Category: Economics

What time is it?

Co-authors Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of economics at University College London, and economist Rosie Collington think democracy is endangered by the growing involvement of consultants in public policy development and implementation.

Local, green and sustainable economies

A problem faced by more than one British Columbia community is how to resurrect a local economy after global corporations decide easier profits can be made by exporting unprocessed resources. The subject had me remember a worthwhile PBS documentary by investigative journalist David Brancaccio…

The common good is becoming less common

A book by Professor Robert Reich, one of the most prominent voices among progressives, examines the ongoing decline of the common good, which he defines as being about “what we owe one another as citizens who are bound together in the same society.” Reich believes those values include respect for the rule of law and democratic institutions, toleration of our differences and belief in equal political rights and equal opportunity. These have been undermined by unrestrained pursuit of money, power, and hyperpartisanship…

Climate poison could be an asset

Methane, which the BC government has supported with billions of dollars in subsidies and tax relief, is a risk to public health. Methane emissions escaping from northeast BC gas fields are a topic that industry and government officials hesitate to acknowledge. Captured methane could be the basis of profitable fishfood manufacturing in a region where employment is now overly dependent on a fossil fuel industry that climate science says must decline immediately…

Humanity’s slow-motion suicide

When I think about infinite growth on a finite planet, overpopulation, inequality, climate breakdown, and the ever-present risk of nuclear annihilation, I recall my science teacher son’s reminder, “Earth will survive; humankind may not.” Certainty is growing that global catastrophes will quicken damage to human well-being, endangering — potentially destroying — modern civilization. But this third rock from the Sun will continue spinning even after humans make it unliveable…

Facts seem to support a progressive agenda

David Card’s Nobel Prize carries with it a cash prize of more than C$700,000 but the economist may experience greater satisfaction from credibility the award lends to his findings. Those conclusions challenged conventional wisdom and have been steadily disputed by “useful idiots” of the evil geniuses who control economies of the world.

A rural coastal property

The BC Liberal Government refused to address affordability issues because the real estate industry was a large benefactor of that party. In addition, property transfer taxes were putting billions of dollars into the public treasury. I’m not sure the BC NDP dares to alter the status quo…

The Fierce Urgency of Now

The financial crisis is about more than money. It is also about morality, casting an uncomfortable light on the links between the activities of bankers and the wellbeing of society as a whole. The idea that economics is morally neutral or that finance should be above ethical scrutiny deserves to be challenged.

Wacky world of minimum wages

Increasing income of the working poor ensures that extra dollars are spent in local communities on things like food, clothing, medical and dental care, and housing. According to a University of California report, higher minimum wages reduce poverty rates among households and children, without affecting employment levels. To most of us, that is an admirable outcome…

Economic illiteracy in Canadian media

The Fraser Institute declares Tax Freedom Day each year. It is an inaccurate trick to further interests of the millionaires and billionaires for whom the “charity” works. Many of those people use overseas tax shelters so their tax freedom day falls in January. Don’t expect Fraser Institute to mention Earth Overshoot Day, “the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year.” Do not expect Canada’s mass media to pay much attention either

From Erik Andersen

In private emails, a number of people with expert economic knowledge exchange ideas about energy in BC. I get copies of some. This example, written by respected and retired economist Erik Andersen, refers to electricity markets in BC…

Economic challenges ahead

Big money earned through illegal activities might have a greater impact than we care to admit and economic stimulus from criminal enterprises may explain why the former government hesitated to enforce certain laws. Over a long time, BC has seen a reduction of jobs in goods producing sectors, particularly in manufacturing, and a significant increase in service sector jobs. I expect we will have to rely more on innovative small and medium sized enterprises for future job growth and that our new government ought to provide increased encouragement to SMEs.