rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Bank of Canada governor says to end privatization of gains and socialization of losses

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Mark Carney. Photo: Sebastian Derungs/World Economic Forum/Flickr

Here in B.C., Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney's speech to the Canadian Auto Workers convention got less attention than it seemed to get back east. It deserves more attention.

The biggest news coming out of the event was not in the speech itself but in the question period afterwards. Here Carney told the CAW members that with hundreds of billions of dollars in their bank accounts, Canadian firms aren't doing enough to drive economic growth and create new jobs. He continued:

"The level of caution could be viewed as excessive," he said. Referring to corporate managers, he added, "Their job is to put money to work and if they can't think of what to do with it, they should give it back to their shareholders."

The CCPA's Toby Sanger writes more about this issue here.

However there was a lot more of interest in the speech and it is worth reading as a whole. It can be found here.

Here are some of the points Carney raises.

-  We must address, once and for all, the unfairness of a system that privatises gains and socialises losses. By restoring capitalism to the capitalists, discipline in the system will increase and, with time, systemic risks will be reduced.

-  In general, these trends mean that the demand for unskilled workers in advanced economies is falling relative to that for skilled workers. Some estimates show that by the end of this decade, there will be a shortage of 18 million skilled workers and a surplus of 35 million unskilled workers across advanced countries.

-  These broad shifts in the demand for and supply of labour are contributing to rising inequality. Over the past 20-plus years, incomes in Canada have increased nearly twice as fast for earners in the top 10 per cent as for those in the lowest 10 per cent. The share of the top 1 per cent is now the third highest among member-countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) after the United States and the United Kingdom. The last time inequality in the United States was this severe was during the 1920s. Moreover, labour's share of national income is now at its lowest level in half a century across most advanced economies, including Canada.

-  As effective as it has been, the limits of this growth model are becoming clear. In particular, we cannot grow indefinitely by relying on Canadian households increasing their borrowing relative to income.

    When even the governor of the Bank of Canada is talking about inequality and about the unfairness of privatizing gains and socializing losses, we know we have gone badly wrong in our economic thinking.

    This article was first posted on Behind the Numbers.

    Photo: Sebastian Derungs/World Economic Forum/Flickr

    Thank you for reading this story…

    More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

    rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

    So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

    And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


    We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


    • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
    • Add context and background.
    • Report typos and logical fallacies.
    • Be respectful.
    • Respect copyright - link to articles.
    • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


    • Use oppressive/offensive language.
    • Libel or defame.
    • Bully or troll.
    • Post spam.
    • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.