QE in Europe Further details reveal regional weighting but less than total mutual risk sharing

The ECB QE plan is a very interesting variant of the model I first proposed when I first started writing about greater monetization of the debt as a policy tool in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In a paper which I presented to a conference sponsored by the Canadian plains research centre and later published in 1992 in a collection of papers from the conference edited by Jim McCrorie and M.MacDonald , The Constitutional Future of the Prairie and Atlantic Regions of Canada, Canadian Plains Reserarch Centre, University of Regina, I explored how to implement the reform in a regionally balanced way in the Canadian federation.I suggested allowing each province access to the debt monetization capacities of the central bank up to a limit that in total would equal monetized debt in relation to the broadly defined money stock which would not exceed 20 %.The formula for each province’s allocation within that limit would be calculated in relation to each province’s GDP as a percentage of the total national GDP.(A Regional approach to Monetary and Fiscal Policy,in McCrorie &MacDonald p.114) The ECB has essentially adopted a similar approach with each member state (excepting for the time being Greece) being allocated a share of monetized debt which is proportionate to the share of the given country’s contribution to the capital of the European central bank. My model did not exclude any province that was more indebted than others nor did it restrict mutualization in the way which the ECB plan proposes. Nevertheless I am glad to see the regional principle at work in Europe. Its a long way from Regina to Brussels and Frankfurt but the Canadian plains once again illuminated a progressive reform with global consequences over twenty years ago.

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Obama leads with inspiring state of union speech;European central bank embraces QE

The President of the United States delivered an excellent inspiring progressive speech on the road forward. He proposed a number of progressive policy reforms aimed at diminishing inequality by modestly increasing capital gains taxation rates from 23 to 28 % restoring the rate they were at during the Reagan era and reinvesting the revenues into better child care, free tuition for two years of community college and other benefits aimed at the hard pressed American middle class. The Republican majority in the House and Senate may well seek to frustrate the achievement of these reforms but there is a chance that some of them will be partly enacted because of their widespread popularity and because some Republicans looking forward to the next election will be pragmatic enough to support these popular measures. The speech was optimistic about future prosperity, turning the corner on the recession and expanding the horizon of reform. It undoubtedly stirred the hearts of liberal supporters of the Democratic party as well as speaking directly to the populist resentment of glaring ineqality that has been laid bare in the aftermath of the recession. According to a report published by Oxfam prior to the Davos meetings the top 1% of wealth holders own 54 % of wealth as compared to the 46 % owned by the bottom 99 %. The wealth of the richest 80 people in the world doubled between 2009 and 2014 while the wealth of the bottom half fell.In 2010 388 billionaires equalled the wealth of the bottom half now it is just 80 billionaires.

On the European front there are some very positive developments. The head of the European central bank has announced a substantial programme of quantitative easing which over the period March to September 2016 will involve the monthly purchase of 60 billion euros worth of assets including national government bonds, European debt instruments and other assets. Overall the program is expected to total over a trillion euros. Given the size of the Eurozone with a GDP of 12.75 trillion , a debt to GDP ratio of 91 %, an outstanding debt of 11.6 trillion , M1 equal to 5.8 trillion and M2 equal to 9.6 trillion the program is substantial and should help keeep interest rates low and stimulate the economy particularly if it is accompanied by fiscal stimulus.One of the potential weaknesses of the program is the fact that except for 20 % of the purchases which will flow to mutualized European debt instruments national governments and their central banks will be responsible for all purchases and any defaults that might occur so mutual burden sharing will be limited.In addition Greece will not be eligible to have some of its debt included until June because of the on going conditions of its loans from the IMF and EU. This may well be a condition for renegotiation if the as expected Syriza wins the election there. Nevertheless the ECB initiative is an important step forward in the right direction. In Greece with the election only days away Syriza continues to hold a narrow lead in the polls and looks poised to win a plurality of the seats in the Parliament but fall short of a majority. So these will be very interesting days ahead in Europe.

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Unemployment falls in U.S. in midst of international turmoil, Europe on road to Q.E.,Swiss cut interest rates .

As the new academic term and new year gets underway in frigid Montréal in the grip of January below zero temperatures there is much to write about. First, of course, the horrible news from France, the Middle East and Africa where the tragic death of so many innocent people because of war,hatred and terrorism has shocked and saddened us all. Our condolences to all those affected. Increased vigilance is necessary. As Virgil wrote and Chaucer borrowed for his Canterbury Tales Amor omnia vincit so we pray it must eventually.

