The Progressive Economics Forum: The Alternative Federal Budget 2017

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) was released on March 9. I was proud to be the primary author of its housing chapter (that chapter is available in English here and in French here). The first AFB exercise began in 1994, with the first AFB being published in 1995. That involved a joint effort between ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On Budgets and Deficits In Alberta

Today was budget day in Alberta.  More or less, the NDP government brought in the budget that had been expected.  Continued spending on big ticket items that have been put off for years, if not decades. Predictably both the PC and WildRose opposition parties are crying foul.  The argument is largely that “running up the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget

An Alberta-based volunteer working group, of which I’m a part, recently released a document titled Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget (for media coverage, see this Metro article).  Working group members include staff from Alberta’s non-profit sector, labour movement and advocacy sector. While our long-term goal is to emulate the great work of the Alternative ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Lessons from the Reagan Era on Managing Twin Deficits

Below is a guest post from Norman Mogil and Arthur Donner. Lessons from the Reagan Era on Managing Twin Deficits Many in the U.S. are harking back to the Reagan era for guidance on how to implement the pro-growth policies advocated by President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress. When Ronald Reagan took over the leadership ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Federal Role in Poverty Reduction

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “The Federal Role in Poverty Reduction.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has been tasked to lead the development of a Canada Poverty Reduction Strategy. -Total public ...

Alberta Politics: ‘Oh, there you go Bradsplaining again!’ Like it or not, Brads from Saskatchewan just can’t control their Bradsplaining

PHOTOS: Federal Conservative leadership candidate and Bradsplainer Brad Trost shows he’s hip to the jive with this newfangled technology stuff. (Photo from BradTrost.ca.) Below: Brad Wall, another well-known Bradsplainer, Bradsplaining, and blogger word-coiner Dave Cournoyer, kitted out to observe one of Rebel Media’s rallies. Uh-oh! We’re about to be “Bradsplained”! Bradsplaining, a useful coinage by ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: February Labour Force Woes

The unemployment rate is up again this month, to 7.3%, with 1.4 million workers looking for jobs in February. A loss of full-time work was partly replaced by part time positions. A disproportionate percentage of last year’s growth came from precarious self-employment. Remember those heady days when we could say that at least Canada’s unemployment rate ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 8: Deficits, drugs and death

The big issue of the week in Canada, where we worry about these things for some reason, was deficits. The new Liberal government, which promised to run a $10 billion deficit to boost the economy, is instead going to be about $30 billion in the hole. Here in the People’s Republic of Alberta, the provincial ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Who’s Afraid of Deficits?

We all knew that Budget 2015 was optimistic about medium term growth and rebounding oil prices, but the good people at the PBO have given us an indication of just how far off those projection were.  They estimate that nominal GDP will be about $20B lower through 2020 ($30B lower in 2016), which also means ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Missing in (debate) action: macroeconomic lessons from the Great Depression

This is a guest blog post from Mario Seccareccia, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa. ——- Since the October 2008 federal election, Canadian politicians have been struggling to come to terms with what to all accounts has turned out to be a “lite” version of the 1930s, whose major difference is that today we have ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Federal Surplus: Digging Deeper

This week Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are trumpeting the announcement of a small surplus ($1.9 billion) for fiscal 2014-15.  The political symbolism of this “good news” is a welcome change for them from a string of negative economic reports (most importantly, news that Canada slipped into recession in the first half of 2015) that has damaged ...

CuriosityCat: Battleground Ontario is moving into Liberal camp says Nanos

The kiss of death? The latest Nanos poll for CTV shows a three way split between the LPC, CPC and NDP.  However, the Liberal grip on their heartland of Atlantic Canada remains firm; while the NDP has a clear majority in Quebec. The key battleground is now the biggest province, Ontario. Here’s the Nanos result ...

