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  • CED in Manitoba - The Video January 29, 2018
    Community Economic Development in Manitoba - nudging capitalism out of the way?
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • With regional management BC’s iconic forest industry can benefit British Columbians rather than multinational corporations January 17, 2018
    Forests are one of the iconic symbols of British Columbia, and successive governments and companies operating here have largely focussed on the cheap, commodity lumber business that benefits industry. Former provincial forestry minister Bob Williams, who has been involved with the industry for five decades, proposes regional management of this valuable natural resource to benefit […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Community Economic Development in Manitoba - a new film January 16, 2018
    Cinameteque, Jan 23.  7:00 pm - Free event Film Trailer CCEDNET-MB, CCPA-MB, The Manitoba Research Alliance and Rebel Sky Media presents: The Inclusive Economy:  Stories of Community Economic Development in Manitoba
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Winnipeg's State of the Inner City 2018 January 3, 2018
    Winnipeg's community-based organizations are standing on shakey ground and confused about how to proceed with current provincial governement measurements.  Read the 2018 State of the Inner City Report.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Our Schools/Our Selves: Winter 2018 is online now! December 18, 2017
    For the first time, this winter we are making Our Schools/Our Selves available in its entirety online. This issue of Our Schools/Our Selves focuses on a number of key issues that education workers, parents, students, and public education advocates are confronting in schools and communities, and offers on-the-ground commentary and analysis of what needs to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Economic Climate and Inequality

The December issue of the quarterly Economic Climate for Bargaining publication I produce is now on-line.  This issue has a number of pieces on issues of inequality, including:

  • Rising inequality is hurting our economy
  • Labour rights, unions and the 99%
  • Canadian economy bleeding jobs; public sector cuts to intensify
  • Recession and cuts hit Aboriginal and racialized workers hardest

It also has sections with summaries of Canadian and provincial forecasts of main economic indicators, and discussions of  developments in inflation and wages increases by major sector and province.  It picks up on a number of discussions that have taken place on this blog.

The final figures aren’t in yet — and there are different ways of measuring it– but it looks like real wages will likely decline by the greatest amount since 1995.

A number of relevant reports came out after this publication went to translation.  These include:

  • Mark Carney’s  recent speech where I was heartened to see him emphasize that the problem we face is one of prolonged deficient demand.  (It was also interesting to note that one of the rationales cited for a lower than zero inflation target in the Bank of Canada’s Background document on renewal of the inflation target was it could provide workers with real wage gains when nominal wages are sticky.)
  • The IMF report on Canada issued published yesterday also raises concern overvalued house prices and the impact a correction would have on the economy through the wealth effect.  I wrote a piece on this in the Economic Climate publication four years ago.  At that time, my estimates were that Canadian real estate was overvalued by about 20% or $500 billion: with a housing wealth effect (MPC) of 6% as estimated by the Bank of Canada, that means that a correction would reduce GDP by about 2%.   The more sophisticated calculations in the IMF report are that house prices in Canada are overvalued by about 10% and that the MPC related to housing wealth is 4.3%.  As a result they report a smaller impact on GDP.
  • It is also good to see Don Drummond has an open enough mind to now issue a mea culpa about the economic policies he implemented and espoused for years, summarized just five years ago in his Economists’ Manifesto for Curing Ailing Productivity Growth.  At that time, he said there there was broad consensus among economists for those policies.  I suppose  he wasn’t reading this blog.
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