Category: Economy

  • ‘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 »

  • Here Comes Bourgeois Socialism – Again

    What should we think of the recent praise of “the welfare state” and public services coming from different voices among the ruling classes in the world? Their conversion is as sudden as miraculous; they recall much better the holy history of the apostles than the secular history of societies. The Financial Times editorial of April … Keep reading »

  • When Oil Markets Go Viral

    The ecological dimensions of COVID-19 have become increasingly prominent in much recent discussion, with several important contributions exploring the pandemic in relation to capitalist agribusiness, widespread loss of biodiversity, and the destruction of natural ecosystems. There is, however, a further element to COVID-19’s ‘ecology’ that deserves much greater attention: the ways the escalating pandemic intersects … Keep reading »

  • The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Exposing the Plague of Neoliberalism

    In a time of crisis, capitalism reveals itself as a disimagination machine whose underlying message is that the market provides the only forms of agency left. Keep reading »

  • Coronavirus, Crisis, and the End of Neoliberalism

    Suddenly, we find ourselves in a transformed world. Empty streets, closed shops, unusually clear skies, and climbing death tolls: something unprecedented is unfolding before our eyes. News about the economy is alarming almost everywhere: the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the sharpest and deepest economic contraction in the history of capitalism. To paraphrase The Communist Manifesto, … Keep reading »

  • Liberals’ COVID-19 Support Measures Reveal Crisis in Canada’s Low-Wage Job Market

    Inequality and class disparity have been on full display in the devastating coronavirus outbreak. On the one hand, Canada’s dependence on the work of undervalued and underpaid healthcare workers, cleaners and retail employees has been clearer than ever. On the other, these workers are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis. In March, one-third of … Keep reading »