CuriosityCat: Election 2015: X marks the spot

Here’s my current expectation of the possible seat wins around one week before the October 19 election. I’ve added an X – to mark the right hand border of my forecast – to the CBC/308 instructive Poll Tracker chart: X marks my spot for positions one week before the election on October 19 And why ...

CuriosityCat: Election 2015: The Shift to the Liberal Party starts

The Second King of Austerity? With the dog days of summer ending, and only 6 or so weeks left in the interminable campaign, one of the most interesting sites to check on every now and then is the CBC Poll Tracker, run by Éric Grenier, the founder of ThreeHundredEight.com, a website dedicated to political polling ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Balanced Budget Myopia Breaks Both Ways

Opinions on deficit budgeting have become a short-hand litmus test in Canadian politics. Deficits are left-wing and balanced budgets are right-wing austerity.  Economists know that there is virtually no difference between a small surplus and a small deficit, but politicians and voters are a different story. I have spent the past three and half years railing ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” Author Shannon L. Alder Recently NDP candidate and former Saskatchewan finance minister, Andrew Thomson, stated on Power and Politics, that cuts were inevitable, in order to balance the budget. In Saskatchewan, he cut ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” Author Shannon L. Alder Recently NDP candidate and former Saskatchewan finance minister, Andrew Thomson, stated on Power and Politics, that cuts were inevitable, in order to balance the budget. In Saskatchewan, he cut ...

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Our Addiction to Balanced Budgets May Need an Intervention

“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” Author Shannon L. Alder Recently NDP candidate and former Saskatchewan finance minister, Andrew Thomson, stated on Power and Politics, that cuts were inevitable, in order to balance the budget. In Saskatchewan, he cut ...

Alberta Politics: Give a thought to Alberta’s approaching budget day: there’s little to gain and plenty to lose from ‘debt free’ government

PHOTOS: Former premier Ralph Klein, now elevated to sainthood by the neoliberal cargo cult, celebrating the retirement of Alberta’s debt in 2004, never mind the mess the infrastructure was in. Below: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci, Canadian economist Jim Stanford and Wildrose Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt, with, bottom, his old debt-trailer. Anyone remember Ralph Klein’s ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Harper economics lead to a Harper deficit

Harper-economics lead to a Harper-recession and now to a Harper-deficit Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics Confirmation federal government finances have fallen back into deficit raises more questions about Harper’s image, now more myth than reality, as a sound economic manager. A deficit of course was inevitable once you accept ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Deficit Battle and the Economic War

Evidence continues to mount regarding Canada’s lousy economic trajectory, and there is now a pretty broad consensus among Canadian economists that the economy was likely in recession in the first half of the year.  That’s not a sure thing, of course: we won’t know until September 1 if second quarter GDP grew or shrank. Here’s ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Conservatives, sound finance and the facts of recent history

Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics   With the tabling of a new federal budget on April 21, the Conservatives are trying to reinvent themselves as good economic managers, stalwart of sound finance. But after almost nine years in office, the data simply does not confirm this story. Mr. Harper’s ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON on balanced budgets

Balanced budget legislation will be disastrous for Canada Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics Twitter @LPROCHON   Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s latest muses about introducing balanced budget legislation is the worst policy for Canada, and will doom us to European-style crises and rob future generations of prosperity. While ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON on the upcoming federal budget (April 2015)

THE FEDERAL BUDGET AND CANADA’S ANNUS HORRIBILIS See Original post here for the CBC. Canada’s Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced a new – and long overdue – federal budget for April 21. With the Canadian economy doing so badly, this budget will be crucial. Will the minister do the right thing and give Canadians a ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Deficit Déjà Voodoo again in New Brunswick

The Fredericton Daily Gleaner published an op-ed I wrote about how the province doesn’t have a structural deficit, despite the government claiming it does.  The commentary piece is behind a pay wall so I’ve copied it below. Last month, CUPE New Brunswick also published a paper I wrote on this issue, Deficit Déjà Voodoo: is New ...