing affordability

    Considering the low likelihood of the federal government harming the interlocked interests that benefit from asset price inflation, the political path to more social housing is fraught. But even within the confines of the market, there is another solution that can be undertaken by municipalities without the support of the federal government: cities can establish their own real estate development corporations that build market housing.

  • For a ‘Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty’

    The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, reprinted in full here, is spurring international cooperation to end new development of fossil fuels, phase out existing production within the agreed climate limit of 1.5°C and develop plans to support workers, communities and countries dependent on fossil fuels to create secure and healthy livelihoods.

  • Policing the poor

    The call to defund the police was put on the political agenda in Canada as well as in the United States in the wake of the killing of George Floyd last year, and its importance has not diminished. The vast resources that have been poured into bloated police budgets urgently need to be diverted into the public services to meet the needs of vulnerable communities under attack.

  • Canadian pension funds driving privatization in Brazil

    In late April, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro brought down the gavel on the sale of water and sewage services from the publicly owned Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos to Igua Saneamento, confirming the privatization of part of Rio de Janeiro’s public water utility. The selling off of parts of CEDAE is worthy of raised eyebrows on its own. Yet also in need of attention is the integral role which Canadian pension capital played in the process.

  • Canada’s in a housing crisis. It’s time for radical solutions

    Recent polling shows that more than ever, Canadians cite housing affordability as one of their top election issues—especially young Canadians. This should come as no surprise: years of political inaction has led us to a desperate housing emergency in which speculators and developers reap massive profits, while working class Canadians pay record amounts of their income just to have a roof over their heads.

  • 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.

  • Canada’s in a prolonged housing crisis. There’s one trick to getting out of it: Build more (non-market) housing

    The housing crisis is not a policy crisis—it’s a political crisis. We know what must be done: demand-side interventions to support an all-out housing strategy. We just need politicians who’ll do it. Whether the 2021 election will return enough of them to make a difference is to be seen, but it seems unlikely, though that is no reason to stop fighting for a solution to the problem of fulfilling a fundamental human need.

  • All must change utterly: We need a ‘People’s Green New Deal’

    Clearly and starkly, the “progressive” climate proposals Max Ajl critiques in his new book, A People’s Green New Deal, are frighteningly inadequate. Dire human threats and the meeting of human needs require an informed, people-collaborative implementation in varied regulatory jurisdictions worldwide. The current system is steeply regressed and must be changed utterly to provide basic human needs.

  • The urgent need to tax billionaires out of existence

    One of the most profound changes over the past 40 years has been the ever-increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny number of individuals. This increasing dominance of billionaires—and how it renders us powerless to protect ourselves in the most basic ways—should be front and centre in the current federal election campaign. Instead it’s barely even identified as an issue.

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