The most significant, recent news -- that trust in neoliberalism is dead, that confidence in the unrestrained free market has become unfathomable to the majority of U.S. citizens -- has become more evident since 2008. The event is of course obscured by neoliberalism's continued dominance of conservative and centrist governments, political parties and media, yet it is evident that we are now witnessing its inevitable sequence of delegitimation, ruin and replacement.
As both the Bank of Canada and the IMF have now reported, the Canadian economic recovery slowed in early 2013. Sadly, this contains good news.
A return to economic strength would bring an increase in interest rates. This would cause Canadian households deeply in debt to dig down even deeper to make ends meet. With weakness, rate hikes are likely delayed until 2014.
It's hard not to watch Cyprus the way you watch one of those plucky little countries that appear in the World Cup and people root for. This week they rejected the European hierarchy's latest attack on its citizens. The plan involved swiping a portion of all savings accounts there in return for another bailout that won't work. It was so blatantly unfair to ordinary folks who, as usual, weren't to blame for the mess, that even Cypriot legislators voted it down.
Had Hugo Chavez followed the pattern of many Third World leaders and concentrated on siphoning off his nation's wealth for personal gain, he would have attracted little attention or animosity in the West.
Instead, he did virtually the opposite -- redirecting vast sums of national wealth to the swollen ranks of Venezuela's poor, along with free health care and education. No wonder he alienated local elites, who are used to being first in line at the national trough.
Chavez's relentless championing of the downtrodden set a standard increasingly followed in Latin America. It explains his immense popularity with the masses and the widespread grief over his death last week.
Agreement among economists on what constitutes Canada's middle class. It varies based on whether you look at family or individual income, provincial or national data, before or after tax. Here we look at median and total family income to get a sense of the range.
The median total income for all Canadian families. That's the dead centre of all family total income earned in Canada in 2010, meaning half earned more than $69,860 and half earned less. (Source)
$60,000 - $85,000