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The Progressive Economics Forum: How do you solve a problem like precarious work?

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has taken quite a bit of heat for his tone deaf comments about the reality of precarious work, specifically saying that we should just “get used to job churn”. But his policy prescription, an improved social safety net, is a quite valid part of the solution. But must we accept that . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: How do you solve a problem like precarious work?

Northern Reflections: The Meaning Of "Growth"

Economists are obsessed with growth. Unfortunately, Jim Stanford writes, they define the term much too narrowly — because they assume that good growth is inextricably linked to profit. Progressives should be fighting this idea. Growth means much more … . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: The Meaning Of "Growth"

The Progressive Economics Forum: Is Slow “Growth” Inevitable?

Most of the world economy (including Canada’s) has performed sluggishly since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09. And many economic and fiscal projections now accept this pattern of slow growth as more-or-less inevitable, as a “new normal.” This argument is typically invoked to justify a ratcheting down of expectations regarding job prospects, incomes, and public […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Is Slow “Growth” Inevitable?

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 […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: How to Solve a Problem like Internal Trade Barriers?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Minimum wages as economic stimulus?

The Alberta Federation of Labour has an excellent minimum wage campaign, called “15 is fair”. I provided some research support for a paper they produced on the positive economic impact of increasing minimum wages, which you can read in full here, but I wanted to share some of the key points. Increasing the minimum wage […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Minimum wages as economic stimulus?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Jobs and Growth after the Great Recession

This is the time of year when articles list their favourite things about last year, and their “things to watch” for the next year. Naturally, my “things to watch” list will always include the labour market. Where have we seen the strongest job growth or worst job losses, and what are the trends that might […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Jobs and Growth after the Great Recession

The Progressive Economics Forum: Making Real Change Happen

Today’s throne speech was notable for its brevity, but there were certainly a lot of priorities packed into those 1600 words. A small selection: “The Government will, as an immediate priority, deliver a tax cut for the middle class.” This is quite easily my least favourite action promised by the new Liberal government. The plan increases the […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Making Real Change Happen

The Progressive Economics Forum: #HarperEconomy: From Worst to … Worster?

As this marathon election campaign enters its final days, it is interesting to look back on the evolution of the economic debate during the past 11 weeks on the hustings. The Harper Conservatives once again tried to play the “economic card,” claiming their policies are essential to Canada’s future growth and prosperity. But this time, . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: #HarperEconomy: From Worst to … Worster?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Balanced Budget Myopia Breaks Both Ways

Opinions on deficit budgeting have become a short-hand litmus test in Canadian politics. Deficits are left-wing and balanced budgets are right-wing austerity. Economists know that there is virtually no difference between a small surplus and a small deficit, but politicians and voters are a different story.

I have spent the past three and half years . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Balanced Budget Myopia Breaks Both Ways

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada After Harper

Here is the link to buy a new book, Canada After Harper, edited by Ed Finn and with an introduction by Ralph Nader, just published by Lorimer.

Most Canadians know that Stephen Harper has had a tremendous impact on the country since becoming prime minister in 2006. But few have the in-depth knowledge of how . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada After Harper

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada: World’s Next Superpower? Only If We Stop Relying On Temporary Foreign Workers

It’s only been a couple of weeks since Disney, that most iconic of American companies, moved to displace all its home grown techies with low-cost foreign temporary workers, But the company had to beat a hasty retreat in the face of an outpouring of criticism.

Amid the deluge of commentary this story triggered about where . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada: World’s Next Superpower? Only If We Stop Relying On Temporary Foreign Workers

The Progressive Economics Forum: Judging the Odds for an “Election Recession”

Canada’s first-quarter GDP report was not just “atrocious,” as predicted by Stephen Poloz. It was downright negative: total real GDP shrank at an annualized rate of 0.6% (fastest pace of decline since the 2008-09 recession). Nominal GDP fell faster (annualized rate of 3%), as deflation took hold across the broader production economy (led, of course, . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Judging the Odds for an “Election Recession”

The Progressive Economics Forum: Is another recession on its way?

