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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- David Blanchflower notes that there’s virtually no dispute that the UK is headed into an economic downturn – meaning that there’s also no excuse to hold off on fiscal relief for the public. And Brad DeLong po… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Trevor Hancock writes that if we’re going to designate anything as a public health emergency, poverty should top the list:I was pleased to see the B.C. Ministry of Health use the powers of the provincial health offic… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

A Different Point of View....: Mainstream media sucked in, report whatever politicians, GM say.

Note: In journalism school students are taught to report not what people say but what they do!All the big newspapers and TV networks breathlessly reported word-for-word what they were told at a recent joint political-General Motors newser:The Globe and… . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Mainstream media sucked in, report whatever politicians, GM say.

A Different Point of View....: Mainstream media sucked in, report whatever politicians, GM say.

Note: In journalism school students are taught to report
not what people say but what they do!

All the big newspapers and TV networks breathlessly reported word-for-word what they were told at a recent joint political-General Motors newser:

The Globe and Mail: 
“For decades, the splashy, job-creating announcements in the auto sector in Canada have been about manufacturing jobs.

“General Motors of Canada Ltd. went in a different direction Friday, announcing the hiring of 700 to 750 new engineers who will work on the automobile of the future – vehicles that are battery-powered, connected to the wired world much more closely than they are now and will eventually drive themselves.”

CTV News reported what Prime Minister Trudeau said, just as though the comment came from an official news release: “We know that to create good jobs … we have to be on the cutting edge,” Trudeau said. “This investment by GM in jobs that will support their operations all around the world shows we’re succeeding in that regard.”

How exciting! How futuristic!

But wait a minute. Here’s a bit of interesting background:

GM does not have to hire Canadian engineers for the 700 jobs. In fact, they are going to go to Silicon Valley to recruit them.

And there’s more:

If the reporters had bothered to scan through their archives, they would have discovered that the auto industry in Canada is doing very little compared to what it was like a few years ago, when many thousands of people were employed with excellent wages.


Since the Canada-US Autopact was ruled to be illegal several years ago and the North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented, manufacturing jobs – which is what Canada really needs – have disappeared by the tens-of-thousands.

Five Canadian assembly plants have closed since the turn of the century. Only one has opened.

Meanwhile, Unifor, the union that represents the workers, is afraid that at least three of the eight unionized auto plants in Ontario could close in coming years unless they are able during contract negotiations this summer to persuade the Detroit Three to commit to more  products at those factories.

They are worried about the future of General Motors’ assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario; Ford’s engine plants in Windsor and Fiat Chrysler’s Automobiles plant in Brampton, Ontario. Together, those plants employ 7,200 workers or about one-third of union members employed by the Detroit Three in Canada.

The failure of The Globe, CTV and others to provide background for the earlier story is typical of what is so wrong with Big Media these days. This story wasn’t incomplete because of media cutbacks. It’s just lazy, puffery journalism.

What got me off on this rant were two excellent letters to the editor published in The Toronto Star. When we have to go to the letters page to get the interesting facts about the news, it’s no wonder people do not trust mainstream media.

Reader’s Letters | The Toronto Star
Re: GM to create 750 high-tech jobs, June 11

READER LETTER #1:

Has General Motors of Canada forgotten that only seven years ago the governments of Canada, Ontario and the U.S. saved it from oblivion when decades of prodigiously arrogant mismanagement inevitably resulted in their bankruptcy?

Are folks aware that even as the fate of Oshawa Assembly is in the balance, GM is investing billions of dollars in ramping up Mexican production?

Do people know that post-bankruptcy GM has already displayed astonishing hubris by becoming the first of the Detroit three automakers to import cars made in China for Canadian and U.S. consumption in the form of the new Buick Envision?

While I am displeased that companies like Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai/Kia and VW account for a massive chunk of Canadian auto sales without making a single car here they nonetheless never came begging for our tax dollars.

From the other side, one can understand the natural temptation of paying manufacturing wages in pesos rather than loonies, which has been the predictable and predicted consequence of the rise of NAFTA and the demise of the Canada-U.S. Auto Pact, but GM really is a special case.

