Category: Economy

  • Crisis and Virus: COVID-19 in Context

    “Toward the end of the twentieth century a sickness struck the world. Not everyone died, but all suffered from it” — Samir Amin (2003, 7). It has been over forty years since Thatcher and monetarism, thirty years since the Canada-US Free trade agreement came into effect, and twenty years since the launch of the Euro. … Keep reading »

  • An Economic Recovery for Whom?

    The Ford Omnibus Bill and Post-Pandemic Politics In the first week of July, the Ontario government announced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act (Bill 197). The sweeping omnibus bill changes twenty pieces of existing legislation and introduces several new acts. There has been little discussion in the mainstream media regarding the content of the bill, outside of … Keep reading »

  • The Fiscal Deficit, Modern Monetary Theory and Progressive Economic Policy

    Modern Monetary Theory or MMT has crept in from the academic margins to become an influential doctrine in progressive policy circles in the United States. Both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders drew on the ideas of MMT to shape their ambitious public spending platforms. MMT has been cited as one way to fund a Green … Keep reading »

  • Agenda for the Global South After COVID-19

    In 1974, the United Nations General Assembly passed a New International Economic Order (NIEO), which was driven by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The resolution laid out a clear plan for the structural transformation of the world system, which was in the throes of a crisis at the time. However, the NIEO was set aside and … Keep reading »

  • COVID-19: A View from the Great Depression of the 1930s

    The Great Depression. It rests in our collective consciousness as a time when unemployment was rampant, when soup kitchen and bread lines were long, when misery was widespread, when dust was everywhere. In our imaginations, the Depression had a light at the end of its dark tunnel, too. In that story, the onset of the … Keep reading »

  • ‘Open the Economy’? The Pandemic, Costs, Benefits, Capitalism

    It is mid-June 2020. Everywhere there is a push to ‘open the economy’. What is meant, of course, is to bring back, as soon as possible, the profit-seeking activities of capitalist firms. It is an unchallenged assumption that the return of normal capitalism, that is, the ceaseless drive for the private accumulation of socially produced … Keep reading »

  • The Bank of Canada: In Crisis and Beyond

    Viewing the COVID-19 pandemic as a purely exogenous shock, Canadian economists and policymakers have tended to predict a quick return to economic growth once health restrictions are lifted. As an account of current events, this turns a blind eye to the uneven forms of adjustment produced by years of neoliberal cutbacks and how these both … Keep reading »

  • COVID Life and the Asset Economy

    Following the 2007-08 financial crisis the creation of a less unequal and fairer world appeared to be a major prospect. As is by now all too familiar, after the financial crisis, instead of becoming more progressive, societies turned out to be more unequal, with inequalities and asset-based class divisions becoming more embedded and entrenched, and … Keep reading »

  • capitalist recession

    Don’t Blame the Virus for Capitalism’s Latest Crisis!

    Is corona-virus driving Canada into recession? Some people want us to think so. As early as March 27, CBC News referred to “the recession caused by COVID-19.” The Toronto Star picked up the refrain April 9, referring matter-of-factly to “the recession brought on by COVID-19.” The Globe and Mail repeated it on April 13. And … Keep reading »

  • Washing our Hands of Financialized Pensions

    Rethinking Retirement After COVID-19 The unemployment crisis brought on by the coronavirus outbreak has suddenly destroyed the earnings of hundreds of thousands of working people in Canada. For many jobless workers, the immediate scramble to make ends meet will be followed by a struggle to avoid downward mobility and poverty in the months ahead. But the … Keep reading »

  • Conversion as Strategy: From GM to Workplace Plans

    In February 2019, shortly after GM’s announcement that its Oshawa assembly operations would be shut down, Sting was in Toronto. He was performing The Last Ship, his musical about the closing of a shipyard in northeast England that resulted in workers occupying and taking the yard over. Unifor leader Jerry Dias grasped the potential of … Keep reading »

  • Covid-19, Google, and the future of Toronto’s Waterfront

    Waterfront Toronto is a tri-government agency with a mandate to re-develop the waterfront. In its search for a ‘funding and development’ partner it has been effectively captured by Google’s digital urbanism agenda and the potential revenue stream from the development, use and sale of ‘smart city’ technologies. Sidewalk Labs is a Google sister company with … Keep reading »