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  • A critical look at BC’s new tax breaks and subsidies for LNG May 7, 2019
    The BC government has offered much more to the LNG industry than the previous government. Read the report by senior economist Marc Lee.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver April 30, 2019
    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 […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Time to regulate gas prices in BC and stop industry gouging April 29, 2019
    Drivers in Metro Vancouver are reeling from record high gas prices, and many commentators are blaming taxes. But it’s not taxes causing pain at the pump — it’s industry gouging. Our latest research shows that gas prices have gone up by 55 cents per litre since 2016 — and the vast majority of that increase […]
    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
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    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  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Archive for 'history of economic thought'

Levitt’s Been Thunderstruck: Is Economics on the Highway to Hell?

A couple of months ago, Robert Oxoby of the University of Calgary posted a joke paper comparing AC/DC’s original lead signer, Bon Scott, with his successor, Brian Johnson. The paper presented the results of an experiment in which test subjects responded less “rationally” to financial incentives in an “ultimatum game” when listening to Scott’s “It’s […]

A Minskian analysis of US economy and financial markets

Nouriel Roubini invokes the great, but relatively unknown, Post-Keynesian economist, Hyman Minsky, in his latest dispatch about the state of US financial markets and economy. Minsky made the point that finance and financial markets matter, and in fact can have disastrous consequences for the real economy if left unchecked, and therefore institutions like prudent regulation […]

The Inaugural John Kenneth Galbraith Lecture

At this year’s Canadian Economics Association meetings, the Progressive Economics Forum was thrilled to have James Galbraith come to inaugurate the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize and Lecture, to be given biannually, with the first Prize awarded next year at the CEA meetings in Vancouver, which will also be the tenth anniversary of the PEF. Here […]

Economists weigh in on “hip heterodoxy”

A torrent of discussion in response to Hip Heterodoxy (blogged here) has come up at TPM cafe. The full discussion page, which includes posts by Paul Krugman, Mark Thoma, Max Sawicky and others, can be viewed here. For RPE, I will stick to the self-interest of the PEF, and include only James Galbraith, who is […]

The Nation: Heterodox economics peeks through the cracks

A week before the Canadian Economics Association meeting, the article in the Nation looks at the plight of heterodox economics south of the border. There are a lot of parallels to Canada, but some differences, too. At the CEA meetings, Progressive Economics Forum sessions have generally been very well attended (we’ll see how this year […]

Galbraith on Galbraith and the new industrial state

Perhaps telegraphing some of his coming remarks in Halifax when he joins the Progressive Economics Forum for the inauguration of the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize in Economics, James Galbraith reflects on his father’s The New Industrial State. If you find yourself in Halifax on June 3, noon, please join us at Dalhousie’s McCain Building, Room […]

Staples and Beyond – Selected Writings by Mel Watkins

New from McGill- Queen’s Press, this collection of Mel’s writings – edited by Hugh Grant and David Wolfe with an introduction by Wally Clement- is Canadian political economy at its very best. http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=2001 Not only is Mel the leading post Harold Innis exponent of Canadian political economy, he was a key architect of the important […]

Supply-side economics and its refusal to die

Supply-side economics (and its trickle-down theory) is a zombie, intellectually dead but continuing to roam the halls of the public debate.  Witness the 2001 BC elections and the mantra “tax cuts pay for themselves”, a free-lunch argument that we can have tax cuts and not have to pay a price in terms of cutting social […]

Supply-side economics

Over at Economist’s View, Mark Thoma got a snowball rolling (trickling?) downhill by citing a revisionist article by Bruce Bartlett on the history and legacy of supply-side economics. He then put forward a lengthy and useful theoretical response, after which all kinds of interesting commentary followed. I have taken this updated post for a summary, […]

Galbraith’s legacy

Richard Parker of Harvard probes the legacy of John Kenneth Galbraith, perhaps in anticipation of the Progressive Economics Forum’s soon-to-be-inaugurated John Kenneth Galbraith Prize in Economics (at the Canadian Economics Association meetings in Halifax this June). From the Post-Autistic Economics Review: Does John Kenneth Galbraith Have a Legacy? … I think it would behoove all […]

Krugman on Friedman

The February 15 edition of the New York Review of Books has an (extensive) intellectual obituary of Milton Friedman by Paul Krugman (Who Was Milton Friedman?). I’m impressed the Krugman does not really pull his punches much. He is very critical of Friedman the public intellectual after some kinder words about Friedman the economist’s economist. […]

Akerlof’s AEA lecture

In his presidential address to the American Economics Association, Nobel laureate George Akerlof points to a new agenda for macroeconomics, rooted in more realistic assumptions about human behaviour. Below is the abstract and introduction. The full paper is here. Economist’s View’s coverage also includes a New York Times article that interviews Akerlof about his views […]

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 […]

Milton Friedman, undead

Friedman is dead but continues to wield influence from beyond the grave. Here is a story on Mike Harris and Preston Manning’s commentary that the Harper government is not right-wing enough and laying out their Friedman-esque version of Canada: ”Excessive government taxation and spending limit the economic freedom of individuals and businesses by reducing their […]

Monetarism’s legacy

First, a clever arrangement of quotes on monetarism from the New School, starting with Friedman’s intellectual roots, followed by some critics and defences: “[Recessions] are essentially a result of a supply of money that is too small, and to that extent are monetary phenomena…Complaints about excessive habits of saving are in such circumstances calculated to […]

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 […]

The Legacy of John Kenneth Galbraith

Ralph Nader pays tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith: Challenging the Vested Interests The Legacy of John Kenneth Galbraith By RALPH NADER I first came across the name of John Kenneth Galbraith during my student years at Princeton where I picked up his book American Capitalism. Wondering why it was not on any reading list for […]

Shaking the Invisible Hand

Browsing at a used book store in Vancouver, I picked up some classics on the cheap. Someone must have dumped their economics books, thinking them passe. I’m keen to revisit those classics – the more I learn, the more I get out of them. So I got a 1964 edition of Keynes’s General Theory of […]

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 […]

The Distorted Priorities of Mainstream Economics

Writing in the Toronto Star (link lost), economists Arthur Donner and Doug Peters reflect on economics, employment and inequality: The Distorted Priorities of Mainstream Economics Arthur Donner and Douglas Peters, May 2006 There has been a monumental shift in mainstream economics over the past forty years. When we studied economics in the 1960s, economists and […]

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 […]