With high inflation continuing, mainstream right-wing economists and pundits seem very concerned with a mythical beast called the 'wage-price spiral'. These spirals are not real and are simply an attack on working people with the poorest bearing most of the brunt of the policies of wage control. Here we look at why this is and the correct response to it.
The Liberals are hoping that if they throw enough money at the private sector, an army of Elon Musks will emerge from the darkness armed with even more private capital to save humanity and the Canadian economy along with it.
Students, who make up the future citizens, workers, and innovators of Canada, are barely mentioned in this budget except to partially extend pandemic-related economic support. Without further support for broad-based training and curiosity driven research, the innovation program will grind to a halt long before we solve the country's problems.
There are many contradictory definitions, explanations, and policy responses to high inflation. Understanding the differences is important to develop the correct orientation to these pressures on workers' wage demands and the left's policy responses.
Some areas of debate exist even within progressive circles of how best to deal with climate change. Investing in and reorganizing current production processes to drastically reduce carbon emissions and build mitigation programs all takes time, energy, overlapping processes, and a heck of a lot of money. But, when we bring all this together, the programs announced are insufficient to get us where we need to be. Here are 10 areas we need to work on.
The current long-term care model is designed to squeeze costs using a private delivery process. It is the state that sets the terms of spending and care delivery. The private system is being used to limit costs through obscuring the state's role in under-funding the service.
We are told that Capitalism, at its core, is a crisis-driven economic system. Crises are at the heart of its innovation, transformation of the economy, and are the reason creative destruction is the defining point raised by proponents of this economy-first, anti-social system. However, any reader of history knows that it is only through the leverage and investment of the state that capitalism can find the path around the economic crises it creates. Capital needs to be held-up and protected or -- like most short-sighted adventures -- it runs aground. The alternative is not to hold capitalism up, but to replace it and the response to COVID-19 shows a way forward.
Decades of neoliberal political narratives have attempted to convince us that the only reason for public ownership is to subsidize private capital growth. Neoliberal economics are focused on the transfer of wealth from the public to private capital through commodification of public assets and services. The result has been a society tilted in favour of profit generation through public subsidies of infrastructure and services over human need.
Since the early 1980s, central banks and governments of top capitalist countries have been attempting to save their beloved system. Responding to the collapsing profit rate was their ultimate goal and drove economic and social policy for 40 years. To save our economy and solve the social, health, and environmental crises we now face we must reverse course.
The cheerleaders of neoliberal policy are rising like zombies after the current collection of economic, health, climate, and political crises seemed to bury them for a while. It is not going to be enough for the left to defend the current economic wreck, we must advocate to build something better just to keep what we have. Socialists have the social and economic policy programs to deal directly with these challenges we face. It is time to dust them off and fight for them with abandon.