On the economic front President Obama had good reasons to be pleased about the further drop in the headline unemployment rate in the U.S. to 5.6 %. The last time unemployment was this low in the U.S.was June 2008. With any luck the rate should continue to fall toward the 5% mark and possibly below in the months to come.(see the table below)The broader U6 rate also fell to 11.1 % and the number of new jobs created in December was 252,000. In Canada the picture was less bright as the unemployment rate remained at 6.6% with regional rates falling from 7.6% to 7.5 % in Québec;Ontario 7.0% stable;Manitoba up from 5.1 to 5.2% Saskatchewan up to 3.6 % from 3.4%; Alberta up to 4.7% from 4.5 % and B.C. down to 5.4 % from 5.8 %; New Brunswick up to 10.2% from 9.6%; down to 8.3% from 8.8% in Nova Scotia; up to 11% from 10.5 in PEI and up to 11.3 % from 10.7% in Newfoundland. It is also important to note that the labour participation rate is 72.8 % in Alberta but 64.4% in Québec and 65.6% in Ontario. (All rates courtesy of Statistics Canada)

In Europe there has been a court decision which confirms it is legal for the European central bank to purchase government bonds from the financial markets and thereby implement quantitative easing. So we are now very close the the ECB moving in the right direction. The fall in interest rates in Switzerland to negative 0.75% will help the Swiss lower the value of their franc against the euro which reinforces the need for QE from the ECB. Inflation rates in the US as measured by the monthly CPI fell for the second month in a row undoubtedly driven lower by falling oil prices.

Data extracted on: January 16, 2015 (4:31:54 PM)

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Series Id: LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status: Unemployment rate United States
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.2 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.0 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.2 7.0 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.6 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.1 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6

Courtesy of
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics | Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE Washington, DC 20212-0001
http://www.bls.gov | Telephone: 1-202-691-5200 | TDD: 1-800-877-8339 | Contact Us

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Poli 600 course outline winter 2015: Public Policy and the Governmental Process in Canada

Poli 600 winter 2015
Professor Harold Chorney

Policy and the Governmental Process in Canada

We will be exploring in a series of seminars led by class members as well as myself the process by which policy is developed and implemented in Canada, principally at the Federal level but also provincially and municipally. We shall also focus on the role of the PMO, the privy council, the Dept. of finance and the Bank of Canada and the policy shaping institiutions of the private financial community, the commercial banks and trade unions and community groups and think tanks and media. Here we will be guided by the excellent work of the Acadian political scientist , author of Governing from the Centre ,Donald Savoie. Savoie argues quite persuasively that there has been over the past decades an enormous concentration of power at the prime ministerial centre of federal power. It is also clear that parallel developments have likely occurred at the provincial level when comparing the powers at the disposition of a provincial premier. In addition to Savoie we will draw upon Michel Howlett, Xun Wu, M.Ramesh and Scott Fritzen’s work, The Public Policy Primer:Managing the Policy Process. The economic circumstances that followed the crash and prolonged slow recovery from it has also placed special strains on the financing of policy initiatives. We will also explore this in the context of Keynesian approaches versus monetarist ones. Here papers and posts on my web site haroldchorneyeconomist.com , some selected Keynesian literature including a work on macro-economics and policy edited by Mario Seccareccia and Hassan Bougrine, Introducing Macroeconomic Analysis:Issues Question and competing Views will be helpful.

Donald Savoie, Governing From the Centre:The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics, University of Toronto press, 1999.
M.Seccareccia & Hassan Bougrine, Macroeconomic Analysis:Issues, questions and competing ViewsEdmond Montgomery, 2010.
Michael Howlett, Xun Wu, M.Ramesh and Scott Fritzen , The Public Policy Primer:Managing the Policy ProcessRoutledge, 2010.

Grades: The grade will be based on the following components: Preparation and presentation of a seminar topic in class 20 % Each presenter will also provide the class and myself with a 4-5 page synopsis of the presentation including a short bibliography.
A term essay due in class the first week in March immediately following the break. The essay should be focused on a particular area of policy and policy making , carefully researched and with an extensive bibliography, 20-25 pp. in length. 30 %
Class participation 10 % Final exam 40 %


1. Introduction and overview, assignment of seminar presentations.

2. Globalization, Markets and Government.

Readings:Seccareccia+Bougrine, ch. 1, The Market system and the Public Sector:What Role for the State ? ;85 Adam Harmes, The Return of the State:protestors, power brokers and the New global Compromise, pp.1-85; Harold Chorney, Rediscovering Keynes and the Origins of Quantitative Easing; Michael Howlett et al, introduction. Donald Savoie , pp.1-45. Ha-Joon Chang, Bad Samaritans:The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret history of Capitalism.

3. Policy Making, power and democracy:Readings, Grace Skogstad, Who governs? Who should Govern? Political Authority and Legitimacy in Canada in the Twenty-first Century Canadian Journal of Political Science.36:5(2003), 955-973 EJ via Clues. Harmes, pp.53-85. Harold Chorney and Phil Hansen , Toward a Humanist Political Economy, pp.40-100. Savoie, pp.1-108.4.

