- Greg Jericho is the latest to weigh in on the false promises of neoliberalism:
An article in the IMF’s latest issue of is journal Finance and Development notes that “instead of delivering growth, some neoliberal policies have increased inequality” and jeopardised “durable” growth.- David Calnitsky writes that a basic income would ensure a reasonable standard of living for everybody without the stigma that comes with a patchy social safety net. Teuila Fuatai discusses how Employment Insurance has been designed to cover perpetually fewer workers over the past few decades, leaving more and more without any fallback at all. And the Star's editorial board calls for Canada Pension Plan reform to ensure all workers have enough for a secure retirement.
The authors note that there actually scant proof that the standard policies of encouraging foreign investment and reducing deficits and debt levels has improved economic growth.
They found that it’s tough to actually establish “the benefits in terms of increased growth” from these polices but that the costs from “increased inequality are prominent”. Even worse for those who desire economic growth above all else, they found that the “increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth.”
The authors note that their study of economies found that “austerity policies not only generate substantial welfare costs due to supply-side channels, they also hurt demand – and thus worsen employment and unemployment”.
And as I have noted (repeatedly) lack of demand is a massive issue for our economy. Right now Malcolm Turnbull would have you believe that it is an absolute given that more foreign investment and lower taxation and government spending will deliver economic growth. The reality is such belief is based on a model that struggles to deliver proof that is actually works and which crucially ignores factors such as inequality that can actually undermine their goal of economic growth.
- Pamela Cowan reports on the desperate - and thus far ignored - need for improved mental health services in Saskatchewan. And the U.S.' Council of Economic Advisers summarizes how mental health and other social factors affect incarceration rates.
- Noah Zon points out that the reinstatement of the long-form census is just the start of collecting the additional data we need to assess and meet Canada's social needs. And Anna Stanley writes about the continued discrimination against First Nations built into our federal fiscal framework.
- Finally, Paul Dechene points out how the Saskatchewan Party has in fact imposed somewhat of carbon price through their obsession with carbon capture and storage - only without any of the actual emission reductions which are supposed to accompany any sane pricing policy. And Andrew Nikiforuk comments on the alarming pollution emanating from the oil sands.