- John McDonnell outlines a progressive alternative to neoliberal economic policy:
The increasing automation of jobs, reduced dependence on carbon fuels, artificial intelligence and the so-called gig economy have provoked understandable anger among many workers whose jobs are under threat. More generally, concerns about the effect on the labour market are widespread: either threatening mass unemployment or a significant shift towards low-productivity, low-paid jobs.- Meanwhile, Amy Wood and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood highlight why the modification of CETA's dispute resolution provisions does little to address the fundamental flaws with the deal.
This need not be the case. In a society where the benefits of technological advancement are shared, productivity gains can be made to work for the benefit of all. It requires original thinking – one possibility is a universal basic income – to suggest how we can make a society with less demand for medium-skilled labour become wealthier and less polarised.
(I)f we are to meet the needs of those who need health care, pensions and social security, we will need to find ways to tax wealth more effectively. Not just because it is fairer than taxing labour, but because our tax base has shrunk. And as more of the economy now goes to capital owners, taxing a fair share of this is essential to affording the public services that we want.
Finally, none of this is sustainable in the [long term] unless we change the ownership of this capital. Through new forms of democratic and small-scale ownership, such as employee-owned firms, and by sharing the ownership of society’s assets more broadly, we can reduce the need for redistributive intervention, while increasing society’s power to choose the future direction of our economy and address the urgent demands of climate change.
- Laura Neidhart writes about the spread of precarity and poverty for younger workers. And Jessica Wynne Lockhart discusses the hidden poverty growing (with little public attention) in the suburbs of Toronto and other cities.
- Cory Collins comments on the regression in Atlantic Canada's labour legislation in recent decades - which, it should be noted, can't be seen as having had any economic effect other than to redistribute income and wealth upward. And Lynn Parramore compares our expectations for vacation time today to that of medieval peasants - concluding that despite centuries of productivity gains which were supposed to allow for increased leisure time, we're actually getting by with significantly less.
- Finally, Evan Balgord highlights new research from the Pembina Institute showing that the Saskatchewan Party's version of carbon capture and storage does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as any carbon captured is matched by what's released by resulting oil production and consumption.