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Archive for 'free markets'

Polozogistics: Nine Thoughts About the Choice of the New Bank of Canada Governor

  1. He’s Number Two: Stephen Poloz was widely acknowledged in economic and political circles as the second-best choice for the top job at the Bank of Canada. So the surprise was not that he was chosen. The surprise was, Why Not Tiff Macklem? Will someone please find out and tell the rest of us? 2. […]

Baskin-Robbins and the Walmartization of Ice Cream

It’s been an unusually hot summer, and soaring temperatures have boosted sales of that quintessential summer food, ice cream. But Baskin-Robbins has decided to shut its production facility in Peterborough, Ont., and lay off 80 workers because of…wait for it… increased demand! From the department of “wait, what?”, here’s the scoop behind this brain-freeze-inducing decision. […]

The Big Banks’ Big Secret

The CCPA today released my report: “The Big Banks Big Secret” which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.  The report bases its estimates on publicly available data from CMHC, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, as well as quarterly […]

A hip hop version of the Keynes vs Hayek debate

Here’s a new take on bringing economic theory to the masses — a rap battle between Keynes and Hayek. What’s amazing about it is the amount of solid (if not plain nerdy) content this video packs into such a short time. It’s fun to watch for sure (very high production values), but you get that […]

Davidson: Efficient Market Theory Vs. Keynes’s Liquidity Theory

Paul Davidson gave a great talk to the Progressive Economics Forum at the recent Canadian Economics Association meetings. Below is a teaser; the full talk is here. ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS OF THE OPERATION OF A CAPITALIST ECONOMY: EFFICIENT MARKET THEORY VS. KEYNES’S LIQUIDITY THEORY by Paul Davidson, Editor, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics Politicians and talking […]

Freedom is Slavery

I cannot believe we are seeing such nonsense in this day and age. The right is now reaching deep into the 19th century for inspiration. Solving the Economic Crisis through a Free Market in Labor (Chicago) Labor will not be entirely free until it can be bought and sold, says a cutting edge new report […]

The Predator State — More Progressives Who Saw True and Through

PEF people are not the only ones who correctly anticipated some of our recent economic and fiscal events.  Jamie Galbraith also saw a lot of this coming in his book The Predator State. With no further ado, I’m posting an enthusiastic review of the book by fellow traveler and Sorbonne PhD economics graduate Henry Sader:

Milton and the Meltdown in Iceland

I was intrigued by what is happening in Iceland, so the following is a piece I’ve written on it.  It has some introductory macro-economics in it, which I think it is good to keep in perspective as we consider the frantic attempts being made to prevent an economic depression. The economic and financial collapse of 2008 […]

“A steady invisible hand”

Asked by the Globe what the “ballot question” should be for the upcoming election, Tasha Kheiriddin, Quebec Director of the Fraser Institute says: “It should be all about green – money, that is. With the price of oil dropping, inflation creeping up and the auto sector in tough times, which party can provide the steadiest […]

Social Murder and Conservative Economics

A salvo from University of Manitoba economists, and PEF members, Ian Hudson and Robert Chernomas, based on their new book, Social Murder and Other Shortcomings of Conservative Economics: The Myth of Conservative Economics January 2008 “The government can’t pick winners, but losers pick government.”  Former Canadian Deputy Industry Minister V. Peter Harder cited in The […]

Former Blair minister on why two-tier HC is a bad idea

Just came across this interesting article relating comments by Frank Dobson, former UK health minister under Blair, on the plan by BC liberals to bring in the private sector in health care. Essentially, he thinks it was a fairly bad idea for Britain and advises BC not to go ahead. The following well represents his […]

Stiglitz on Klein

From Joseph Stiglitz’s NYT review of The Shock Doctrine: Klein is not an academic and cannot be judged as one. There are many places in her book where she oversimplifies. But Friedman and the other shock therapists were also guilty of oversimplification, basing their belief in the perfection of market economies on models that assumed […]

The Shock Doctrine

Yesterday, I picked up Naomi Klein’s new book, The Shock Doctrine. It is something I’d been hearing about for some time, as I work with her brother, and Naomi gave a teaser with the keynote at our annual fundraising dinner this past February (video here). I’ll leave the summary to what is on the website, […]

