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Melissa Fong: How to ABUSE Canadian Citizenship: Blame Temporary Foreign Workers for problems of a global Capitalist Economy

How to ABUSE Canadian Citizenship: Blame Temporary Foreign Workers for problems of a global Capitalist Economy: Once again, the media uses the wrong gaze to look at a program that does […]

The Progressive Economics Forum: Why France’s Economic Problems Matter

I’ve had the good fortune to live in France for the past 10 months on a year-long sabbatical and therefore been able to witness firsthand the travails of the Socialist government as it wrestles with the country’s economic woes.

Indeed, the unpopularity of president Francois Hollande was exposed a couple of weeks ago after nation-wide municipal elections when his party and the left got routed, while the right and far-right triumphed.

Hollande responded by firing his prime minister and replacing him with the charismatic interior minister, Manuel Valls. Yet Valls comes from the right-wing of the Socialist Party, even calling (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Whose efficiency? what efficiency?

Efficiency is formidable. It rears its head most everywhere. Witness the tyranny of the target at more and more workplaces: from more greets per hour to more exam points per teacher. At the same time, efficiency also nurtures increasing tyrannies at home: get fit in 12 minutes per day instead of 15…but don’t waste those 3 saved minutes, other efficiencies await!

The ruthless search for efficiencies is everywhere, whether in reality or in slogans, corporate reports or government policies. When, for example, workers are fired or fossil fuel pipelines are planned in the name of efficiency, we want to question (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Famous last words

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 Smith and The Wealth of Nations than the elements of laissez faire

Melissa Fong: Vancouver developers- Gillespie, DTES & other thoughts on financial reform, Vision Vancouver

…. They WILL earn a profit because it is Vancouver.

Gillespie knows that encroaching on DTES is best odds at this point in Vancouver’s real estate. Largest “rent-gap”/ current to potential price in the city- and he’s always known that so he’s more bold, perhaps than others, to make that happen.

I know a lot of people are really pissed off at developers, but I think we’ve just created relationship/political economic environment that allows developers to do “business as usual”….

The Progressive Economics Forum: What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 4: Bernard Vallageas

What follows are comments from a roundtable discussion held at the University of Ottawa on February 28, organized by Mario Seccareccia, and which featured participation from Marc Lavoie, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Mario Seccareccia, Slim Thabet and Bernard Vallageas.

This is Part 4 of 5 sequential blog entries.

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Bernard Vallageas Vice-président de l’Association pour le Développement des Etudes Keynésiennes (France) Ancien membre élu du Conseil National des Universités Ancien membre du Conseil d’Administration de l’Association Française d’Economie Politique Faculté Jean Monnet (Collège d’Etudes interdisciplinaires) Université Paris-Sud, Sceaux, France

Mon intervention porte sur la façon dont est perçue et analysée la crise par l’opinion (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 3: Mario Seccareccia

What follows are comments from a roundtable discussion held at the University of Ottawa on January 28, organized by Mario Seccareccia, and which featured participation from Marc Lavoie, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Mario Seccareccia, Slim Thabet and Bernard Vallageas.

This is Part 3 of 3 consecutive blog entries.

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Mario Seccareccia Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa Editor, (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 3: Mario Seccareccia

The Progressive Economics Forum: What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 2: Louis-Philippe Rochon

What follows are comments from a roundtable discussion held at the University of Ottawa on January 28, organized by Mario Seccareccia, and which featured participation from Marc Lavoie, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Mario Seccareccia, Slim Thabet and Bernard Vallageas.

This is Part 2 of 3 consecutive blog entries.

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Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University Founding (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 2: Louis-Philippe Rochon

The Progressive Economics Forum: What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 1: Marc Lavoie

What follows are comments from a roundtable discussion held at the University of Ottawa on January 28, organized by Mario Seccareccia, and which featured participation from Marc Lavoie, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Mario Seccareccia, Slim Thabet and Bernard Vallageas.

Parts 2 and 3 will follow in subsequent blog posts.

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Marc Lavoie Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa Co-Editor, European Journal of Economics and Economic Policy: Intervention

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 1: Marc Lavoie

Dead Wild Roses: Civilization, Capitalism, Consumption – Why stop the Orgy?

I’m glad I’ll be dead when humanity’s collective shit hits the fan. I used to get all wrapped up in debates about Capitalism and the slow motion Seppuku we’re committing. I was genuinely flummoxed when my arguments were characterized as hopelessly naive and that my positions were unfounded vis-a-vis economic reality (a.k.a the dominant capitalist consumption paradigm).

Bollocks to that noise.

I’m out of fucks to give about important economic arguments and how super-fucking-awesome capitalism is. I will not be around when glitz comes off of our over-consumption and enough of humanity realizes how hard (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Britain’s five richest families worth more than poorest 20% | Business | The Guardian

Britain’s five richest families worth more than poorest 20% | Business | The Guardian.

The scale of Britain’s growing inequality is revealed by a report from a leading charity showing that the country’s five richest families now own more wealth than the poorest 20% of the population.

Oxfam urged the chancellor George Osborne to use Wednesday’s budget to make a fresh assault on tax avoidance and introduce a living wage in a report highlighting how a handful of the super-rich, headed by the Duke of Westminster, have more money and financial assets than 12.6 million Britons put together.

The development (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The truth is out: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it | David Graeber | Comment is free | theguardian.com

The truth is out: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it | David Graeber | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Back in the 1930s, Henry Ford is supposed to have remarked that it was a good thing that most Americans didn’t know how banking really works, because if they did, “there’d be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.

