Inequality-redistribution in Canada update

Two years ago I posted my first guest blog focused on income inequality, specifically how changes in Canada’s redistribution over the last three decades have increased after-tax income inequality, and how these changes compared to OECD trends. The figures and analysis in this post update the earlier blog, based on the most recent OECD data to 2015. I also look […]

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Stephen Clarkson: An Introduction to a special blog series

Stephen Clarkson: Political Economist with a Global Vision (1937 – 2016) Marjorie Griffin Cohen and Daniel Drache Stephen Clarkson died early in 2016 in Freiburg, Germany and Canada lost someone very special. Stephen was a Professor in Political Science at the University of Toronto and engaged in teaching, research and writing until his death. He has contributed, in an extraordinary […]

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THE EURO, THE DRACHMA AND GREECE: limited options in an impossible situation

Jean-Francois Ponsot Associate Professor of Economics, Université de Grenoble (France) and Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University (Canada) Co-Editor, Review of Keynesian Economics ___________________ The final agreement between Greece and the Eurogroup is a disappointment for anyone who held high hopes that Greece would have taken away more than a mere extension to the existing deal. In the […]

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ROCHON On Greece once More

LOUIS-PHILIPPE ROCHON Associate Professor, Laurentian University Co-editor, Review of Keynesian Economics Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon ________________________ As I have said before (see here) and will say again: any solution to Greek’s tragedy, which involves keeping the Euro as a currency is a second-best solution, unless the appropriate institutional changes are adopted. Anything short of this will simply maintain the […]

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ROCHON: Greece, Syriza and the Euro

This is a guest blog post from Louis-Philippe Rochon. Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon. — What a tumultuous few weeks we witnessed in Greece. Though the victory of Syriza was ill-received in particular in Germany and the European Central Bank, it was nonetheless a resounding victory for democracy. This victory may now spill into other countries and give much credence […]

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Who’s afraid of free trade with Europe?

The prospect of freer trade with European nations is generally popular among Canadians. And why shouldn’t it be? Doesn’t the Canadian left repeatedly point to the advantages of many European social and economic institutions? Who could argue with lower prices for European cheese, wine, or chocolate? After all, we’ve been waiting for years for the Canadian economy to pivot to […]

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Andrea Horwath’s Debacle

I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud when I saw election results. I almost spat a mouthful of my breakfast across the room. Almost nobody expected Ontario’s Liberals to win a majority, least of all the NDP’s Andrea Horwath. Her decision to pull the plug on the Wynne government has to go down as one of the […]

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Why France’s Economic Problems Matter

I’ve had the good fortune to live in France for the past 10 months on a year-long sabbatical and therefore been able to witness firsthand the travails of the Socialist government as it wrestles with the country’s economic woes. Indeed, the unpopularity of president Francois Hollande was exposed a couple of weeks ago after nation-wide municipal elections when his party […]

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Tony Blair and the Corporatization of Social Democracy

Tony Blair, by any sensible yardstick, is a douchebag. Recently, The Guardian, under the headline “Toxic”, detailed Blair’s “downward spiral”. This included the revelation that he may have been having an affair with Wendi Murdoch, the now ex-wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Blair was once good pals with Murdoch and Wendi and is godparent to one of their two […]

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Canada-Europe Deal Not About Trade

I have the following letter to the editor in today’s Prince Albert Daily Herald: Canada-Europe Deal Not About Trade In their letter of Dec. 3, Darryl Hickie and other Sask. Party MLAs back away from his previous claim that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU) would be a boon to the Prince […]

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Canada’s Trade Deficit with the EU Doubles

On last night’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange, I debunked the claim that the trade deal between Canada and the European Union (EU) will create 80,000 Canadian jobs. The conservative panelists did not even try to defend this figure (see this CBC video, starting at 15:45). As Jim Stanford has previously explained on this blog, the government’s model assumes full employment […]

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Housing Policy Under Harper

Today I gave a presentation on Canadian housing policy at the annual conference of the European Network for Housing Research.  Points raised in the presentation include the following: -Fiscal context, more so than which party has been in government, appears to have shaped federal housing policy in Canada over the past two decades.  Program expenses by the federal government (as […]

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Will CETA Help Tories… Or Hurt Them??

