Double Movement: the resurgence of neoliberalism and inequality

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

The Role of the State: the Couchiching Panel

This past Friday at Couchiching, Tom Flanagan, Armine Yalnizyan and I discussed what the financial meltdown can tell us about the role of the state.  Better than my trying to capture the nuance of each of the speakers, and recognizing my predisposition to favour some views at the expense of others, I strongly urge you … Continue reading

A Dangerous Experiment

Here is a take on the G20 commitment to cut deficits and reduce debt. David Leonhardt, not quite echoing Paul Krugman’s dire warnings, does set out the question with clarity.  Will the G20 deficit and debt targets lead to greater private sector confidence and spending to fill the space left by the end of stimulus … Continue reading

A Brief Comment on G20

Yes it’s important that the leaders of these diverse countries are talking, and everyone deplores the hooliganism, but what else did we learn? 1)   The 20 came together largely to go their own ways – the moment of collective will has passed. 2)  The collective interest in working with Africa was a momentary thing. … Continue reading

Fire! Fire! But where?

So we have entered the age of crisis and that means confusing times. As I have written before, stealing happily from Emanuel and Machiavelli before him, crises are destabilizing and therefore create opportunities for big debates and dramatic changes not normally possible. A few decades ago, Mancur Olson, the American economist and social scientist, wrote … Continue reading

A Wasted Crisis

In Canada, we seem to have weathered the financial crisis better than many, partly because of years of financial sacrifice by Canadians to regain fiscal sovereignty and partly because of continuing hunger for our natural resources. But in the almost-aftermath of the crisis we, like other developed countries, are now faced with exceptionally tough policy … Continue reading

After the Meltdown

George Akerlof, Tim Besley, Pierre Fortin and moderator Gene Lang came to Glendon this past Thursday (March 24).  They launched the new Centre for Global Challenges with an outside-the-box discussion of lessons to be drawn After the Meltdown.  We will soon be posting their speaking points and summaries.  They were superb, aware of the limits … Continue reading