Last week, something remarkable happened. The Bank of England let the cat out of the bag. In a paper called “Money Creation in the Modern Economy“, co-authored by three economists from the Bank’s Monetary Analysis (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Spain’s poor affected the most among OECD nations in financial downturn | World news | theguardian.com

Spain’s poor affected the most among OECD nations in financial downturn | World news | theguardian.com.

Spain‘s poorest have been hit harder than any other group in any OECD country in the years of financial crisis and downturn, according to the OECD.

While the wealthiest 10% of Spaniards saw their income fall by barely 1% between 2007 and 2010, for the poorest 10% the fall has been 14%.

Italy’s poorest fared far better, suffering a 4% drop in income, according to the report Society at a Glance 2014.

Spain’s wealthiest earn 13 times more than the poorest, compared (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: New Left Project | Articles | Underestimating Capital, Overestimating Labour: A Response to Andrew Kliman

New Left Project | Articles | Underestimating Capital, Overestimating Labour: A Response to Andrew Kliman.

What caused the 2008 economic crisis? In an article published earlier this year by Jacobin, the Canadian political economist Sam Gindin explained it as ‘a primarily financial crisis.’ Writing for New Left Project, Andrew Klimanrejected this analysis, arguing that, had the crisis really been mainly financial, the economy would have recovered by now. Here, Gindin responds to Kliman’s critique.

There could not be a sharper analytical difference between Andrew Kliman and I on how we understand the trajectory (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, the Melting Planet, and the Collapse of the Capitalist System

He has tried to deny the reality of climate change as long as any crazed person could.Even as he torched the planet, and turned Canada into a hellish place.But the world is warming, the ice is melting faster than anyone once imagined.Read more »

Parchment in the Fire: IMF Urges Redistribution To Tackle Growing Inequality

As usual, on the rare occasion that the IMF actually understands the destructive nature of austerity policies, it is too little too late.

IMF Urges Redistribution To Tackle Growing Inequality.

Washington – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is wading strongly into the global debate over the impact of growing income inequality, offering a series of controversial findings that push back on long-held economic orthodoxy – of which the fund itself has long been a key proponent.

The IMF, arguably the world’s premiere financial institution, is stating unequivocally that income inequality “tends to reduce the pace and durability” of economic growth. (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Capital courts: how corporations can hold governments to ransom | Red Pepper

Capital courts: how corporations can hold governments to ransom

Transnational corporations have won shocking powers to sue sovereign states, writes John Hilary, and they are not shy of using them

February 2014

via Capital courts: how corporations can hold governments to ransom | Red Pepper.

Filed under: Capitalism Tagged: Capitalism, corporate power, trade agreements

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: In and out of crisis with Sam Gindin

Today’s podcast is a feature interview with fellow political economist Sam Gindin. I interrogate Sam about the political economy of the present: the exit from the 2007 crisis, the role of states, austerity, the place of finance and the possibilities of resistance.

Download: podcast-140314-sam-gindin.mp3

Sam Gindin is a left political economist with a long career. He was the longtime Research Director of the CAW and later held the Packer Visiting Chair in Social Justice at York University. Most recently, Sam authored The Making of Global Capitalism with Leo Panitch, a book that has gone on to win prestigious (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Radical Democracy and Collective Movements in Greece, Spain | Euro Crisis in the Press

Radical Democracy and Collective Movements in Greece, Spain | Euro Crisis in the Press.

By Marina Prentoulis and Lasse Thomassen

The 2011 movements of the squares, the ‘aganaktismenoi’ and ‘indignados’ as they came to be known in Greece and Spain respectively, brought to the forefront old and unresolved debates on the Left. During the crisis it became evident that the traditional Left failed to capture the popular imagination. As part of parliamentary politics, and together with the rest of the political establishment, the left had itself lost legitimacy, at least among a large part of society, (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: How corporations and lawyers are scavenging profits from Europe’s crisis countries

7 March 2014 Cecilia Olivet

Profiting from Crisis is a story about how corporations, backed by lawyers, are using international investment agreements to scavenge for profits by suing governments from Europe’s crisis countries. It shows how the global investment regime thrives on economic crises, but is very uneven in who it benefits. While speculators making risky investments are protected, ordinary people have no such protection and – through harsh austerity policies – are being stripped of basic social rights.

For a long time, European countries were left unscathed by the rising global wave of investor-state disputes which had tended to (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The Crises of Capitalism

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Capitalism, crisis

Parchment in the Fire: Capitalism is the Crisis

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Capitalism, crisis

Parchment in the Fire: Creating radically democratic solutions to the financial abduction of Europe | openDemocracy

Creating radically democratic solutions to the financial abduction of Europe | openDemocracy.

LOTTA TENHUNEN and ADRIÀ RODRIGUEZ 6 March 2014

Last weekend we participated in the European meeting and seminar The New Abduction of Europe -– Debt, War and Democratic Revolutions in Madrid. The meeting, organized by Fundacion de los Comunes in the framework of the network of museums L’Internationale, took place in Museo Reina Sofía and other spaces close by.

The meeting continued the process of putting in common, imagining further and translating into practice, in the form of easily replicable tools and strategies, the radically democratic solutions (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: We can’t all be workers: Putting inequality in the inequality debate

It’s easy to get confused about who is a worker and who isn’t these days. Your CEO may worker longer hours than you, not the top-hatted capitalist of the Monopoly board he. Indeed, it may seem that the leisure class of the turn of the last century has been replaced by the workaholic professional and managerial class of today. Yet, if everyone is a worker and no one is a capitalist, then how can we still be living under capitalism?

The short answer is we can’t…or, better yet, we are, which means that not everyone can be a worker, no (Read more…)