Here’s my take on the May Day CUPE Sponsored Workshops in Ottawa on Saturday, the 27th of April: It was an interesting affair for its lamentations and the myriad problems it laid forth with little emerging by way of tactics, however, and certainly no overall strategy. Unions can’t even wrestle concentrated concern from their members, it would seem, let alone solidarity – which means that, even though they’re already in a knife fight in a phone booth, they can’t even dream of organizational solidarity across unions lets alone with other progressive organizations of the left. And, when you think about it, all the unions really have left as (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: organized labour is the only potential political force with enough critical mass & enough organizational capability to get things moving.
One of the official goals of central bank monetary policy is supposed to be low employment fostered through what is known as an expansionary policy by lowering interest rates with the hope that low credit rates will encourage businesses to expand their operations by way of capital investment in hard assets or capital expenditures of some sort and new hirings. We’ve had this policy in place for quite some time now, and yet employment really hasn’t improved one iota. If anything it’s merely gotten worse along with – because of the incentive of low interest rates – an astounding increase in personal debt to the unseemly tune (Read more…)
I can’t refute Krugman. Institutions matter. But just what is an institution anyway. A stop sign, Burger King, constitutional conventions the EMU? All of the above? Sadly yes including gold standard like thinking. But the EMU and the WTO come with rules ratified in international treaties and enshrined in national law. Gold standard like thinking (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy: Protectionism: Krugman half right, halved wrong*
My god this may be the finest paragraph Paul Rosenberg has ever written: In truth, the Republican party only has three problems: its policies are unpopular, its policies do not work, and they hate everybody who does not agree with them. In contrast, the Democratic party has only one problem: it wants to be more like the Republicans.
Don’t look to me for the bog standard two party “duopoly” rant because I think adding more parties to a corrupted system is like asking the staff for a new set of dice at a crooked casino – the new
. . . → Read More: Autonomy For All: America’s Political Nightmare in One Paragraph
The key to deficit reduction is not austerity – reducing government spending by cutting programs and personnel - but good old-fashioned employment. Stanford’s argument is in the Krugman reformist, Keynesian tradition. He doesn’t seek a transformation, merely a technical economic readjustment, but, given our failure to transform capitalism so far – which can be brought about, in any case, only with a political strategy, not mere economic tinkering – it has value within the framework of a capitalist reality – a stopgap of sorts. As I’ve said many times in that context: Without employment, no income; without income, no spending; without spending, no demand; without demand, no (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Why are governments addicted to neoliberal #austerity?
“Yes, the Conservatives are focused on what they call the economy. But their economy is a ruthless, inhuman task-master. It demands that the very profitable Royal Bank be even more profitable. It demands that 45 highly trained people lose their jobs. It demands that Canada’s visa system allow all of this to happen. The government serves this economy faithfully. Whom does this economy serve?” - Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star _________________________________________________________________________________ Maybe its time to begin thinking about withdrawing our patronage from all retailers and services that offshore labour – including perhaps even call centres, which are the (Read more…)
Here is a two-part interview with Stephanie Seguino, who, though focusing squarely on income inequality and its racial and gender implications, is not a revolutionary transformer of capitalism but a technical reformer in the Krugman Keynesian tradition. Like Krugman, she advocates closely monitored public spending as a way to stimulate the economy. An interesting argument – especially on how profoundly youth, blacks, Hispanics and single mothers are disparagingly affected by income inequality resulting from the 2008 crisis - but one, alas, that simply asks for better management, not change to the very system itself. It remains clear that change will not come from government and this policy or that (Read more…)
