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Our Times 3

Economic Crisis

  • 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.

  • Some of Canada’s biggest companies saw record profits during the pandemic

    Early in the pandemic, it was clear that the economic fallout would be unequally distributed. However, few anticipated that the pandemic could mean boom times for some. But that is precisely what happened. While lost wages, lost jobs, and small business closures generated headlines, many of Canada’s largest corporations quietly managed to achieve record profits.

  • The Olympics will be the culmination of a year of failure

    If capital sees the Olympic Games as the end of a pandemic and a way out of an existential crisis that could have—but didn’t—signal its collapse, the left must observe the Olympics as a beginning; as a launching point to organize and build to the next crisis, taking the failure of this one as a lesson and not an acceptance of our system’s seemingly eternal power.

  • Defending the left case against basic income

    I don’t think my enemies are those who honestly feel that basic income is the best approach. Rather, they are those who maintain the system of colonialism, racism and poverty. The stakes are too high to set the debate aside, but I hope we can pursue it in ways that are useful and constructive. In that spirit, I offer this response to what is, in my view, the mistaken notion that basic income offers us a way forward.

  • How COVID-19 and CERB proved that basic income is not only possible—it works

    As the pandemic unfolded, the momentum behind a Basic Income has grown steadily. Not surprisingly, people were given to wondering aloud: Just what kind of world would emerge post-pandemic? Would the megaphones of market fundamentalism holler about debt and deficit and the need to return to the decades of austerity, drowning out radical alternatives? Or would those who saw the plague as a canary-in-the-coal mine moment prevail?

  • Who controls the basic income narrative?

    Instead of protecting the status quo, it is time for governments to pay their fair share in support of greater equality and equity in this country, especially when that wealth was borne out of the deliberate and ongoing oppression and dispossession of BIPOC communities. Basic income is the way forward in lifting millions of Canadians out of poverty, and empowering them to make their own choices.

  • Liberal budget fails to meet the crises facing Canadians

    Yesterday’s 2021 federal budget tabled by Liberal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland fails to meet the needs of Canadians during the greatest crisis facing this country since the Second World War, writes Christo Aivalis. While there are certainly decent elements in this budget, the flaws and omissions are too significant, leaving notable space on the left to critique and improve upon it.

  • Over 25 years, world’s wealthiest 5% behind over one-third of global emissions growth: Study

    As world leaders prepare for this November’s United Nations Climate Conference in Scotland, a new report from the Cambridge Sustainability Commission reveals that nearly half the growth in absolute global emissions were cause by the world’s richest 10 percent, with the most affluent five percent alone contributing 37 percent.

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