So there's really no new model for how to run this economy, and nobody's even, I think, thinking about that question, much less an answer."
-Doug Henwood, of Left Business Observer, on The Real News Network
Tepid GDP numbers released Tuesday by Statistics Canada confirm that Canada's economic recovery, such as it was, is sliding completely into the ditch. We're clearly heading for stagnation at best, and quite possibly another "double dip" downturn.
The headline number was disappointing, to say the least. Real GDP grew only 2 per cent (annualized) in the spring quarter. That's just a hair faster than the U.S. economy (which everyone knows is still deeply in the soup). Two per cent doesn't keep up with population and productivity -- implying higher unemployment ahead, not lower. Typically, at this stage of recovery, the economy should be growing three times faster.
Ever since the global meltdown of 2008, it's been an article of faith in Canadian economics that we somehow handled the whole mess better than the rest of the world. No banks collapsed. Our recession, while painful, was not nearly as bad as America's. Our deficits were smaller, and will disappear sooner. Not surprisingly, there's a strong political aspect to that smug mindset: Federal Conservatives never tire of claiming credit for this supposedly superior performance.
When David Harvey looks at the global economic crisis, he sees a situation that demands alternatives be found. Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York (CUNY) and is currently a visiting scholar at the National Centre for Strategy on the Right to Space (CENEDET) at the National Institute of Post-Graduate Studies (IAEN) in Quito, Ecuador.
Harvey sat down with Patrick Clark, a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Carleton University and a researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Ecuador, at the National Institute of Post-Graduate Studies (IAEN) in Quito, Ecuador.