Is another recession on its way?

Louis-Philippe Rochon

Associate Professor, Laurentian University

Co-editor, Review of Keynesian Economics

 

Canada’s economy shrank in the first quarter by a whopping 0.6%. Is this the beginning of a new recession?

Recessions of course are defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Now we learn today that Canada’s . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Is another recession on its way?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Guest Blog from Kim Pollock: Stagnation Without End

We are pleased to present this guest commentary from Kim Pollock, a former union researcher based in B.C. and Saskatchewan. Now retired, Kim is investigating various aspects of Canada’s economic performance. A longer version of this paper will be presented by him at the upcoming Society for Socialist Studies meetings in Ottawa, and can be . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Guest Blog from Kim Pollock: Stagnation Without End

The Progressive Economics Forum: Should we be taxing the rich 1% more?

Louis-Philippe Rochon

Associate Professor, Laurentian Economics

Founding Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics

Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon

 

Originally published by CBC. Find commentary here.

 

The federal Liberal Party’s recent election promise to create a new tax bracket for rich Canadians has been quickly decried by – well, rich Canadians. But is it an . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Should we be taxing the rich 1% more?

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON on: A tale of two economies? Making sense of recent US and Canadian labour market data

Louis-Philippe ROCHON

Associate Professor, Laurentian University

Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics

Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon

 

With data on the performance of Canada’s labour market released today, many economists and pundits on both sides of the 49th parallel are arguing that what seems to be emerging is two very clear and different paths for . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON on: A tale of two economies? Making sense of recent US and Canadian labour market data

The Progressive Economics Forum: Thinking Through the Fall-Out of Lower Oil Prices

Canada’s economic and fiscal debates in recent months have been dominated by the possible impacts of the sudden fall in oil prices since last autumn on growth, employment, and fiscal balances. Finance Minister Joe Oliver delayed the budget, the Bank of Canada shocked markets with a rate cut, and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice is now . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Thinking Through the Fall-Out of Lower Oil Prices

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 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: G20 meeting of world finance ministers too little too late

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 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON: Greece, Syriza and the Euro

The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON: Harper in closet over the economy as Canada heads toward another recession

This guest blog post has been written by Louis-Philippe Rochon.

You can follow him on Twitter @Lprochon

Harper’s recent incarnation as an anti-terrorist crusader has caught many Canadians by surprise. Harper is spending considerable political energy beating the drums of war against terrorists, and introducing a far-reaching, and much condemned, bill aimed at restricting . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON: Harper in closet over the economy as Canada heads toward another recession

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rochon Asks: “Is the Canadian economy unraveling?”

In a recent CBC blog post, Louis-Philippe Rochon assesses the current state of the Canadian economy.

The link to the blog post is here.

Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Low Oil Prices, Good or Bad for Canada?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’re probably well aware that the price of oil has fallen dramatically, to less than $50 / barrel. What this means for Canada’s economic output & labour markets is not yet clear. But Stephen Poloz at the Bank of Canada has said that he expects the effect . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Low Oil Prices, Good or Bad for Canada?

The Progressive Economics Forum: Louis-Philippe Rochon’s Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2015

Louis-Philippe Rochon has written a provocative blog post for the CBC titled “Top 10 Economic Predictions for 2015.”

The post is available here.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Five Good Economic Developments in 2014

Every year has its ups and downs, of course. But there’s something about New Year’s that makes one naturally want to emphasize the positive. So here is my personal list of 5 positive economic developments from the year past — both globally and right here at home — that warmed this particular economist’s left-wing heart . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Five Good Economic Developments in 2014

The Progressive Economics Forum: Bank of Canada, Exports, and LMI

Much has been made about Stephen Poloz’s decision to abandon ‘forward guidance’ in Bank of Canada rate setting announcements for the time being. Critics bemoan the loss of direction from the Bank. But Poloz’s comments yesterday were chock full of guidance on how the Bank sees Canada’s economic situation.

Having been disappointed by the failure . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Bank of Canada, Exports, and LMI