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The Progressive Economics Forum

Winner of the 2018 Galbraith Prize in Economics: Jim Stanford

The Progressive Economics Forum is pleased to announce Jim Stanford as the winner of the 2018 Galbraith Prize in Economics.

The selection committee included Fletcher Baragar (Manitoba), Hassan Bougrine (Laurentian), Toby Sanger (Canadian Union of Public Employees), Christine Saulnier (CCPA-NS) and Kevin Young (University of Massachusetts at Amherst), and was chaired by David Pringle (PEF). Jim has accepted the Prize and will deliver the Galbraith Lecture at the Canadian Economics Association meetings at McGill University, Montreal on Saturday, June 2 (https://economics.ca/2018/en/program.php).  Many thanks to our judges and to the Galbraith family.

Below is the nomination statement of Dr. Stanford by Marc Lee (CCPA-BC) and thirteen other signatories, which does a great job to summarize his extensive career.

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We nominate Jim Stanford for his outstanding contributions to progressive economic thought and movement-building in Canada over the past two decades.

Jim’s PhD dissertation at the New School developed a CGE model using real-world assumptions leading to results that challenged the mainstream view about the benefits of NAFTA.

Jim rose to prominence as a public intellectual as Economist for the Canadian Auto Workers union and Unifor (for which he played a significant role in its founding). His work at the bargaining table supported the interests of hundreds of thousands of workers in Canada.

Also during this time, Jim was a key Research Associate and Board member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He published accessible op-eds and research papers on a wide range of economic policy topics, including the federal budget, free trade deals, industrial policy, labour markets and regional development.

At the CCPA, Jim was a guiding force behind the Alternative Federal Budget. His AFB forecasts regularly embarrassed the federal government, whose “prudence” often caused greater-than-necessary austerity. Jim’s track record was perhaps the single most influential reason why Canada now has a Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Jim’s first book, Paper Boom, published in 1999, was an early critique of financialization – the split between the real economy of work and wages and the paper economy of speculation and finance. His second book, Economics for Everyone, is a guide for activists, trade unionists and the general public, and is notable for its inclusion of the history of economic thought and discussion of capitalism as an economic system.

In recent years, Jim has been a respected contributor to economic debates via The Globe and Mail and CBC news panels, among other outlets. He has always done so with great compassion and humour.

All the while Jim managed to contribute papers to academic journals and conferences, and has mentored dozens of students and young economists.

Finally, Jim’s role in starting the Progressive Economics Forum cannot be understated. His efforts to build a social network of Canadian economists spanning academia, labour, research institutes and independent researchers is an enduring legacy from which we have benefitted.

All told, Jim’s accumulated body of work and contributions to labour and social movements make him an ideal winner of the 2018 Galbraith Prize.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Peter scott
Time: May 7, 2018, 7:12 pm

Congratulations to Jim Stanford, Jim can take what many would consider to be a dry and complicated subject and brings it to life with humor, real Life scenarios you can relate to and understand. No one is more deserving of this award than Jim Stanford

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: May 11, 2018, 1:20 pm

Congrats Jim, well deserved. I was hoping maybe you could take this new award out for a test drive by potentially organizing a letter that we could headline you as well as many other economists on how dangerous it will be to accelerate the austerity approach that Doug Ford wants to take the Ontario economy.

We know that we sit atop two major booms in the economy- massive private credit expansion and the resulting housing bubble that is connected to such.

Indeed there is a lot of spending right now and some jobs being created- but the task ahead will be to move the economy off some of the highest private sector debts in the industrialized world. One of the only strategies that can achieve such- is to slowly bring the housing market under control and transform to an productive brick and mortar investment space. This can be led by government spending- as Galbraith himself called for.

Without a contraction in private debt through the expansion of public debt and investment in strategic industries- eventually the entire consumer credit expansion economy will collapse- and this will be accelerated by a massive austerity package that Ford is promising.

Our govt debt is not the problem- in fact it is where the solution is found. Not one country in the entire industrialized world is focusing on govt debt!! That should make Ontario voters realize something is very wrong with Ford- even Trump is spending!

Comment from Jef Keighley
Time: May 13, 2018, 1:08 am

Jim, we are all very proud of you. You have the gift of demystifying complex subjects, thereby educating and growing the solid base of informed activists prepared to speak truth to power. Any chance you can clone yourself?

Comment from Avrum Rosner
Time: June 1, 2018, 9:40 pm

What a wonderful and well-deserved honour! You have done so much for our membership, and me. What star-crossed fate decreed that your June 2 lecture would coincide with one of my choir’s concerts in Laval? Congratulations, brother and comrade, and don’t ever stop! À la prochaine, Abe Rosner.

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