More and more I tend to agree with George Monbiot that it is not neoliberalism in and of itself as an ideology or economic theory that is the root cause of our economic/political/social woes, but the ruling oligarchy’s alibiing use of that model to further their own wealth no matter the harm that results from that quest. (Is it any wonder they’re called “the feral rich.”) The distinction is important because it shifts the strategic focus to the plutocratic investor class itself and in turn their banking, regulatory, and corporate institutions – their agents of destruction – which are (Read more…)
#neoliberalism Under Flaherty the #cdnecon since 2006 has been a debt-fuelled financialized one only with little real production, productivity, or significantly increased employment to drive demand. Credit card debt has gone from $35.6 billion in February 2006 to $77.4 in February 2012, a staggering 117% increase. Mortgage debt has gone from $672.5 billion to $1111.8 billion in February 2012, an eye-popping 65.3%. And these figures do not account for the past 12 month period, in which we already know personal debt has substantially increased even more. The personal debt to income ratio (Read more…)
. . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Inform your "fiscally conservative" friends please of this astounding failure
More at The Real News
This is Part 2 of a three part discussion with James K. Galbraith and Leo Panitch on whether any sort of New Deal is now possible in America. This segment crystallizes for me the difference between Keynesian reformers like Galbraith and Krugman, say, and revolutionaries like Panitch. Galbraith continues to have faith in regulation and the government institutions that are capable of controlling economic and financial policies, claiming in effect it’s just a question of reform, of having the right personnel in those institutions and a reasonable government in power. Panitch recognizes that the problem isn’t a mere issue of personnel or government. It’s a structural problem because these institutions . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: To begin the process of democratizing the economy step 1 is to restore the banks to their status as public utilities
#cdnecon An Appalling Performance from a Finance Minister. » Whatever economic movement we’ve had has been fuelled by essentially personal debt, an astonishing 516.7 billion increase since 2006, at a staggering 165% debt to disposable income ratio. Only #banksters and the investor class benefit from such a financialization of the economy. And we’re 140 billion deeper in federal financial debt since Flaherty took over with a net debt balance of 650 billion and a stagnating global economy – the effects of which will be hard to escape since, lacking a diversified domestic economy, all our economic growth eggs are in export markets and (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: A 516.7 billion increase in personal debt and 140 billion in federal debt since Flaherty took over
The long version is here. Apparently Mr.. Waldmann was tricked into reading Matt Yglesias on monetary policy. Waldmann’s observation goes something like this in short from:
Hey Matt you have been consistently wrong in your predictions on the power of monetary policy, if fact your predictions have been so wrong the only prediction you should make is that your predictions on the power of monetary policy will be miserably fucking wrong because your theory is miserably fucking wrong. And do not ever trick me into reading your miserably fucking wrong predictions again.
Ok so that was almost (Read more…)
I won’t bury the lead. Yes I think heterodox pedagogy is critically flawed at least at the popular and undergraduate levels. Yesterday I had the fortune of bearing witness to a exchange between a sociologist and an economist. Both are well published and respected within their respective fields. Predictably, it was a dialogue of the deaf. The sociologist merely inquired why the economist was intent on stripping-out the faintest of pretences of a pluralist education in economics by removing the history of economic thought from the core of his graduate curriculum. The response was
. . . → Read More: Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy: Is Heterodox Economic Pedagogy Flawed?
It is really hard being an honest analyst. You spend most of your time being ridiculed by your on-the-take (in one form or another) adversaries. But sometimes the data speaks so loud, and the right political climate evolves, that the stars align and the glaringly obvious dare speak its name. You know something is completely SNAFU when Mauritius is responsible for 28% of all Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India. As per the recently released OECD study ADDRESSING BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING p.17
The OECD and IMF compile statistics on FDIs based on information collected
. . . → Read More: Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy: How absurd has multinational corporate practice gotten? According to the OECD ridiculous
This is a guest post written by Eric Newstadt, the GM of the Ryerson Student Centre. This post highlights why P3s are a preordained and preplanned market failure.
