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The Progressive Economics Forum

Archive for December, 2012

Best Books of 2012

Here are, in no particular order, my picks for the four best books of 2012 from a progressive economics perspective. Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin. The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire. (Verso). I suspect this book will become a classic. It is a rich and highly detailed  account of how […]

Why The Income Inequality Deniers Are Wrong

This article was published in an abridged form today in the National Post. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/21/armine-yalnizyan-sorry-andrew-coyne-but-income-inequality-is-a-real-problem/   I like this opening better so I posted it here. You couldn’t have made it through 2012 without running into a story about income inequality.  Chances are, it made you think about how you fit into the story.  That’s “entirely constructive”, […]

ONA Study on Macroeconomic Side-Effects of Austerity

The Ontario Nurses Association has been publishing some awesome economic analysis over the last couple of years, highlighting the talents of their new economist & PEF member Salimah Valiani.  Apart from a strong analytical & quantitative approach, ONA’s recent research has been very refreshing in the emphasis it has placed on gender analysis and the […]

Transparency for Unions and other “Little People”

I had a good old-fashioned knock-em-down drag-em-out debate with Ian Lee from Carleton University on CBC’s Power & Politics yesterday re C377. http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/ID/2318279928/ There were a number of “zingers” from Prof. Lee that are worth considering: • He said “hundreds of thousands” of Ontarians have their salaries listed on the government’s sunshine list (reporting salaries […]

New historical lows in EI coverage

This  is a guest post by Paul Tulloch on the deterioration of Employment Insurance coverage, also responding Statscan’s release of EI figures for October 2012. The painful toll that job loss and unemployment can unleash on Canadian families has traditionally been managed with Canada’s once quite functional Employment Insurance (EI) program. However, today’s Statistics Canada’s EI […]

Gender Wage Gap hurts Economic Growth

BREAKING NEWS: Women are paid less than men across OECD (read: rich) countries. OK, it’s not breaking news.  Not even close.  In Canada the ‘Female to Male earnings ratio’ has hovered around the 70% mark for the past 20 years.  And for women with university degrees, the ratio peaked in the early 1990’s, and has […]

Coyne on Inequality

Letter to the Editor Ottawa Citizen, December 18  Andrew Coyne (December 14) leaps on a study by TD Economics to claim that “income inequality in Canada has remained more or less flat since the mid 1990s” and that the big surge in the rising income share of the top 1% took place before 1998.  As […]

Marc’s Letter from 2040

The following comes from a short talk on a vision for a zero-carbon BC that I gave at a couple events this Fall. Many have asked for the text so I’ve posted it here, and we may try and turn it into a video. That said, I have been reluctant to do so up to […]

Nexen & Progress Takeovers Approved: What Next?

The federal government’s announcement on Friday that it is approving two more big oilsands takeovers (by China’s CNOOC and Malaysia’s Petronas, both state-owned suitors) was political tap-dancing at its best.  Prime Minister Harper’s speech listed several reasons why takeovers by foreign state-owned firms are a problem … but then proceeded to approve $21 billion worth […]

State of the BC Economy

As we close out 2012, BC finds itself in some precarious economic waters. To recap, a massive housing bubble that built up through the naughties (2000s) finally burst in 2008, feeding a financial crisis, as extremely loose (some would say fraudulent) lending practices pushed housing prices up to spectacular, never-seen-before levels, and created a plague […]