• Employment & Unemployment,  Inequality,  Macroeconomics,  Research

    The Failures of ‘Trickle-Down’ Economics in Alberta

    Since its election in 2019, the current provincial government in Alberta has emphasized a classic ‘trickle-down’ economic strategy. It argues that by boosting profits of private business, capital investment will grow, and job-creation, rising incomes, and economic growth will then ‘trickle down’ to the rest of the population.

  • Commentary,  Inequality,  Inflation,  Macroeconomics,  Wages

    New Video: Profits, not Wages, are the Driving Force Behind Inflation

    What’s causing the current surge in inflation? And what should be done about it? In this new video, the latest in our “Debunkers’ Academy” series, Jim Stanford from the Centre for Future Work shows it’s not higher wages driving higher prices — in fact, wages are lagging far behind prices, and falling in real terms. The real culprit is corporations, who have taken advantage of the disruptions of the pandemic to jack up their prices (and their profits). This inflation is different than the 1970s, and it needs a different solution. Watch and learn! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DgwM7nruQg

  • 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…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Inequality

    To Each According to their Need: The Morality of Vaccinations

    The accelerating roll-out of COVID vaccines has stirred optimism among Canadians that the pandemic may be entering its last stages. An interesting dimension of the roll-out is the strong consensus among Canadians that the most at-risk Canadians should get vaccinated first: older Canadians, residents of long term care facilities, front-line workers, Indigenous people, prisoners, and others. In this commentary, a version of which was originally published in the Toronto Star, Jim Stanford considers the implications of this moral position – and wonders why we don’t apply the same principle (“To Each According to Their Need”) in other areas of economic life. By Jim Stanford Excitement over the rollout of COVID…

  • Commentary,  Finance,  Inequality

    The Revolution Will Not be Led by Day Traders

    Global financial markets have been roiled since the New Year by dramatic surges in shares of several companies – even more gut-wrenching than the usual twists and turns of the paper markets. The rise and quick fall of GameStop shares was the most stunning; some observers attributed its volatility to a “populist” attack (by small-scale retail traders) on the elite bastions of high finance. Jim Stanford begs to differ: in this commentary (originally published in the Toronto Star), he argues the growing popularity of day-trading is not challenging the dominance of financial elites… it is reinforcing it. GameStop Shenanigans Only Enriched the Wealthy By Jim Stanford For a few exhilarating…

  • Commentary,  Inequality

    Enlisting Economics in Pursuit of Social Justice

    The Centre for Future Work’s Director Dr. Jim Stanford was recently profiled in a feature article published in In The Black, the journal of CPA Australia (the professional body for certified accountants in Australia). The profile, by journalist Johanna Leggatt, discusses the history of the Centre, and Stanford’s philosophy of using popular economic knowledge to strengthen movements for social change and workers’ rights. We are pleased to reprint, with kind permission from In the Black, this profile, titled ‘The People’s Economist’. Many thanks to the journal and to Ms. Leggatt for the generous article!

  • Inequality,  Labour Standards,  PowerShare,  Research,  Trade Unions

    The Surprising Resilience of Trade Unionism in Canada

    Trade unions in Canada and globally have been on the defensive for years. Economic and political cultural changes have tended to undermine the power, visibility, and viability of trade unions and traditional forms of collective bargaining. As a result, union density (the proportion of workers with the protection of a union and a collective agreement) has declined in most countries through the neoliberal era. Canadian unions are not immune to these challenges. However, comparative data compiled by Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford provides surprising evidence that despite these challenges, Canadian unions have exerted a relatively stable influence on wages, income distribution, and labour policies. This helps to explain…