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  • Budget 2018: The Most Disappointing Budget Ever March 14, 2018
    Premier Pallister’s Trump-esque statement that budget 2018 was going to be the “best budget ever” has fallen a bit flat. Instead of a bold plan to deal with climate change, poverty and our crumbling infrastructure, we are presented with two alarmist scenarios to justify further tax cuts and a lack of decisive action: the recent […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 Federal Budget Analysis February 14, 2018
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis Some baby steps for dad and big steps forward for women, by Kate McInturff (CCPA) An ambition constrained budget, by David Macdonald (CCPA) Five things […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 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
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Five Things to Know About the 2018 Federal Budget

I’ve written a blog post about the 2018 federal budget.

Points made in the blog post include the following:

-Important new housing investments were made for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

-The Working Income Tax Benefit was expanded, made automatic and rebranded (i.e., renamed).

-Canada’s official unemployment is now the lowest it’s been in decades.

-Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio is (by far) the lowest of any G7 country.

The link to the full blog post is here.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: March 2, 2018, 6:48 pm

Letter to Chronicle Herald (unpublished)

Re: Unemployment rate tumbles to 5.7% to reach lowest mark in more than 40 years, Canadian Press, Jan. 5, 2018

The unemployment rate of 5.7% may be the lowest in more than 40 years, but these were years of neo-liberal triumph. Unemployment after WWII until the mid-1950s averaged less than 3%, and had dropped to 1.4% during WWII itself. However, business and financial elites are happy to erase history, and to normalize higher rates because for them a slightly recessed economy delivers numerous benefits.

Higher unemployment means less pressure on wages that reduce the profit share. It also means less inflation that erodes accumulated wealth. And if the workforce is induced to borrow to maintain lifestyles, not only is another stream of financial income created, but the debt burden and fewer opportunities keep workers obedient through fear of losing their jobs.

Unfortunately over 1.1 million Canadians are officially unemployed today, and this number does not count those discouraged nor involuntarily working part-time. Through targeted fiscal and monetary stimulus, the federal government could halve the existing unemployment rate. But to do so, it would have to side with the workforce and challenge the establishment.

(Footnotes to follow.)

Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: March 2, 2018, 6:50 pm

Footnotes to Letter to Editor:

1. A note on Canadian unemployment since 1921

“From 1927 to 1929, and again during and after the Second World War, unemployment rates dropped to 3% or less……”

2. The Deficit: Hysteria and the Current Crisis

“Further, in order to reduce the rate of unemployment and eventually the deficit in the longer term it is necessary to greatly increase the gap between government expenditure and revenues.

This is clearly what happened during World War II when the deficit rose from less than 1 percent of the GNE in 1939 to 21.7 percent of the GNE in 1944. The unemployment rate fell from 11.4 percent to 1.4 percent during the same period.”

3. You know who likes lackluster economic growth? The rich. Jeff Spross

“Elites obviously don’t want to completely tank the economy. But it certainly works for them if it stays modestly stagnant, maximizing the growth of the pie while minimizing worker bargaining power.”

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