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Canadian welfare system outdated: National Council of Welfare

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, December 13, 2010 - A new report from the National Council of Welfare (NCW) shows that welfare can be harder to get today than 20 years ago. This means more people were forced into destitution to qualify for welfare in 2009, when the recession's casualties were mounting.

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Columnists

What deflation will do to Canada

Where is the Canadian economy headed? The federal finance minister is on the road doing his pre-budget consultations. Expect Jim Flaherty to return with the same complacent views he proclaimed when he left Ottawa; the wording was drawn up for him months ago by the Prime Minister's Office. It reads: the recovery is on track and it is time to cut government spending.

The Harper script for the economy is all about politics and ideology. Liberals want to tax and spend. You can entrust your future to Stephen Harper; unlike Layton and Ignatieff, the Conservative leader will not raise taxes.

Richest one per cent's share of wealth at historic high

TORONTO - Canada's richest one per cent are taking more of the gains from economic growth than ever before in recorded history, says a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The Rise of Canada's Richest one per cent looks at income trends over the past 90 years and reveals the 246,000 privileged few who rank among the country's richest one per cent took almost a third (32 per cent) of all growth in incomes between 1997 and 2007.

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Canada and the next world financial crisis

How will the next financial crisis erupt? (Or perhaps we should describe it as a further chapter of the ongoing financial crisis.) It's like figuring out which piece of tinder will ignite after a sizzling heat wave. We know it's bad out there, but just where will the next spark hit? What follows is one of many- potential financial crisis scenarios that Canada could face.

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The free trade fracas at Seoul G20

By most accounts, the Seoul meeting of the Group of 20 major economies failed to meet the objective of "rebalancing" the global economy. No major agreement was reached on any core issues, beyond agreeing to put things off until 2011 while the IMF is put to work on some "indicative guidelines" for the next debate.

According to the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, "It is unclear whether G-20 members will agree on such guidelines, let alone enforce them rigorously."

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Meditations at the ringed fence around G20 Toronto

When I search for an image to describe the core of my spiritual practice, the one that presses up through the other narratives of my life is this one: June 26, 2010, carrying my six-year-old son away from a burning police car in front of a bank tower on Bay Street in downtown Toronto. Three young protesters, using black bloc tactics, jumped on the roof of the car as my son and I turned away and walked towards the empty street behind us to make our way home.

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Fight like the Greeks

After months of proclaiming all was good in the Canadian economy, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced at the start of October that "boom times are over."

The Harper government has spent the past two years arguing that Canada was a model for escaping the depth of the recession that has hit Europe and the U.S. so hard.

Now the Tories, after claiming that they had steered Canada through a recession, are speculating that they might have to continue stimulus funding to keep the economy from sinking.

But the talk of a robust recovery conceals the reality of what workers in Canada have already suffered through for the past several years.

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Columnists

The U.S. says China won't play fair with its currency market, but neither do they

Chinese currency floats in a fountain in Tibet. Photo: kholkute/Flickr

In the 1970s it was Germany. In the 1980s it was Japan. Now, apparently, it is China that is responsible for U.S. economic woes.

Appearing before Congress, U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner pointed the finger at China, accusing them of currency manipulation. Congress has called upon the president to bring in tariffs aimed at reducing Chinese manufacturing exports. The presidential report specifying "Section 301" measures is expected in November.

Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman opines that by not allowing its currency to appreciate, China is refusing to play by the same rules as everybody else.

Dr. James K. Galbraith at CEP Convention 2010

James K. Galbraith
Economist James K. Galbraith, the son of famed Canadian economist John Kenneth Galbraith, regaled delegates with his analysis of the roots of the economic recession.

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