With Prime Minister Harper making the diplomatic rounds in Europe, media interest has heightened this week regarding the potential free trade agreement which his government is trying to negotiate with the European Union. Several deadlines to reach that deal have come and gone, but the Conservatives are still heavily committed to reaching a deal as a centrepiece of their economic […]

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The Default Option

Here is an important op ed from the Irish Times by a former senior IMF official, arguing that the most heavily indebted euro countries will have to default on some of their public debt. If they do not, public debt will continue to rise to even more unsustainable levels as unemployment and output losses soar.

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Just How Stupid is Niall Ferguson? Very Stupid.

“But the real point of me isn’t that I’m good looking. It’s that I’m clever. I’ve got a brain! I would rather be called a highly intelligent historian than a gorgeous pouting one” – Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, Sept. 2011. One of the predictable habits of the mainstream media is to seek out opinions on worldly matters from so-called academic […]

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Another push for jobs by shifting the tax burden on workers…

… in Portugal. Portugal’s Prime Minister announced on Friday that the government would raise workers’ social security contribution rates from 11% to 18% (about one month’s salary)… and decrease companies’ contribution rates from 23.5% to 18% in the same breath. The usual need for job creation is invoked as justificaion for the move… an interesting claim, especially in light of […]

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The ECB and the Euro Crisis

Here is an excellent commentary by Andrew Watt on the new ECB commitment to buy bonds without limit to reduce interest rates on the government debt of troubled members of the Euro zone. While an important and necessary step, this still means that deflationary austerity will continue, and that there will be no offsetting stimulus in surplus countries. And he […]

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Canada, the IMF and the G20

The Harper government decided to attack Thomas Mulcair on the issue of Canadian support for additional IMF resources to deal with the euro area crisis, implying that Canadian taxpayers should not be asked to “bail out” a rich area of the world. As recounted in Macleans here, on June 8, “Before QP yesterday, the Conservatives used four members’ statements—from Shelly […]

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The Davos Speech

The Prime Minister’s speech at Davos was, I would bet, written by Stephen Harper himself. It  bore the stamp of his long standing contempt for the European welfare state. He all but said that the Europeans had brought the crisis on themselves through trying to live beyond their fiscal means:  As I look around the world, as I look particularly at developed […]

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The Next Euro Debate

An astute piece from Andy Watt. He thinks that we shall indeed soon see what markets are anticipating – the long deferred grand bargain, in which the ECB backstops euro bonds  (thus averting a banking and sovereign debt crisis), in return for which euro countries agree to  much enhanced surveillance of national fiscal policies. That brings into question what policies […]

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Apocalypse Soon?

The OECD’s new assessment of the macro-economic situation makes for pretty grim reading. And their forecast of very sluggish global growth (just 1.6% for the OECD area in 2012) is based on an increasingly incredible view that the Eurozone will “muddle through”and experience only a mild recession. They do not seem to have convinced even themselves that this is really […]

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A New Round of Euro Austerity

The Euro deal at least averted an immediate banking crisis and induced temporary market euphoria, but it is not going to provide a lasting solution to the euro sovereign debt crisis because it will block  any lasting recovery for the euro economy. It is worth reading the text of the deal,  which represents a major victory for the European “austerians.” […]

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The Euro Crisis

I don’t have much new to add to what is surely the key economic issue of the hour beyond pointing to useful commentary by Larry Elliott  in the Guardian and Martin Wolf in the FT. I think Wolf is right that the key to resolving the crisis is to make the ECB the backstop for euro area sovereign debt, just […]

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Who’s Bailing Whom? Challenging the Private Credit System

The time since 2008 has been a crucial historical moment for progressive economists to pull back the green curtain that surrounds the operation of the for-profit banking system, and expose that system for what it is: a government-protected, government-subsidized license to print money. The problem is, as soon as you start saying things like that, people conclude you are some kind […]

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