Finally, if GM’s Oshawa plant is to continue pumping out cars and providing middle class jobs you can brace yourself for a big dollop of corporate welfare factoring into the equation.

Without meaningful trade borders and true national sovereignty transnational bastions of “free enterprise” like GM really have our political leaders over a barrel as competing jurisdictions outbid one another with massive taxpayer subsidies designed to lure investment or simply retain the remnants of our industrial core.

~ Mike Vorobej, Ottawa

READER LETTER #2:

Before Justin Trudeau and Kathleen Wynne get too excited about the 700 jobs coming to Oshawa and area, let’s review what has happened over the last decade at GM.

First of all, we lent GM just over $12 billion after the 2008 crash and Stephen Harper sold it for a $3.5 billion loss to Canadian taxpayers.

Secondly, we have lost 20,000 manufacturing jobs at GM in Oshawa since 2003. Why were no job guarantees written into the deal when we gave GM billions of dollars?

Third, and most insulting, GM announced at the press conference it would go to Silicon Valley to recruit the workers for the Oshawa GM jobs.

So, in conclusion, we have lost $3.5 billion to GM, lost about 20,000 good high-paying manufacturing jobs at GM in Oshawa and now they have announced they will go to another country to recruit workers for those jobs.

Why exactly are Mr. Trudeau and Ms Wynne celebrating?

~ Gary Brigden, Toronto

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Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Mainstream media sucked in, report whatever politicians, GM say.

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Paul Krugman writes that we’re far closer to a major energy transformation than many people realize – but that public policy decisions in the next few years may make all the difference in determining whether … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

The Progressive Economics Forum: Stanford Responds to Moffatt: Why I Still Worry About Auto Job Losses Under a TPP

My friend and fellow #cdnecon tweeter Mike Moffatt has published a thought-provoking commentary regarding the impact of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Canada’s auto industry. Specifically, Mike engages critically with previous arguments I have made (on this site and elsewhere) that the TPP, as currently negotiated, could result in the ultimate loss of […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Stanford Responds to Moffatt: Why I Still Worry About Auto Job Losses Under a TPP

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Roderick Benns interviews Michael Clague about his work on a basic income dating back nearly fifty years. And Glen Pearson’s series of posts about a basic income is well worth a read.

– Meanwhile, Julia Belluz interviews Sir Michael Marmot about the connection between inequality and poor social . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Left Over: Composure Under Pressure…..

I am trying with great difficulty to ignore the current campaign for a new Parliament and, if there is any justice, a new PM. I have been also trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to stop comparing and contrasting (thanks so much to all my Uni profs. who beat that concept into my head….) my own reality with . . . → Read More: Left Over: Composure Under Pressure…..

Left Over: Composure Under Pressure…..

I am trying with great difficulty to ignore the current campaign for a new Parliament and, if there is any justice, a new PM. I have been also trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to stop comparing and contrasting (thanks so much to all my Uni profs. who beat that concept into my head….) my own reality with . . . → Read More: Left Over: Composure Under Pressure…..

Accidental Deliberations: On uncosted liabilities

So even from the sketchy details made public so far, and even leaving aside the more general harm done by limiting government action and entrenching corporate monopolies, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will cost Canada: $4.3 billion in compensation to dairy, chicken and egg farmers Up to 20,000 lost jobs in the auto sector – meaning both . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On uncosted liabilities

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Jim Stanford discusses how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is renegotiating NAFTA – and taking away what little Canada salvaged in that deal. And Jared Bernstein highlights the TPP’s impact on prescription drug costs.

– Rick Smith rightly challenges the effort some people have made to minimize the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Haroon Siddiqui comments on the Cons’ tall economic tales. And Steven Chase and Greg Keenan note that workers are rightly fighting back against the Cons’ plan to sell out Canada’s auto parts industry and its 80,000 jobs.

