Change the conversation, support rabble.ca today.
Those who follow the business press closely, and listen attentively to corporate economic commentators, are still mainly in the dark about "who is actually getting what" in the business world.
Some very interesting information does turns up. A current New York Times series entitled "The United States of Subsidies," covers business subsidies handed out by U.S. local governments. It cost $80 billion to attract and keep companies in local communities, the NYT estimated.
What an odd moment Barack Obama's collapse in Wednesday's TV debate was, much like Robert Redford's in The Candidate. We all have go-to cultural images and that's one of mine. In the 1972 film, Redford starts as an idealistic candidate who learns to make all the right, unprincipled moves but loses the script at a crucial point: the big TV debate, and blurts out some things he really believes.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Canada this week as champion of an austerity policy stance that is failing Europe. Without a change in policy direction, a prolonged period of European economic stagnation is likely to continue. German-sponsored austerity policies shut the door to economic recovery in the Eurozone, but since they have the full support of her party as well as business figures and key opinion-makers, the Chancellor is unlikely to support a new approach.
The Chancellor is caught in the most restrictive of positions for a political leader. If she wanted to change direction, her supporters would become her opponents.
I always come back from the annual Canadian Economics Association/Progressive Economics Forum meetings highly energized by the companionship of so many other fine committed PEF members, and our success in engaging with the broader profession. This past weekend's meetings in Calgary were no exception. A highlight, of course, was the third Biennial Galbraith Lecture delivered by Mike McCracken, CEO and Chair of Informetrica, Inc., who made a great personal commitment to travel to Calgary to receive his John Kenneth Galbraith Prize for Economics and Social Justice.
I had a great change of pace last week, when I stayed out at the CAW Family Education Centre at Port Elgin to teach a 5-day course on "Economics for Trade Unionists" through the CAW's Paid Educational Leave program.
While I have guest lectured many times at Port Elgin, I have never actually taught a course there, so this was a great opportunity for me to experience first-hand how our PEL system trains and inspires hundreds of rank-and-file union activists and local leaders every year, through a wide range of peer-taught courses. The Centre was bursting at the seams with about 250 students in a range of courses -- including toxic substances, pride, collective bargaining, and training to be women's advocates.
One of the entertaining characteristics of Ronald Reagan's first cabinet was that most of its members wore a tie bearing a cameo profile of Adam Smith. The new team had a clear vision: it was time to replace the statist capitalism theorized by John Maynard Keynes with the free market capitalism espoused by An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.