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  • The fight against ISDS in Romania June 24, 2019
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    The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $19.50/hour. This is the amount needed for a family of four with each of two parents working full-time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe financial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of […]
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    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Help please!

Can anyone out there help me? Just saw a headline on CNN saying that, in spite of Brexit chaos, unemployment was at an historic low. Likewise in US where in spite of Trump — could it really be because of? — unemployment is also at an historic low. Reminds me that back in the late 1970s there was a G-7 summit in London England. There were pictures in the press of the leaders, beginning with Thatcher. For Italy the joke was that politics was so volatile that no one could remember who was its leader. But guess which country had the best performing economy? Answer: Italy.

All of which raises the question: does it really not matter to the economy what is the state of the polity?

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from John B.
Time: March 20, 2019, 1:29 am

It might matter later.

Comment from R Pereira
Time: March 20, 2019, 11:28 am

Unemployment may be officially low, but so is the quality of jobs (a race-to-the-bottom). Precariousness has increased radically over the past 2 – 3 decades (the proliferation of temporary employment agencies, contract work, jobs without benefits or pensions, intensified work that is micro-managed by new surveillance systems, and now the gig economy). People are required to work multiple jobs in too many instances to survive. Working people are using foodbanks. EI and other income security measures have been eroding since the Mulroney era.

The state of the economy doesn’t say much if all or most of the benefits are going to the stock market and shareholders (often including foreign shareholders). And share prices will rise as jobs are destroyed or offshored under free trade agreements. If foodbanks were listed on stock markets in recent decades their shares would be stellar performers. A good economy would have seen the elimination of foodbanks long ago, not their increased use by new segments of society, including those with jobs.

Comment from Maynard Smith
Time: March 20, 2019, 4:58 pm

What is the state of the polity? Foolishness and hysteria spun by Liars in Public Places to facilitate High-Born raping and pillaging of the globe. Or in other words: SNAFU.

Why is the corporate Fake Media at war with Donald J. Trump? Because he’s a White supremacist who enslaves People of Color in private-prison sweatshops and keeps them under the boot of oppression in inner-city ghettos? No that would be the Big-City-Liberal Democrats.

The Donald is actually setting the prisoners free! (One could call him a modern day Abraham Lincoln. One could call him the First Black President.)

The reason they are waging war on Tariff Man is because Tariff Man is a super-hero who has single-handedly taken on the nefarious, free-trading Western-oligarchs head-on – and is Winning!

Tariff Man says trade wars are easy to win. Let’s see: if Western oligarchs are shipping jobs, factories, GDP and GHG emissions out the country – for a percentage – and importing foreign goods and foreign debt, what leverage do Eastern oligarchs have in this kind of transaction? They make their mega-billions off of Western markets. They got nothing.

Tariff Man has a Magic Shield against corruption: he’s a billionaire. He won’t throw away a winning hand for bribes paid in speaking fees. He plans on making WAY more than that on merchandising alone!

Tariff Man also has Balls of Steel. He withstood an onslaught of propagandist ball-breaking from around the world. “The gig is up,” he said after telling G7 globalists where to stick their communique. He even withstood the ire of the Iron Nanny who is used to throwing her weight around – all across Europe. (Putting Greece in a debt prison similar to Versailles.)

Comment from Maynard Smith
Time: March 20, 2019, 5:04 pm

Tariff Man also has divine powers: he’s working an economic miracle – using labor economics!

He’s employing Fair Manged Trade. He’s using social tariffs to force Latin oligarchs to pay their workers higher wages. (Prince Charming opposed Tariff Man on this and the democratic-oversight ‘sunset clause’ – which is why Tariff Man put Canada last: USMCA.)

Tariff Man is a economic genius. He understands that social tariffs are the only way to return to a Ricardian balance of trade. People from the undeveloped world have to have higher wages to consume Western services to eliminate whopping structural trade deficits – that have whopping, twin budget-deficits.

Tariff Man fights the evils of mercantilism and “far right” neoliberal/neocon economic ideology: aka, Friedmanian looternomics. Tariff Man is a Keynesian!

Tariff Man is a true progressive in the tradition of real progressives who accomplished great things – fantastic things! – in history: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, FDR and Ike.

Tariff Man is ushering in the Third Progressive Era (each of which followed three Gilded-Age economic collapses): Square Deal era (1890-1920); New Deal era (1932-1962); and Art-of-the-Deal era (2016-?)!

Progressive means you make progress. It doesn’t mean waiting on a socialist revolution. The Resistance (to progress) manufactured the phony, fashionista, neoprogressive hippy in Establishment universities back in the 1960s.

JFK killed the New Deal on an economic-to-social-progressive pivot: “Ask not what your country can do for you [like public healthcare benefits.] Ask what you can do for upper-crust moochers like me.”