– Canadian Doctors for Medicare weighs in with its . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Left Over: Auto-Immune to Progress: Car Manufacturing Going South

Carmakers say adios to Canada as Mexico shifts into higher gear Mexico now makes more cars than Canada, a trend that’s not expected to change

By Pete Evans, CBC News Posted: Jun 15, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 15, 2015 9:31 AM ET

 

It’s deja vu all over again…I . . . → Read More: Left Over: Auto-Immune to Progress: Car Manufacturing Going South

The Canadian Progressive: Canada-EU trade deal will hurt Canada’s auto industry: study

by: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives | Press Release | May 28, 2014

OTTAWA – The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will only exacerbate the Canadian auto industry’s recent decline, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The study, by Unifor economist and . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Canada-EU trade deal will hurt Canada’s auto industry: study

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– PressProgress digs into the PBO’s report on tax giveaways to look at what Canada has lost from the Cons’ cuts to federal fiscal capacity – and how little has been gained as a trade-off: (T)he Harper government, by starving the public coffers, is losing $43 billion that could . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

LeDaro: Harper’s South Korea Trip

 I am not against free trade per se, it has its benefits in expanding markets and bringing our world together. When people are trading with each other and making money, they are much less likely to wage war on each other. However, we should not uncritically accept free trade deals. We must be cognizant . . . → Read More: LeDaro: Harper’s South Korea Trip

The Progressive Economics Forum: Economist

It started with a car accident in February, and the total loss of our 2004 Prius, which had only been ours for less than a year. We were quickly compensated for its market value and were in a position to buy another car, but we held off due to a looming sabbatical that would take . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Economist

The Canadian Progressive: Federal Budget 2013: CAW demands full national manufacturing strategy for Canada

By: Canadian Auto Workers Union | Press Release: Billions in new federal supports for Canadian industry is a partial, but important, step forward in assisting the country’s embattled manufacturing sector, said CAW President Ken Lewenza, in response to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget released today. In his budget, Minister Flaherty outlined the federal […]

The . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Federal Budget 2013: CAW demands full national manufacturing strategy for Canada

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Ed Broadbent comments on both the growing problem of inequality, and the one institution which can do something about it:Canada is not doing better. From 1982 until 2004, almost all growth in family i… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

The Progressive Economics Forum: CAW Major Auto Bargaining 2012: Lessons Learned

I am now finally emerging from the mental fog induced by the 24-7 triennial marathon otherwise known as “CAW major auto bargaining.” To close the circle, here are my thoughts in retrospect on the bargaining: how the union prepared for it, the issues at stake, the contents of the final deal, and the challenges that . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: CAW Major Auto Bargaining 2012: Lessons Learned

Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: CAW Sets Sights on National Auto Policy as Chrysler Deal Ratifies

CAW members at Chrysler have approved a new collective agreement, voting 90 per cent in favour of ratification. Voting took place at a series of ratification meetings held Saturday September 29 and Sunday September 30 in Windsor, Brampton and Etobicoke, Ontario. The contract with Chrysler follows the pattern deal set with Ford on September 17, . . . → Read More: Canadian ProgressiveCanadian Progressive: CAW Sets Sights on National Auto Policy as Chrysler Deal Ratifies

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

– Pratap Chatterjee discusses our new age of robber barons – and how the wealthiest CEOs get out of paying any tax at all on massive sums of money: The Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington DC thinktank, says that a chunk of the money Ellison spent buying Lanai . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

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 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Big Banks’ Big Secret

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Rise of the Casino Economy

I was on a road trip recently, driving through the American south, and ended up coming face to face with the economics of gambling. The friend I was travelling with is a professional poker player, making his living at casinos all across the US. He used to work as an IT consultant in Toronto, helping . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Rise of the Casino Economy

The Progressive Economics Forum: What CETA Would Mean for Canada’s Auto Industry

Canadian free trade negotiators are going all-out to get a deal with the EU on a new free trade agreement. The Harper government wants a deal badly for largely symbolic and ideological purposes, to show that the free trade agenda is back on track under this “stable majority government.” Many valid concerns have been raised […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: What CETA Would Mean for Canada’s Auto Industry