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The Progressive Economics Forum

Archive for April, 2015

The central banker who talked too much

The central banker who talked too much Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of economics, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics   On Tuesday, Governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz testified in Ottawa in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. He had a lot to say about the state of […]

The Conservatives, sound finance and the facts of recent history

Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics   With the tabling of a new federal budget on April 21, the Conservatives are trying to reinvent themselves as good economic managers, stalwart of sound finance. But after almost nine years in office, the data simply does not confirm this story. Mr. Harper’s […]

The Return of the Gilded Age: Consequences, Causes and Solutions

On April 8, I had the honour of delivering the Harry Kitchen Lecture in Public Policy at the invitation of the Department of Economics at Trent University. I took the opportunity to offer a broad reflection on economic inequality, arguing that while inequality is inherent in capitalism, too much inequality undermines economic as well as […]

Budget 2015: A tale of austerity past, present and future

Cross-posted from my blog. I’ve been banging the drum of “slow-motion austerity” for a while and little in the 2015 federal budget suggests any change from the pattern of death by a thousand cuts. This budget is another is a series of unspectacular austerity budgets. Taken together, however, the cuts rapidly add up and budgets […]

Budget 2015: Robin Hood in Reverse

Here’s a link to the longer analysis I prepared of the federal budget, now on-line at CUPE’s website, to accompany the press release and notes we put out immediately following the budget. The entire document may be too long to post here, so here’s the 1st two paragraphs. The Big Picture: more tax cuts for the […]

My “Top Five” Most Outrageous Things About This Budget

With a document whose very timing, let alone content, was so transparently politicized and manipulative, it’s hard to even know where to start.  Among the many galling, short-sighted, and ultimately destructive components of this federal budget, here are 5 that stand out in my view:

ROCHON on 2015 budget: Conservatives making a mockery of working Canadians

CONSERVATIVES MAKING A MOCKERY OF WORKING CANADIANS Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics   Today, with great fanfare, Minister of Finance, Joe Oliver, tabled his much-delayed budget in the House of Commons. Despite the government’s best effort to confuse Canadians with tales of terrorism, the economy and job […]

Budget Balanced with EI Surplus

Mr. Oliver likes to say that most of the growth in jobs has been high wage, private sector growth. This is simply not true. Two-thirds of net new jobs created between 2008 and 2014 pay below average wages. Own account self-employment, those self employed workers who have no employees, have dominated growth in self-employment, and […]

ROCHON on the IMF and labour market deregulations

LABOUR MARKET DEREGULATIONS NOT WORKING: IMF See original CBC column here. Recent — and potentially watershed — International Monetary Fund (IMF) documents have cast doubt on the merits of labour market deregulation of the last three decades, with important consequences for Canada. But will anyone listen? The last 30 years have not been kind to economic growth and wealth creation. The economic “successes” […]

Bank of Canada Holds Rate Steady

The Bank of Canada released it’s quarterly Monetary Report today, and held rates firm at 3/4 per cent. The Bank cut growth expectations for 2015, but expects Canada’s GDP to rebound in 2016. Much of this rebound will depend on a growing U.S. and global economy, and on the ability of Canadian exporters to capture a bigger […]

The Harper Record on Jobs, 2006 to 2014

Here is the link to a short study I have done for the Broadbent Institute on the Harper Record on Jobs from 2006 to 2014 based on annual averages from the Labour Force Survey. Coverage in today’s Toronto Star is here. The basic findings, that there is still a lot of slack in the job […]

Workers Link $15 Minimum Wage to Decent Work

Wednesday April 15th is a global day of action on a $15 minimum wage and decent work. Actions are happening across the U.S., and in BC, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. Both in the US and in Canada, workers are making links between decent wages and other employment standards.  The Ontario campaign is named $15 and Fairness, […]

Jobs Gains Skew Part-time, Over 55

The Canadian labour market added 29,000 jobs in March, beating expectations. Underneath the headline, though, the numbers aren’t as rosy. A jump of 57,000 part-time jobs masked the loss of 28,000 full-time jobs between February and March. Given the jumpy nature of monthly LFS data, I’ve decided to base most of my analysis on quarterly […]

ROCHON on balanced budgets

Balanced budget legislation will be disastrous for Canada Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics Twitter @LPROCHON   Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s latest muses about introducing balanced budget legislation is the worst policy for Canada, and will doom us to European-style crises and rob future generations of prosperity. While […]

ROCHON on the upcoming federal budget (April 2015)

THE FEDERAL BUDGET AND CANADA’S ANNUS HORRIBILIS See Original post here for the CBC. Canada’s Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced a new – and long overdue – federal budget for April 21. With the Canadian economy doing so badly, this budget will be crucial. Will the minister do the right thing and give Canadians a […]

Transforming Precarious Work

The Ontario government has launched a review of their Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act. The premise is that the workplace has changed, and Ontario labour law no longer does as much as  it should to protect vulnerable workers. The Workers’ Action Centre in Toronto took this opportunity to document the myriad ways that […]