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Europe has a German problem

Angela Merkel. Photo: dirk@vorderstrasse.de/Flickr

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.

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Paul Krugman: How to End This Depression

End This Depression Now!

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End This Depression Now!
by Paul Krugman (W. W. Norton & Company, 2012; $26.50)

Paul Krugman is stepping up to play the kind of role that John Maynard Keynes performed in the 1930s -- arguing in clear accessible language for the government to spend to get us out of the slump. End This Depression Now! is his just-published polemic against the austerians -- the powerful tribe found on both sides of the Atlantic that insists on balanced budgets. The book frequently hits the mark, but there is a crucial weakness that undermines the power of Krugman’s case.

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| July 12, 2012

Workers' Struggles Amidst Neoliberal Globalization: A National Workers Conference

Saturday, August 11, 2012 - 10:39pm - Sunday, August 12, 2012 - 10:39pm

Location

United Steelworkers Hall
25 Cecil Street
Toronto, ON
Canada
Phone: (416) 519-2553
43° 39' 23.1192" N, 79° 23' 45.96" W

Amidst the engulfing impacts of the economic crisis on workers’ lives, a national conference aims to spark up vital discussions towards generating a wave of resistance for genuine social change. The Congress of Progressive Filipino Canadians (CPFC), its member organizations and allies invite all to participate in “Workers Struggles Amidst Neoliberal Globalization,” to be held on August 11th and 12th at the United Steel Workers Hall in Toronto. As workers’ lives and conditions are being edged onto the precipice of society by the crisis of neoliberal globalization, the conference hopes to meet this critical moment by underscoring the important role that all workers have to play in addressing the challenges and opportunities at hand.

Columnists

An economy running on fumes

Photo: Andrew Magill/Flickr

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StatsCan released the first-quarter GDP numbers last week, and the deafening silence you hear is of champagne corks not popping.

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The Canadian Oil Sands: Economic saviour or environmental disaster?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Location

Wosk Centre for Dialogue
580 West Hastings SFU Vancouver, Asia Pacific Hall
Vancouver, BC
Canada
49° 17' 3.7248" N, 123° 6' 46.1664" W

Cost: Free

Accessibility: wheelchair accessible, entrance off of Seymour, south of Hastings

The Alberta oil sands are being promoted by industry and government as the solution to North American future energy needs. The impacts of oil sands development have been downplayed in propaganda promoting the oil sands. In this lecture, Dr. Schindler will discuss some of the impacts that have been ignored or misrepresented, such as water quality, fisheries, wetland reclamation, carbon sequestration, and treaties with aboriginal communities.

Lessons from Greece on democracy and debt-bondage

It is a truism to say that democracy began with the Greeks -- less so to say that it originated in popular rebellion against debt and debt-bondage. Yet, with the Greek people ensnared once more in the vice-grip of rich debt-holders, it may be useful to recall that fact. For the only hope today of reclaiming democracy in Greece (and elsewhere) resides in the prospect of a mass uprising against modern debt-bondage that extends the rule of the people into the economic sphere.

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| February 27, 2012
Alert! Radio from Canadian Dimension

Alert! Radio #200: The global debt crisis, Rob Ford's cuts, and civic amalgamation

February 7, 2012
| Sam Gindin on what's ahead for the global economic crisis, Carlo Fanelli on the cuts at Toronto City Hall and Dennis Pilon asks if municipal amalgamation produces right-wing mayors like Rob Ford.
Length: 56:16
Columnists

Europe trashed: The coming austerity implosion is a scary precedent

World leaders are doing their best to provoke a global economic downturn of epic proportions. Of course, it is politically hazardous for leaders to admit this. Democratic accountability can be inconvenient when leaders are obsessed with imposing economic austerity policies.

The new Euro area agreement provides political cover for these unpopular measures. To appease financial markets, European leaders have submitted to the "new fiscal rule," a pledge to keep government budgets balanced or in surplus.

This new fiscal rule will have the force of law. Countries are required to enshrine this new fiscal rule in their national level constitutions.

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