As our people and small businesses hold on for their lives and livelihoods, many are wondering what happened to the grand promise of unfettered capitalism. What happened to the promise of endless growth? Of the greatness of the free market?
The sheer inadequacy of the market to respond to this pandemic, the utter weakness of big business to pull us out of this mess is itself a master lesson in economics. It’s also an indictment of extreme capitalism.
It’s not the markets that are saving us now; it’s our governments, led by a prime minister and premiers and talented bureaucrats who have learned that they have the tools at their disposal to chart a course for the public good. And how silly we ever once thought that hundreds of corporations, all working in their own self-interest, could a country make.Read more
"Be fast and have no regrets."
That was the defining quote from the March 13 COVID-19 briefing at the World Health Organization, spoken by Dr. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization (WHO) executive director of health emergencies. "Speed trumps perfection," he added. "The greatest error is not to move."
It's a piece of advice that is worthy of consideration not just in the health policies Canada is putting forward to combat the effects of coronavirus, but in economic policy as well.Read more
What happens when we’re young shapes us for life.
That seems obvious, but it’s worth keeping in mind, particularly when we ponder the stubborn persistence of poverty in one of the world’s richest countries.
Hugh Segal — former senator, longtime professor, lifetime politico — was born in Montreal in 1950, an “edge-of-poverty working class kid,” as he refers to his upbringing in the book.
One frigid winter day in the 1950s, his oft-unemployed cab-driver dad gave young Hugh’s treasured wooden toy box to a neighbour living in the same triplex. The man didn’t have the money to fuel his furnace. Young Hugh resented this act of charity. He would later come to understand that there were people poorer than the Segals.
His family scraped by, navigating setbacks familiar to people living with less. The events seared themselves into his consciousness.
“A bailiff arriving to seize your dad’s car and empty the house of furniture is not something that fades into distant memory. It stays with you, like a dark spot at the edge of a slice of bread,” he reflects.Read more
The idea of an unconditional basic income (UBI) floor where everyone starts with the same minimum amount of money as everyone else each month as an economic right of citizenship is not a new idea. UBI is an idea with a long history and thus a long history of support.
Among that support exists a number of Nobel prize winners.
The following is a compilation of some of those names and what they've said about UBI in recent years.Read more
Good Men Project
In Canadian policy circles, Basic Income has come to mean a stipend paid to families or individuals without the many conditions and rules that govern existing income assistance programs. The amount received is gradually reduced as income from other sources increases.
However, Basic Income is not just about welfare reform. A Basic Income is most valuable to people in the middle class and those hoping to join them. Here’s why a Canadian Basic Income is inevitable.Read more