Nixon went to China to begin globalization.

They are the founding fathers of neoliberalism and neoconservatism that destroyed the incredible prosperity built up in the Keynesian post-war era.

Comment from Maynard Smith
Time: March 20, 2019, 10:10 pm

2/ Tariff Man also has divine powers: he’s working an economic miracle – using labor economics! He’s employing Fair Manged Trade. He’s using social tariffs to force Latin oligarchs to pay their workers higher wages.

(Prince Charming opposed Tariff Man on this and the democratic-oversight ‘sunset clause’ – which is why Tariff Man put Canada last: USMCA.)

Tariff Man is a economic genius. He understands that social tariffs are the only way to return to a Ricardian balance of trade. People from the undeveloped world have to have higher wages to consume Western goods to eliminate whopping structural trade-deficits that have whopping, twin budget-deficits.

Tariff Man fights the evils of mercantilism and “far right” neoliberal/neocon economic ideology: aka, Friedmanian looternomics. Tariff Man is a right-leaning Keynesian!

Tariff Man is a true progressive in the tradition of real progressives who accomplished great things – fantastic things! – in history: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, FDR and Ike. (3 of which were Republicans.)

Tariff Man is ushering in the Third Progressive Era (each of which followed Gilded-Age economic collapse): the Square Deal era (1890-1920); the New Deal era (1932-1962); and the Art-of-the-Deal era (2016-infinity)!

Comment from Maynard Smith
Time: March 20, 2019, 10:12 pm

3/ Progressive means making progress. There has been no progress made since JFK killed the New Deal on an economic-to-social-progressive pivot: “Ask not what your country can do for you [like public healthcare benefits.] Ask what you can do for upper-crust moochers like me.”

The Donald, although not perfect, is bringing something that can be built upon. (Democracy is supposed to be a pendulum swing that ratchets up progress in human development, refining policy and ideas. If you have a culture war in it’s place, you got neither. In fact you have a return to Medieval times.)

The EU, for example, controls half the West’s market access. They could impose GHGE regulations on heedless polluters like China with green tariffs. You tax the pollution coming in, not giving effective tax cuts to corporations for moving the pollution out.

Carbon taxes are terrible economics. Tax the West and export carbon emissions to the unregulated East. It’s a shell game. A fig-leaf of fake virtue. Not surprisingly, global emissions continue along their exponential curve, when they are supposed to be going in the other direction: i.e. decaying down to zero by 2050.

There is no way to wriggle out of carbon tariffs. The EU could wave a magic wand and make it happen overnight. But the institution is presently corrupted: Euro-oligarchs created the EU to impose economic reforms the people would never vote for. (Cf., “Robert Mundell, evil genius of the euro.”)

But the institution can be reformed. It still pretends to be a democracy. The people would get behind this kind of policy. They would get behind ANY truly progressive policy. And progressive is what progressive does.

Comment from Maynard Smith
Time: March 22, 2019, 4:27 pm

4/ Update: Tariff Man is also bringing back GDP growth: 3.1% for 2019.

Global oligarchs had planned on reducing Western GDP growth down to 1%.

(See: “1%… The New Normal Growth Rate? – Research Affiliates” – Nov, 2012. This was a narrative pushed for a number of years by establishment economists.

(It’s what would’ve happened under a HRC presidency for sure: MOAR free trade deals like the TPP; MOAR outsourcing of labor; MOAR insourcing of labor via waves of economic migration from regions devastated by war and other forms of geopolitical corruption.)

They appear to have based their model on “1984”: i.e., “war is peace.” In the book, three totalitarian global governments wage perpetual warfare to burn up GDP growth to keep the people poor and miserable.

To justify their New/Old World Order, they employed a two prong attack: 1) fake research papers saying it’s inevitable – to get neoliberals and neocons on board; 2) associating GDP growth with raping the environment to weasel cultural-Left support.

Of course, historical evidence would suggest that in a corruption-free economy, recovery GDP-growth should be around 6%.

(China’s high GDP growth, however, is a different story. It’s not based on human development – which is the ‘growing’ part of the economy. It’s based on importing GDP from the West via “terrible trade deals” that hemorrhage wealth and jobs in unsustainable trade deficits.)

Before Tariff Man, the Western economy was on an inevitable path towards collapse and subsequent world war. (Just little bits of history repeating.)

Instead of growing human development, there was growing inequality and debt: ‘debt, debt everywhere; but not a drop to drink.’

I.e., instead of debt being a tool to invest in society, it became another source of upper-crust looting. Misers sitting on top of exponentially-growing mountains of money: “Pay me my rent you moochers!”

WORLD WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS WAGE SLAVERY. WILLFUL IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

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