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 ...

Canadian Dimension: Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire

Photo from Pixabay.com As never-ending politically motivated austerity takes hold, more and more people will find they cannot afford to stop work. But it doesn’t have to be like this​. None of this is as “inevitable” as the politicians would have us think. Many societies have an ageing population. But not all of them are ...

Canadian Dimension: Pope Francis: Capitalism is “Terrorism against all of humanity”

Photo by Long Thiên Once again, Pope Francis has made global headlines, shocking reporters late Sunday after blaming the “god of money” for the extremist violence that is taking place in Europe and the Middle East. A ruthless global economy, he argues, leads disenfranchised people to violence. Responding to a question from a journalist about ...

Canadian Dimension: Portland to vote on taxing companies if CEO earns 100 times more than staff

Photo by Scott Cameron The city council of Portland in Oregon will vote on Wednesday whether to impose a tax on companies whose CEO’s pay exceeds the median salary of their workers by a ratio of more than 100-to-one. The measure, which was proposed by Portland city commissioner and former environmental lawyer Steve Novick, will ...

Canadian Dimension: The New Global Financial Cold War

Photo by Des Byrne The Guns and Butter Interview Suppose a country owes money to another nation’s government or official agency. How can creditors collect, unless there’s an international court and an enforcement system? The IMF and the World Bank were part of that enforcement system and now they’re saying: ‘We’re not going to be ...

Canadian Dimension: The US Economy Has Not Recovered and Will Not Recover

Photo by Dave Center The US economy died when middle class jobs were offshored and when the financial system was deregulated. Jobs offshoring benefitted Wall Street, corporate executives, and shareholders, because lower labor and compliance costs resulted in higher profits. These profits flowed through to shareholders in the form of capital gains and to executives ...

Canadian Dimension: Richest 62 people as wealthy as half of world’s population, says Oxfam

Photo by Alberto Carrasco-Casado The vast and growing gap between rich and poor has been laid bare in a new Oxfam report showing that the 62 richest billionaires own as much wealth as the poorer half of the world’s population. Timed to coincide with this week’s gathering of many of the super-rich at the annual ...

Canadian Dimension: Struggling to manage your life? Our destructive system is likely to blame

Photo by frankieleon I was dismayed by the comments of two women on CBC Toronto’s Metro Morning recently. The program deserves credit for planning throughout the week to deal with issues of stress and the fact that most people don’t have enough hours in the day to deal with important, often crucial, matters. The two ...

Canadian Dimension: International Monetary Fund’s Rogues Gallery

Photo by Ryan Hyde Introduction The IMF is the leading international monetary agency whose public purpose is to maintain the stability of the global financial system through loans linked to proposals designed to enhance economic recovery and growth. In fact, the IMF has been under the control of the US and Western European states and ...

Canadian Dimension: State Terror or Capitalist Terror, Military Coup or Capitalist Coup

The Rosariazo in 1969. The worsening economy and the onset of dictatorship led to waves of protests, strikes and riots. • Photo by Carlos Saldi Introduction Democratic critics of military seizures of power commonly refer to them as military coups. They adopt a very narrow and misleading conception of what is taking place. Likewise, human ...

Canadian Dimension: Global Corporate Cash Piles Exceed $15 Trillion

Photo from Public Domain The global economy is slowing – from China to Brazil to South Africa and beyond. Currency wars initiated in 2013 by Japan’s introducing a ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) monetary policy, intensified in 2015 by Europe introducing its own ‘QE’, and exacerbated still further by Saudi Arabia initiating a global oil price war ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Would an NDP win mean the end of Canada?

Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate professor of Economics – Laurentian University Founding co-Editor – Review of Keynesian Economics Follow him on Twitter – @Lprochon This story from the CBC on August 14, 2015.  See story here.   With the NDP riding high in a number of national polls at the moment, there is an increasingly real possibility ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Harper has the worst economic record in history

Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon   Mr. Harper and the Conservatives never miss an opportunity of reminding Canadians that we should vote for them in October in order to ensure economic prosperity in the future. At the heart of this argument is the belief ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rhetoric vs Reality: The Harper Govt Economic Record

Speculation is intense that the unofficial election campaign we have already been experiencing for several months, is about to become official: Ottawa is awash in rumours the writ may be dropped as early as this weekend, setting the stage for months of promises, accusations, and photo-ops. As always the economy will be the top issue.  ...

Canadian Dimension: Harper is fighting the deficit battle but losing the economic war

Finance Minister Joe Oliver • Photo by Harvey K 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 ...

Canadian Dimension: Pillage and Class Polarization: The Rise of “Criminal Capitalism”

The Tribune of the Uffizi (1772–78), by Johann Zoffany, depicts the commodity-fetishism metamorphosis of oil paintings into culture-industry products. Introduction About 75% of US employees work 40 hours or longer, the second longest among all OECD countries, exceeded only by Poland and tied with South Korea. In contrast, only 10% of Danish workers, 15% of ...

Canadian Dimension: Polarizing Development

Photo by Paul Sparkes Neoliberal economic policies, with their emphasis on market-led development and individual rationality, have been exposed as bankrupt not only by the global economic crisis but also by increasing social opposition and resistance. Social movements and critical scholars in Latin America, East Asia, Europe and the United States, alongside the Arab uprisings, ...

Canadian Dimension: World’s Richest 80 People Own Same Amount as World’s Bottom 50%

Photo by Ken Teegardin Oxfam’s recent report, “Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More,” contains shocking figures that the press haven’t sufficiently publicized; so, the findings and the reliability of their sources will be discussed here. The results will then be related to the central political debate now going on in the U.S. Presidential contests ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON on 2015 budget: Conservatives making a mockery of working Canadians

CONSERVATIVES MAKING A MOCKERY OF WORKING CANADIANS Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics   Today, with great fanfare, Minister of Finance, Joe Oliver, tabled his much-delayed budget in the House of Commons. Despite the government’s best effort to confuse Canadians with tales of terrorism, the economy and job ...

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: THE EURO, THE DRACHMA AND GREECE: limited options in an impossible situation

Jean-Francois Ponsot Associate Professor of Economics, Université de Grenoble (France) and Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University (Canada) Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics ___________________ The final agreement between Greece and the Eurogroup is a disappointment for anyone who held high hopes that Greece would have taken away more than a mere extension to ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON On Greece once More

LOUIS-PHILIPPE ROCHON Associate Professor, Laurentian University Co-editor, Review of Keynesian Economics Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon ________________________ As I have said before (see here) and will say again: any solution to Greek’s tragedy, which involves keeping the Euro as a currency is a second-best solution, unless the appropriate institutional changes are adopted. Anything short of ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: G20 meeting of world finance ministers too little too late

Posted earlier as an opinion piece for CBC.  See original post here (this post slightly modified from original) By Louis-Philippe Rochon Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon   Much was at stake earlier this week when finance ministers from G20 countries met in Istanbul to discuss Greece and the state of the world economy in light of recent ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON: Greece, Syriza and the Euro

This is a guest blog post from Louis-Philippe Rochon. Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon. — What a tumultuous few weeks we witnessed in Greece. Though the victory of Syriza was ill-received in particular in Germany and the European Central Bank, it was nonetheless a resounding victory for democracy. This victory may now spill into other ...

Canadian Dimension: A New Deal for a Precarious Economy

Illustration from a 1916 advertisement for a vocational school in the back of a US magazine. • Image from Popular Science Monthly, Modern Publishing Co., New York, Vol. 88, No. 3, March 1916, p. 105 What do you say we start this discussion with some facts? I know, I know, that’s not the way we ...