The Progressive Economics Forum: NAFTA and Labour Rights

I recently spoke at the Standing Committee on International Trade on their study “Priorities of Canadian Stakeholders having an interest in Bilateral and Trilateral trade in North America, between Canada, United States and Mexico”.  I share my notes with you here, although I did ad-lib a bit in the actual committee meeting. The labour movement ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: How to Solve a Problem like Internal Trade Barriers?

The updated agreement on internal trade, which had been moving along nicely, has hit a snag. Negotiators had wanted to open up all government procurement (meaning, not allowing any preferential treatment for local contractors). Alberta has asked to be allowed to require 20% local employment in government procurement. The other feature that is particularly troublesome is ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Where have all the anti-globalization activists gone?

Over the last decade or so, every time there’s a WTO meeting or G8 summit, a lot of protesters show up to bring attention to some very real concerns about free trade agreements. Most recently there have been a number of protests against the TPP. Globalization has made the world richer, but the way it ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Where have all the anti-globalization activists gone?

Over the last decade or so, every time there’s a WTO meeting or G8 summit, a lot of protesters show up to bring attention to some very real concerns about free trade agreements. Most recently there have been a number of protests against the TPP. Globalization has made the world richer, but the way it ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Where have all the anti-globalization activists gone?

Over the last decade or so, every time there’s a WTO meeting or G8 summit, a lot of protesters show up to bring attention to some very real concerns about free trade agreements. Most recently there have been a number of protests against the TPP. Globalization has made the world richer, but the way it ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Another View on Brexit

I wasn’t eligible to vote on Britain’s exit from the European Union, and I’m not sure how I would have voted. My head said Remain but my heart said Leave – and I find myself quite pleased that England and Wales found the strength to free themselves from the EU. During the campaign, every article ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Another View on Brexit

I wasn’t eligible to vote on Britain’s exit from the European Union, and I’m not sure how I would have voted. My head said Remain but my heart said Leave – and I find myself quite pleased that England and Wales found the strength to free themselves from the EU. During the campaign, every article ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Another View on Brexit

I wasn’t eligible to vote on Britain’s exit from the European Union, and I’m not sure how I would have voted. My head said Remain but my heart said Leave – and I find myself quite pleased that England and Wales found the strength to free themselves from the EU. During the campaign, every article ...

Bill Longstaff: Saudis to Alberta—Tough Shit!

Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi didn’t say quite what I’ve suggested in my headline, but only the words differed, not the sentiment. The Saudis, as we all know, have been opening up the oil taps lately, driving their production up and driving the price down. The low price is hurting a lot of people, including ...

Bill Longstaff: Will Republicans keep invoking God if the Pope keeps pissing on their philosophy?

American politicians are particularly prone to invoking their Christian faith as a guide to their political beliefs. Although members of both major parties freely trot out scripture at the drop of a writ, conservative Republicans are especially inclined to pepper their appeals with references to their faith, God and Jesus. But now they have encountered ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rental Housing in Yellowknife

Yesterday I blogged about rental housing in Yellowknife, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site.  Specifically, I blogged about a recent announcement by the city’s largest for-profit landlord that it plans to “tighten” its policies vis-a-vis renting to recipients of “income assistance” (which, in most parts of Canada, is known generically as social assistance).  ...

Bill Longstaff: More to Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations than meets the neoliberal eye

When we think of Adam Smith, the great Scottish philosopher and economist, and his seminal book The Wealth of Nations, we are inclined to think of free markets, individual self-interest, and the invisible hand. However, reading another good book recently, How Markets Fail by John Cassidy, I was reminded there was a lot more to ...

Dead Wild Roses: Confronting Oligarchy – Tesla Motors

Free markets make for a level playing field, ensuring the best products get to the consumers at the lowest price by rewarding hard working people who go the extra mile to bring the people what they want….except when someone other than the established upper class might take some of their wealth away. Then “free” markets ...

Dead Wild Roses: The First Honest Cable Company…

A big thanks to Moe over at Whatever Works for finding this short video on our ISP’s.   Just watch the free market in action… Filed under: Rant Tagged: Cable Providers, Free Markets?, ISP, Oligarchy

The Progressive Economics Forum: Polozogistics: Nine Thoughts About the Choice of the New Bank of Canada Governor

  1. He’s Number Two: Stephen Poloz was widely acknowledged in economic and political circles as the second-best choice for the top job at the Bank of Canada. So the surprise was not that he was chosen. The surprise was, Why Not Tiff Macklem? Will someone please find out and tell the rest of us? 2. ...

Flanagan’s flop reveals deeper truth about the nature of hypocrisy in Canada

I am not writing this blog post with the idea that the right to free speech, or expression is without limit.  Tom Flanagan proves that in exercising that right, the social consequences can be swifter and less judicious than any of the hate speech crimes we have on the books in Canada. Nor am I ...

Putting lipstick on the PIIGS: the health of modern macroeconomics

Ok, so some of the best economists, trained at elite institutions, working for the pinnacle of the of the financial world got it wrong, very wrong.  How wrong?  Just go ask a Greek citizen.  But, of course, we all knew that just by reading the headlines coming out of Greece over the last couple of ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Baskin-Robbins and the Walmartization of Ice Cream

It’s been an unusually hot summer, and soaring temperatures have boosted sales of that quintessential summer food, ice cream. But Baskin-Robbins has decided to shut its production facility in Peterborough, Ont., and lay off 80 workers because of…wait for it… increased demand! From the department of “wait, what?”, here’s the scoop behind this brain-freeze-inducing decision. ...

Unravelling Conservative Labour Market Policy: The Maximum Wage Law.

The OECD and the CATO institute have both consistently ranked Canadian labour markets as some of the most flexible in the advanced capitalist world.  Indeed, Canada ranks only second to the US on most stingy when it comes to labour market protections.  Odd then, that the Conservatives have chosen labour market policy as their marquis ...

CHAPTER 8: The Miserable Metrics of Neoliberalism

Conclusion to Chapter 8 Consistent with the main line of argument in this thesis then, is the proposition that labour market flexibilisation is the other side of the neoliberal policy coin; namely, price stability and conservative fiscal policy all locked in via the globalisation of production and finance.  In this sense, neoliberalism as a hegemonic ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Big Banks’ Big Secret

The CCPA today released my report: “The Big Banks Big Secret” which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.  The report bases its estimates on publicly available data from CMHC, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, as well as quarterly ...