Canada’s Dangerously Distorted Tax Conversation

"(In)visible Dialogue". Installation by Wang King Road. 2011. Wikipedia Commons.

(This post was written by Alex and Jordan Himelfarb; an abridged version appeared in the Star here.) We don’t like paying taxes. This is not big news: we don’t much like paying any bills, and there’s probably never been a time when we didn’t grumble in particular about taxes. But somehow “tax” has gone from … Continue reading

The Trouble With Austerity: Economics as Ideology

Volunteers_of_America_Soup_Kitchen_WDC

A somewhat abridged version of this post first appeared in The Toronto Star here Governments here and elsewhere are increasingly preoccupied with cutting even as evidence piles up of its harmful consequences on people and the economy. Austerity is not even delivering the balanced budgets its advocates promise. Even the IMF is now preaching balance … Continue reading

Bargain Basement Citizenship and the Decline of Democracy

Cicero and the fall of the Roman Republic (Cesare Maccari)

We ought to be outraged. Just about every day our media provides a new account of the decline of our democracy:  the inadequacies of our electoral system and allegations of electoral fraud; the high-handed treatment of our Parliament through inappropriate prorogations and overuse of omnibus legislation; a government ever more authoritarian and opaque, resistant to evidence and reason, and … Continue reading

The Price Of Austerity

The Miser, by Molière

Austerity, we have been told repeatedly by pundits and political leaders, is the defining issue in these uncertain times, the solution to our economic challenges. We have been given fair warning that the next federal budget will be first about cuts – cuts to government even as we continue to cut taxes. We can expect … Continue reading

Red Tory: A New Lament For A Nation

Community Market

Phillip Blond, the main architect of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s “big society”, is coming to Canada this week.  The timing couldn’t be better as our political parties get set to offer up their competing versions of what ails us and how we might go forward together. Blond is gaining a lot of attention with … Continue reading

Double Movement: the resurgence of neoliberalism and inequality

Neoliberal soulmates: Reagan and Thatcher

This is the month for taking stock of the year that passed and imagining what the year before us may hold.  For me, two broad and contradictory trends have emerged which just might shape politics and policy in 2011: the extraordinary resilience of neoliberal ideology and the reemergence of inequality as a defining public issue. Recall … Continue reading

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