The Progressive Economics Forum: Can Capitalists Afford a Trumped Recovery? Guest post by Jonathan Nitzan & Shimshon Bichler

This provocative guest post submitted by Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler, was published earlier this year on their bnarchives website.  Nitzan, professor of political economy at York University, and Bichler, who teaches political economy in Israel, are authors of Capital as Power, a Study of Order and Creorder and numerous related articles. To quote from the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s failed experiment with corporate income tax cuts

  After a generation of comparatively high corporate income tax (CIT) rates, in the late 1980s Canadian governments at the federal and provincial levels began a series of corporate income tax reforms. According to many mainstream (‘neoclassical’) economists, reducing CIT rates was a wise public policy. A reduced CIT rate means a reduction in the ...

Left Over: Wheat a Minute – Sez Who?

Wheat Belly arguments are based on shaky science, critics say Scientists dispute claims in best-selling book, fifth estate finds CBC News Posted: Feb 27, 2015 11:00 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 27, 2015 11:00 AM ET   You may refer to it as ‘shaky’ science, but those of us who have noticed a big difference ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Is Harper right? Did corporate tax cuts really pay for themselves?

In a little noticed comment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently was reported to say: “Dropping our tax rate has not caused the government’s corporate income tax revenues to fall, which indicates that it does in fact attract business.” No one seems to have questioned his statement, even though it was made on the same day ...

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).  ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The IMF and Progressive Economics in Canada

It is interesting to note that the most recent IMF staff report on Canadian economic issues echoes some key concerns of progressive economists. I have reported these for the Broadbent Institute. As noted in this summary, the IMF report that corporate Canada’s cash hoard is the biggest in the G7 and has been mainly amassed ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Corporate Olympics: Profit Sprint vs. Investment Crawl

Statistics Canada reported today that private and public investment intentions are up by 1.4% for 2014, even weaker than Canada’s investment growth of 1.5% in 2013. Private-sector investment intentions are only 1.3% higher this year, a far cry from the growth of after-tax corporate profits. Yesterday, Statistics Canada reported that net profits were 17.3% higher ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Funding Cuts to Alberta’s PSE Sector: There Are Alternatives

It has recently been reported that the University of Alberta wants to “reopen two-year collective agreements” with faculty and staff “to help the university balance its budget…” This appears to be in direct response to Alberta’s provincial government announcing in its March budget that there would be a “7% cut to operating grants to universities, ...

The Canadian Progressive: Alberta Tar Sands: The Royalty Rip Off [VIDEO]

We recommend:FAA imposed no-fly zone over Exxon’s Pegasus tar sands oil spill siteState Department’s Keystone XL Project Review Upsets EnvironmentalistsTar Sands: Exxon’s New “Energy Everywhere” Program (Satirical Video) Exxon pipeline breaks, spills 84,000 gallons of Canadian tar sands oil in Arkansas (VIDEO)Line 9: The Tar Sands Come to Ontario (VIDEO) The post Alberta Tar Sands: ...

Alberta Diary: Looking back in perplexity: where did all of Alberta’s money go again?

First World money and Third World roads. If we’re so rich in Alberta, why do we seem so poor? A motorist negotiates one of Edmonton’s famed potholes. Actual Edmonton drivers may not have snappy uniforms like this fellow. Below: Author, professor and former Alberta Liberal politician Kevin Taft, the cover of Follow the Money. There ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Precariously Employed

The other day I made reference in a post to a study showing that half of the workers in the GTA are precariously employed, meaning they have unstable and unreliable employment with no benefits, a reality sharply at odds with the triumphalism of the right over the putative unalloyed good achieved by free trade. This ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Humbling Lesson About Critical Thinking

I am going to be offline for a few days as I join two of my fellow retirees on a trek to Algonquin Park, so I leave you with the following rather lengthy blog post: While I am always mindful of the vital importance of critical thinking, logic, and clear writing, and try to practise ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Dead Money

Kudos to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for raising the profile of the over $500 billion Canadian corporations are holding in excess cash surpluses and not investing in the economy, which garnered front page coverage (and kudos to the CAW for inviting him to speak.) It’s not the first time he’s raised this  concern. ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Economic Problem is NOT High Wages

Bill Curry reports in today’s Globe that, at last year’s economic policy retreat, business leaders urged Finance Minister Flaherty to reduce the pay of “overpriced” Canadian workers, including through anti union right to work legislation. Coincidentally, or not, the subsequent 2012 federal Budget introduced new rules which will require most EI claimants to accept jobs ...

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 ...