Jim Stanford

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Jim Stanford is an Economist with Unifor, the new union formed in 2013 from the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Communication Energy and Paperworkers' (CEP). Unifor represents over 300,000 members in over 20 economic sectors. Jim received his PhD in Economics in 1995 from the New School for Social Research in New York, and also holds economics degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Calgary. He is the author of Economics for Everyone (published in 2008 by Pluto Press and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives), which has been translated into six languages. He writes an economics column for the Globe and Mail, and is a member of CBC TV's regular National News economics panel, "The Bottom Line." He lives in Toronto with his partner and two daughters. Jim's column appears in rabble courtesy of the Globe and Mail.

The five biggest outrages from the Conservative budget

Among the many galling, short-sighted, and ultimately destructive components of this federal budget, here are five that stand out.

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| April 21, 2015
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Corporate rights protections: A primer on investor-state dispute settlement

Photo: Jakob Huber/ECI Stop TTIP!/flickr

In light of the latest NAFTA Chapter 11 decision to go against Canada, I was asked to put together some background notes for our Unifor leadership on this bizarre quasi-judicial kangaroo court system. Here they are, in case they are useful for anyone else getting up to speed on the whole investor-state dispute system.

Some very good and more detailed resources on the subject include:

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Riding the roller-coaster: What lower oil prices mean for Canada's economy

Photo: elston/flickr

Introduction

Canada's economy has been thrown into turmoil by the dramatic decline in oil prices over the last six months. World crude prices have plunged by half: from around $100 (US) per barrel in summer 2014, to around $50 today (see Figure 1). Worse yet, Canada's oil output receives an even lower price: our unprocessed heavy oil exports sell for only about $35 per barrel in the U.S. market (because of its lower quality and a regional supply glut).

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Confusing 'deficit elimination' with 'prosperity' -- and B.C.'s fading glory

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Deficit or not, Harper still failed to strengthen economy and create jobs

Photo: flickr/Stephen Harper

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Acres of newsprint have been devoted in recent weeks to the possibility that lower oil prices might push the federal budget back into a deficit position. As I argue in my column, this drama is mostly political theatre -- and progressives should be cautious about accidentally accepting the Conservative frame for this debate.

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Will falling oil prices create a federal deficit? It doesn't matter.

Photo: Carissa Rogers/flickr

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Five hopeful economic events in 2014

Photo: Margot Trudell/flickr

Every year has its ups and downs, of course. But there's something about New Year's that makes one naturally want to emphasize the positive. So here is my personal list of five positive economic developments from the year past -- both globally and right here at home -- that warmed this particular economist's left-wing heart in 2014.

1. Canadian dollar falls back toward purchasing power parity

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Ebola vaccine shows problems with the private drug industry

Photo: NIAID/flickr

Free-market economists believe the profit motive is the most reliable and efficient force in economic decision-making. In theory, the selfish, profit-driven actions of private businesses are supposed to benefit everyone. But in the real world, the pursuit of private profit often promotes inefficiency and the misallocation of resources. One glaring (and costly) example is the private drug industry.

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Study finds no link between minimum wage levels and employment outcomes

Photo: Russ Allison Loar/flickr

Last week my Unifor colleague Jordan Brennan and I published a study through the CCPA Ontario office examining the historical empirical evidence regarding the link between changes in minimum wages and employment outcomes. We find there is no robust evidence in Canadian historical data that increases in real minimum wages cause either lower employment or higher unemployment, even when we focus on key segments of the labour market that are most reliant on low-wage labour (including youth and the retail and hospitality sectors).

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