Letter to the editor in today’s Regina Leader–Post (page A10):
A Tory Stunt
The Oct. 9 photo accompanying the story “Tory candidates laud pipeline industry” showed pipe produced at Evraz stored outside the fence of another company, where this Conservative campaign stunt was held.
The story did not mention that the company concerned uses pipe . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Empty Conservative Rhetoric on Pipelines
Here, taking a look at the voter pools the NDP will be looking to win over in order to come out ahead in if this fall’s federal election turns into a two-party race. And I’ll note that while Alberta may serve as the most recent precedent, similar patterns can be found in the NDP’s previous . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day
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
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 Bank of Canada surprised most analysts this week when it decided to cut rates by 25 basis points. The move comes after the price of oil has tumbled below $50 / barrel, oil producers announced huge cuts to business investment for 2015, Target announced a mass layoff of 17,600 workers in Canada, and the . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Banks and Balanced Budgets
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
– Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman look into the spread of wealth inequality in the U.S., and find that it may be worse than we already knew. And Paul Krugman discusses how toxic anti-government ideology is preventing the U.S. from both getting its economy on track in the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links
Another year, another dead Canadian tech giant. Blackberry was sold yesterday for scrap to the Toronto private equity firm Fairfax. The purchase price of $4.7 billion is essentially valued at its cash of $2.6 billion and the value of its patents. Blackberry’s active businesses are being valued at essentially nothing. If Fairfax can stop the . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Blackberry mess and what Canada needs
The Institute for Research on Public Policy has published a very interesting overview study on the resuscitation of “industrial policy” in economic policy circles. It points out that industrial policy levers are used widely by countries around the world–despite hypothetical efforts (through trade deals and other institutions) to limit their application. The traditional Walrasian critique . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Industrial Policy, Manufacturing Employment, and the Loonie
Statistics Canada reported today, “Manufacturing sales fell 2.4% in April to $48.2 billion — the fourth decline in five months and the largest monthly percentage drop since August 2009.”
That gets the second quarter off to a bad start. Strong economic growth in the first quarter of this year (January, February, March) was underpinned by . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Manufacturing Slump Threatens Q2 Growth
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
In the hyper-polarized context of Canadian energy policy debates, even suggesting that there might be a downside to the untrammeled energy boom centred in northern Alberta is enough to get you labelled a traitor or an economic illiterate — or both. Conservative political leaders in both Ottawa and Edmonton, backed by energy-friendly think-tanks and the . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dutch Disease is Dead … Long Live Dutch Disease!!!
A background study for the latest IMF report on Canada (see pages 42 to 51) adds further weight to the argument that the rise in the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar, driven in large part by high commodity prices, has underpinned a sharp decline in the US market share of Canadian manufacturers since 2000 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The IMF and the Canadian Manufacturing Crisis
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
– Jacob Chamberlain discusses the all-too-familiar pattern of corporate insiders using their wealth and influence to try to attack basic social supports for less-privileged citizens: CEOs from America’s largest corporations—including its biggest banks, retailers, and insurance companies who helped drive the country into the worst recession in nearly . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links
Here is my Economy Lab piece on the study by Philip Cross released yesterday. On close examination, his “expanding sectors” turn out to be low value-added resource processing and his argument that Canadian manufacturing is not in decline does not hold water. The decline in output has been far greater than in the US and . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Macdonald-Laurier Institute on Dutch Disease
I was reading through the Ontario Progressive Conservatives White Paper on unions, and I came across a most interesting part. Page 6, emphasis mine,
When the Canadian dollar had a low value relative to the American dollar, many Canadian business were slow to increase productivity. For a time they could afford rigid labour contracts and . . . → Read More: An individual with opinions.: Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and party admits Dutch Disease contributes to decline in Ontario jobs.
I was reading through the Ontario Progressive Conservatives White Paper on unions, and I came across a most interesting part. Page 6, emphasis mine,When the Canadian dollar had a low value relative to the American dollar, many Canadian business were sl… . . . → Read More: An individual with opinions.: Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and party admits Dutch Disease contributes to decline in Ontario jobs.
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 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Economic Problem is NOT High Wages
This and that for your Thursday reading.
– Sum Of Us deserves plenty of credit for highlighting Enbridge’s attempt to delete a thousand square kilometers of treacherous and sensitive islands in order to sugar-coat the dangers of shipping oil out of Kitimat. But it’s also worth noting that the issue goes beyond the precise site . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links
Saskatchewan newspapers report:
“Certainly in professional, scientific and technical areas and in the mining and the manufacturing sector (the job numbers) are very strong,” Don Morgan, minister of advanced education and labour relations, told reporters at news conference Friday.
On Friday, Statistics Canada reported that Saskatchewan manufacturing employment dropped by 900 last month and declined . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Labour Minister Wrong on Manufacturing
Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak claims that union busting right to work laws would create jobs in hard hit industrial Ontario.
I have already noted that there is no evidence that Right to Work states in the US do better than other US states in terms of attracting and retaining manufacturing jobs.
A glance closer . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Labour Law and Jobs: A Tale of Two Provinces
Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak claims that passage of an anti union “right to work” (RTW) law (making mandatory union dues illegal) would create jobs, especially in hard-hit manufacturing.
With companies like Caterpillar moving to get ever cheaper labour, it seems semi plausible that anti union laws might attract footloose new investment , albeit at . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: “Right to Work” Laws and Jobs
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
– Lana Payne sees reason for hope in the sheer breadth of citizens who are protesting against the Harper Cons: Scientists. Doctors. Nuclear engineers. Academics. Researchers. Stephen Harper has a big problem.
He has ticked them all off. And they are not suffering their grievances or concerns for informed, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links
Last week, Conservative MP Randy Hoback had another letter in The Prince Albert Daily Herald blaming the NDP for the pulp-mill closure in 2006. He still has not addressed my main point about resource royalties. I have the following response on page 4 of today’s Herald:
Pulp mill saga proves Mulcair’s point
Notwithstanding MP Randy . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Randy Hoback’s Pulp Fiction
The main story in today’s GDP numbers is that the oil, gas and mining industries rebounded sharply in April after being hobbled by temporary maintenance and production difficulties in February and March. While the upswing in fossil-fuel and mineral extraction was large enough to boost the overall economy, other key sectors showed signs of weakness.
. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: GDP: Petro-Rebound Conceals Underlying Problems