Sunday, December 06, 2015

Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Louis-Philippe Rochon highlights why we need governments at all levels to be working on stimulating Canada's economy, not looking to cut back:
The bank was referring to what economists call "secular stagnation": a long-period of very low growth, with all its obvious consequences on unemployment and income inequality. Secular stagnation is receiving increasing attention amongst academic economists, and rightly so; and it is something Canada should try avoiding at all costs.

Secular stagnation is like quicksand: the longer we stay in it, the more difficult it is to get out of, especially with governments insisting on cutting back spending.
Economies are driven by demand, and yet, in the last few years, in Canada and elsewhere, governments have persistently adopted policies that purposely deflated demand, thereby condemning our economies to secular stagnation.

So the answer to both questions is the same: fiscal policy. This is why it is more important than ever that the government in Ottawa undertakes fiscal spending on a much larger scale. Yet, my only concern is that the proposed spending will likely not be sufficient: there is a general inability of the new government and technocrats to truly understand the serious nature of what is going on. It will require more than tinkering with fiscal policy. What we need is a full-fledged fiscal attack.

Combating secular stagnation will be difficult. Clearly, Canada cannot do it alone. It will require a concerted, international and sustained effort for several years.

What we need is a New Deal for this decade and beyond.
- Will Grice reports on Finland's work on implementing a national basic income - and the high level of support it's receiving from the public. And Matthew Yglesias points out that the gap between the corporate elite and the rest of the U.S. population was far smaller just a few decades ago than it's become since then.

- albertarabbit reminds us that there isn't much reason to expect a difference between the Libs and the Cons when it comes to putting corporate interests ahead of people.

- Meanwhile, Martin Patriquin too finds little evidence of change when it comes to the Libs' refusal to accept any criticism whatsoever. And Cathy Guill highlights the issues we should be addressing as a result of this week's news about the Trudeau family's publicly-funded nannies.

- Finally, Rachel Notley explains her government's much-needed efforts to ensure the safety of Alberta farm workers. And Naomi Lakritz writes that anybody protesting the effort has reason to be ashamed.

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