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  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Uploading the subway will not help Toronto commuters December 12, 2018
    The Ontario government is planning to upload Toronto’s subway, claiming it will allow for the rapid expansion of better public transit across the GTHA, but that’s highly doubtful. Why? Because Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek’s emphasis on public-private partnerships and a market-driven approach suggests privatization is the cornerstone of the province’s plan. Will dismembering the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 State of the Inner City Report: Green Light Go...Improving Transportation Equity December 7, 2018
    Getting to doctors appointments, going to school, to work, attending social engagments, picking up groceries and even going to the beach should all affordable and accessible.? Check out Ellen Smirl's reserach on transportation equity in Winnipeg in this year's State of the Inner City Report!
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Inclusionary housing in a slow-growth city like Winnipeg December 3, 2018
    In Winnipeg, there is a need for more affordable housing, as 21 percent of households (64,065 households) are living in unaffordable housing--according to CMHC's definition of spending more than 30 percent of income on shelter.? This report examines to case studies in two American cities and how their experience could help shape an Inclusionary Housing […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • True, Lasting Reconciliation November 21, 2018
    For the first time, a report outlines what implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples could and should look like at the provincial level. This report focuses on implementation in BC law, policy and practices. Fundamental to the UN Declaration is an understanding that government must move from a “duty […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Five Things to Know About the 2018 Federal Budget

I’ve written a blog post about the 2018 federal budget.

Points made in the blog post include the following:

-Important new housing investments were made for First Nations, Inuit and?Métis people.

-The Working Income Tax Benefit was expanded, made automatic and rebranded (i.e., renamed).

-Canada’s official unemployment is now the lowest it’s been in decades.

-Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio is (by far) the lowest of any G7 country.

The link to the full blog post is here.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: March 2, 2018, 6:48 pm

Letter to Chronicle Herald (unpublished)

Re: Unemployment rate tumbles to 5.7% to reach lowest mark in more than 40 years, Canadian Press, Jan. 5, 2018
https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/business/1534068-unemployment-rate-tumbles-to-5.7-to-reach-lowest-mark-in-more-than-40-years

The unemployment rate of 5.7% may be the lowest in more than 40 years, but these were years of neo-liberal triumph. Unemployment after WWII until the mid-1950s averaged less than 3%, and had dropped to 1.4% during WWII itself. However, business and financial elites are happy to erase history, and to normalize higher rates because for them a slightly recessed economy delivers numerous benefits.

Higher unemployment means less pressure on wages that reduce the profit share. It also means less inflation that erodes accumulated wealth. And if the workforce is induced to borrow to maintain lifestyles, not only is another stream of financial income created, but the debt burden and fewer opportunities keep workers obedient through fear of losing their jobs.

Unfortunately over 1.1 million Canadians are officially unemployed today, and this number does not count those discouraged nor involuntarily working part-time. Through targeted fiscal and monetary stimulus, the federal government could halve the existing unemployment rate. But to do so, it would have to side with the workforce and challenge the establishment.

(Footnotes to follow.)

Comment from Larry Kazdan
Time: March 2, 2018, 6:50 pm

Footnotes to Letter to Editor:

1. A note on Canadian unemployment since 1921
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/1992003/87-eng.pdf

“From 1927 to 1929, and again during and after the Second World War, unemployment rates dropped to 3% or less……”

2. The Deficit: Hysteria and the Current Crisis
http://haroldchorneyeconomist.com/2011/10/11/the-deficithysteria-and-the-current-crisis/

“Further, in order to reduce the rate of unemployment and eventually the deficit in the longer term it is necessary to greatly increase the gap between government expenditure and revenues.

This is clearly what happened during World War II when the deficit rose from less than 1 percent of the GNE in 1939 to 21.7 percent of the GNE in 1944. The unemployment rate fell from 11.4 percent to 1.4 percent during the same period.”

3. You know who likes lackluster economic growth? The rich. Jeff Spross
http://www.theweek.com/articles/580975/know-who-likes-lackluster-economic-growth-rich

“Elites obviously don’t want to completely tank the economy. But it certainly works for them if it stays modestly stagnant, maximizing the growth of the pie while minimizing worker bargaining power.”

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