For some years now, Ryerson University has been pouring millions of dollars into its food services program so as to support the operation of that program. What is stunning about this situation is not that Ryerson’s food services program has been running at a massive loss for years, or that students, faculty, and staff have continued to complain about the high prices and poor quality that are legendary when
. . . → Read More: Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy: The Bad Taste and Big Waste of Public Private Partnerships
You’ve got to love George Monbiot, the UK author, journalist and activist. His engaging BLOG is high on our list of regular must-reads. This is how George describes his role: “Here are some of the things I try to fight: undemocratic … Continue reading →
Ok, so some of the best economists, trained at elite institutions, working for the pinnacle of the of the financial world got it wrong, very wrong. How wrong? Just go ask a Greek citizen. But, of course, we all knew that just by reading the headlines coming out of Greece over the last couple of years. We also knew this because most of the best elite trained economists thought everything was doing swimmingly back in 2006 early 2007.
Why? because they assumed rational expectations and that their models were correct. And when, after the crisis
. . . → Read More: Relentlessly Progressive Political Economy: Putting lipstick on the PIIGS: the health of modern macroeconomics
“Flaherty said Friday the federal government is concerned about increasing CPP contributions at the current time because it would slap an additional financial burden on employers during fragile economic times, potentially threatening their ability to hire workers. The federal government can’t unilaterally change the CPP; amending it requires the backing of two-thirds of the provinces representing two-thirds of the population. “This is not the time to put another burden on employers and dampen employment prospects for Canadians. That’s my view. Not everyone agrees with that view,” Flaherty told reporters Friday in Ottawa.
Flaherty open to growing CPP — if (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Premiers Goal to Increase CPP both Pragmatic and Desirable
Canada faces near-recession if U.S. plunges over ‘cliff,’ Carney warns “Carney warns of risk from U.S. Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney has warned that a failure by U.S. politicians to reach a new budget agreement before time runs out would push Canada close to another recession… the bank warned that Canadi ans are still borrowing at a faster pace than their disposable income, making them more vulnerable if they lose their jobs or home prices tumble. The ratio of household debt to gross domestic product now stands at a record high 163 per cent, up from (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: This will be the Regime’s Primary Alibi followed by the EU crisis when the Canadian Economy Sinks into Recession
Capitalism Reaches its Ugly Claw into Recess
This is appalling: capitalist invasion by way of neoliberal privatising of playtime at recess and noon. Isn’t it bad enough that we have a class division for families outside the school yard between the haves and the have-nots? Do we have to commodify and commoditize our children and their playtime so intrusively in the name of capitalist enterprise too, thereby creating – because of their young age – a powerful ideologically conditioned class system at the childhood level? Class is already everywhere for a child in our neoliberal world. Why enhance it. (Read more…)
Reading Economic Health into the Recent StatsCan Jobs Data is An Exercise in Fantasy Here’s the reality in that data: 1) As Derek Holt points out, there is no hours worked increase. That remains static. But it is hours worked that “drive incomes, not body count.” Holt speculates that the already employed are working fewer hours, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest such a situation is probable.
2) The so-called new jobs have not increased labour productivity one iota. There is, in other words, no output growth, no real economic growth resulting from job increases.
3) (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Reading Economic Health into the Recent StatsCan Jobs Data is An Exercise in Fantasy
I support the lawsuit against the Bank Of Canada|Strikes meaningfully at the core of #neoliberalismfacebook.com/Support.lawsui… #cdnpoli #cdnecon — Barry Cameron (@AppalledBC) December 2, 2012 . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Politics and Entertainment 2012-12-02 10:10:00
There’s every chance we’ll have at least a technical recession in the fourth quarter given these statistics: “The economy slumped to 0.6 per cent in the third quarter — below even the gloomy 0.8 consensus and about one-third what t… . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Canada’s economy in a stall, StatsCan reports
Your Anon News • A CALL FOR DIRECT ACTION Although there are facets of this perspective that are highly debatable, as many of the comments on Tumblr reveal, this is an intriguing argument not without some merit because aspects of it are … . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: A Call for Direct Action: Is it Worthy of Consideration?