• Commentary,  Environment & Work,  Finance,  Macroeconomics

    Cryptocurrencies: The Most Useless Speculative Bubble Ever

    The financial pages of newspapers continue to be obsessed with the violent ups and downs of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. And Canadian financial regulators have recently started to crack down on some of that industry’s ‘Wild West’ marketing tactics. In this commentary, originally published in the Toronto Star, Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford questions whether these digital products have any useful value whatsoever – and urges policy-makers to actively discourage crypto-speculation in favour of policies promoting actual jobs and production. Good Riddance to the Cryptotraders by Jim Stanford Binance runs one of the largest cryptocurrency trading operations in the world – helping customers speculate on the wild price…

  • Commentary,  Environment & Work,  Finance,  Inequality

    The Contradictions of ‘Caring Capitalism’

    Many companies these days try to promote a ‘socially responsible’ image: giving money to charities, speaking broadly about ‘stakeholders’ and ‘sustainability’, and even joining debates about issues like racism. But when it comes to their own bottom lines, few diverge from the fundamental goals of minimizing costs, avoiding taxes, and maximizing profits – regardless of the harm that might result to their workers, communities, or the environment. In this commentary, originally published in the Toronto Star, Jim Stanford takes aim at contradictions of this ‘kinder, gentler’ image corporations are trying to create. His jumping-off point is Hasbro’s effort to improve the image of its iconic Monopoly board game. The commentary…

  • Environment & Work,  Future of Work

    Media and Video Coverage of Fossil Fuel Transition Report

    The Centre for Future Work recently released a major report, commissioned by Environmental Defence, analyzing the labour market implications of the accelerating transition to renewable energy systems and away from fossil fuels.  The report generated significant media coverage and related video and educational resources. Here are some links: Commentary in Globe and Mail summarizing main arguments. Feature on CBC TV’s Power and Politics discussing fossil fuel transitions in light of the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Dr. Jim Stanford on Power and Politics   Feature on CBC Radio’s What on Earth program discussing the report and how fair employment transitions can be supported. Feature article in Alberta Politics on…

  • Commentary,  Environment & Work,  Future of Work

    Delaying Makes the Transition Worse

    Fossil fuel industries have already shed 50,000 jobs since 2014, as private employers respond to falling prices and falling profits by sacking workers, restructuring operations, and automating production. So far this transition away from fossil fuel employment has been driven by the profit-maximizing decisions of companies – without the planning and support required to reduce dislocation and take full advantage of alternative job opportunities. In this commentary originally published in the Globe and Mail, Jim Stanford argues a gradual, planned transition, with ample supports for early retirement, retraining, relocation, and income stability, could ensure that the switch to renewable energy sources occurs without lay-offs and community distress. The commentary summarizes…

  • Employment & Unemployment,  Environment & Work,  Future of Work,  Research

    Transition Plan for Workers can Prevent Unemployment as Fossil Fuels are Phased Out

    New research from the Centre for Future Work demonstrates that with prudent long-term planning, the coming phase-out of fossil fuel production and use can be managed without causing unemployment for fossil fuel workers.  Employment Transitions and the Phase-Out of Fossil Fuels, by Jim Stanford (Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work) shows that fossil fuel industries directly account for 170,000 jobs in Canada – less than 1% of total employment. A 20-year phase-out of fossil fuels implies an annual reduction of fossil fuel employment of around 8,500 jobs annually: the number of jobs typically created by the Canadian economy every ten days. With a clear timetable for phase-out,…