Economics

Plunder and romanticism are so rife precisely because ordinary citizens are insufficiently informed about the opportunities and threats that nature poses to have forced governments into effective regulation. In the task of building an informed citizenry the starting point is an ethics of nature that people in societies with widely different value systems can understand […]

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Canada was founded upon a grave injustice: the appalling mistreatment of North American indigenous populations by European settlers, including countless acts of physical and cultural violence. Days ago, the The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released their final report. One part, on page 20 of the summary, seems especially important: Together, Canadians must do […]

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Regardless of whether you think the commitment is credible, a position on climate change adopted by the G7 bears consideration: “At yesterday’s summit in Bavaria, the G7 leading industrial nations agreed to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century.” For one thing, it’s questionable when politicians set goals so far off in […]

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The most convincing proof of the failure of corporate governance and of the absence of a rational productivity justification for extremely high executive pay is that when we collect data about individual firms (which we can do for publicly owned corporations in all the rich countries), it is very difficult to explain the observed variations […]

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Let me now return to the explosion of wage inequality in the United States (and to a lesser extent Britain and Canada) after 1970. As noted, the theory of marginal productivity and of the race between technology and education is not very convincing: the explosion of compensation has been highly concentrated in the top centile […]

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To my knowledge, no society has ever existed in which ownership of capital can reasonably be described as “mildly” inegalitarian, by which I mean a distribution in which the poorest half of society would own a significant share (say, one-fifth to one-quarter) of total wealth. Pikkety, Thomas (Translated by Arthur Goldhammer). Capital in the Twenty-First […]

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[T]he upper 10 percent of the labor income distribution generally receives 25-30 percent of total labour income, whereas the top 10 percent of the capital income distribution always owns more than 50 percent of all wealth (and in some societies as much as 90 percent). Even more strikingly, perhaps, the bottom 50 percent of the […]

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A great set of speakers announced the July 5th March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate to the media at Bay and King this morning, across the street from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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We know that we are trapped within an economic system that has it backward; it behaves as if there is no end to what is actually finite (clean water, fossil fuels, and the atmospheric space to absorb their emissions) while insisting that there are strict and immovable limits to what is actually quite flexible: the […]

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The power of this ferocious love [for places where people live and where they care about] is what the resource companies and their advocates in government inevitably underestimate, precisely because no amount of money can extinguish it. When what is being fought for is an identity, a culture, a beloved place that people are determined […]

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