Competitiveness vs. Comparative Advantage

This post is in response to the following excellent comment from Stephen Moore, the man who will trounce Ralph Goodale in the next federal election (or at least do better than I did): April 2007 testimony before the parliamentary committee on International Trade saw Industry Canada, DFAIT reps and others stress the importance of the […]

Income Trusts and Economic Nationalism

Andrew Coyne makes several good points in today’s column on the economic-nationalist case for income trusts. He is skeptical, but for different reasons than the other Andrew and I. Like most of Coyne’s economic commentary, this column displays what I would characterize as excessive faith in the efficiency of free markets. Interestingly, he does not […]

Thoma: Markets are not magic

After posting a 1959 video interview of Ayn Rand, Mark Thoma rants about the common problems of “free markets”: Markets Are Not Magic … To listen to some commentators is to believe that markets are the solution to all of our problems. Health care not working? Bring in the private sector. Need to rebuild a […]

So what’s your great idea, Einstein?

When it comes to intellectual giants, it is hard to top Einstein. From this article in the Monthly Review in 1949, it looks like he would have made a pretty good economist had he not bothered with all of that “how the universe works” stuff. We know he’d be good at the math. Many economists […]

Stiglitz on Galbraith and Friedman

A nice summary of the legacies of Galbraith and Friedman, with a strong plug for Galbraith and what the economics profession lacks due to his death. I should note that the Progressive Economics Forum will be creating a John Kenneth Galbraith Prize at this year’s Canadian Economics Association meetings. Jamie Galbraith has given his backing […]

Greider and Palley bury Friedman

Thomas Palley and William Greider add two (more critical) obituaries for Milton Friedman. Both make the distinction between Friedman as a professional economist and as a public intellectual: Milton Friedman: The Great Conservative Partisan Milton Friedman died on November 16, 2006 at the age of 94. Without doubt, Friedman was one of the most influential […]

Markets, fairness and bastards

Some fascinating stuff on Economist’s View today. Below are two reposted articles on how notions of equity are deeply rooted in our brains. We may be smarter monkeys but the parallels are all too clear. Also check out this post on neoclassical indoctrination at the Chicago School. Thoma’s condensed version is here and the full […]

Hayek’s role for the state

A fascinating defense of Hayek, in response to Sach’s column (posted here the other day). According to Tim Duy, Hayek was more reasonable than we give him credit for being (thanks to Economist’s View for this one): In Defense of Hayek, by Tim Duy: I feel a need to at least quickly defend Hayek against […]

Attacking public interest regulation: north and south

What does a ballot initiative in four US states next month have to do with interprovincial trade in Canada? The answer is that both are attacks on the capacity of governments to regulate in the public interest, based on a theory known as “regulatory takings”. The “regulatory takings” movement is more well known south of […]

The Beauty of the Free Market in Action

by Jim Stanford We all know that private companies are efficient, because they are forced to be by the discipline of the free market. Companies which do not operate efficiently will be driven out of business by those that do. This creative destruction will leave us all better off (abstracting from adjustment costs): higher productivity, […]

The Economics of Wal-Mart

I’ve often wondered why Wal-Mart is so singled out for attack. True, Wal-Mart is anti-union with a vengence. And Wal-Mart sources products from countries, China mostly, that do not necessarily have the best interests of workers top of mind. But say these two problems could be rectified with a sweep of the magic wand: would […]

Adam Smith the anti-poverty activist

Princeton economist Alan Kreuger provides another take on the “Adam Smith did not wear the Adam Smith necktie” theme, from a 2001 New York Times column, that reviews “Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet and the Enlightenment” (Harvard University Press) by Emma Rothschild, director of the Center for History and Economics at King’s College, Cambridge: Emma […]

Adam Smith the moralist

A new book on Adam Smith by James Buchan deepens the case that he did not wear an Adam Smith necktie. Commented on by Bloomberg columnist Matthew Lynn: Most people these days regard Smith as the founder of free- market economics. He’s the hero of the get-the-government-off- our-backs crowd. He’s the pin-up boy of the […]

Adam Smith did not wear an Adam Smith necktie

OK, so this is not about the Canadian economy. But I woke up this morning with that phrase about Adam Smith ties in my head and had to track it down – the Adam Smith tie being the burkha of free market fundamentalists, and as a result, a fitting gift to guest speakers at Fraser […]