4. The Political Executive, Prime Minister and the Cabinet Savoie; Jonathon Malloy, The Executive and Parliament in Canada The Journal of Legislative Studies 10:2(2004) 206-217

5. The role of central agencies, the Department of Finance, Treasury Board and the PMO. Savoie. Robert Bryce, Maturing in Hard Times; Savoie, pp 156-192.

6. Economic policy after the crash Readings Harold Chorney , The Deficit Hysteria and the Current Crisis; The Power of Reason and the Legacy of Keynes in Toward a Humanist Political Economy pp.102-134;Alan Blinder, After the Music Stopped:the Financial Crisis, the Response and the work Ahead; Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality; Free Fall; Paul Krugman, End this Depression Now; Harold Chorney website , Revisiting deficit hysteria Labour Le Travail, 2004.

7. The Bank of Canada, monetary, exchange rate and trade policy. Seccareccia & Bougrine, pp 33-49, 149-239., pp.243- 340. Michael Hart, A Trading Nation:Canadian Trade Policy from Colonization to Globalization

8. Natural resources and environmental policy, Herman Daly, The Economics of sustainable development; Centre for the Advancement of the steady state Economy; E.J. Mishan, The Costs of Economic Growth; http://www.technologyreview.com/news/533981/low-oil-prices-mean-keystone-pipeline-makes-no-sense/ MIT Technology Review.

9. Health care policy and Federal transfers. Colleen Fuller, Caring for Profit.

10. Foreign policy and defense. Andrew Cohen, While Canada Slept.How We lost our Place in the World, Mclleland&Stewart, Lloyd Axworthy, Navigating a New World.

11. Immigration and Demographic policy readings t.b.a.

12. Social policy and the problem of poverty and inequality. Thomas Piketty, Capital in the twenty-first century. Seccareccia&Bougrine, pp.329-358.

13. Urban policy making:Managing Canadian metropolises.Intergovernmental relations. Readings: Alan Cairns,The governments and societies of Canadian Federalism, Canadian Journal of Political science 4(1977), 695-725 (EJ) ; David Cameron& Richard Simeon, intergovernmental Relations in Canada:The emergence of collaborative Federalism, Publius, The journal of Federalism 32(2002),49-71. (EJ) and further reading tba.

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Poli 349 course outline 2015 winter term

Poli 349:Political and social theory and the city Course outline winter 2015
.Professor Harold Chorney

Posted on January 7, 2015

This course focuses on the rise of the metropolis and its links to economic and technical change that underlay the beginnings of nineteenth and twentieth century industrial capitalism. The city has always played a central role in both conservative and radical social theory.The search for community and the overcoming of alienation and loneliness is at the heart of considerable social theory. The rise of mass society and its displacement of class society is also a central theme in much post modern literature and has a useful role to play in explaining the cultural and communicative nature of society in an increasingly globalized high tech world.

We explore these themes by carefully examining the work of a number of writers from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty first centuries.

The grade will be based upon a term essay due in class in the first week of March 50 % and a final test at the end of term.There is also an option to submit and present an artistic work which focuses on some aspect of the urban for a value of 20 % .In this case the essay will be worth 30 % and the final 50 %.

Texts: Harold Chorney, City of Dreams: Social Theory and the Urban Experience, Nelson Canada 1990. Lawrence Cahoone, editor From Modernism to Post Modernism.Blackwell publishing 2003.Selected chapters.

Lecture topics:

1. Introduction and overview: the rise of cities and the search for community. Post modernism versus modernism.From Descartes to Derrida.

2. Alienation, class consciousness and urbanization: the work of Marx and Engels and Marx’s Hegelian roots.

3. Gemeinschaft versus Gesellschaft :the work of Ferdinand Toennies

4.Georg Simmel: the Metropolis and Mental Life.

5.Urbanization and anomie and the conscience collective: the work of Emile Durkheim .

6.Max Weber: Modernism and Disenchantment. The economy of cities.

7.The Chicago School , mass society and American mainstream urban sociology. The early roots of post modernism.

8. Georg Lukacs and the theory of reification.

9. Walter Benjamin and the Theory of Technical Reproduction.Benjamin and Baudelaire.

10. The Frankfurt School and the dialectic of enlightenment.Horkheimer and Adorno.

11. The phenomenology of the Urban:From social theory to public policy. Jacques Derrida, Merleau Ponty,Jean Paul Sartre, Hal Foster, Richard Rorty, Michel Foucault, Max Weber, Jurgen Habermas and Jean Baudrillard.

12. Toward a critical theory of urban policy and politics in the global metropolis.

Essay assignment:Write a 10-12 page essay on one of the following topics.Be sure that your essay is free of grammatical errors and has a bibliography and is properly footnoted . Use a manual of style like the University of Chicago or Harvard Manual in guiding your notes or footnotes and bibliography.

Essay topics: (Still under revision)

1.Explore modernism and post modernism as philosophical concepts and cultural movements. How are they usable in building a theory of social change in cities. Why is Marx a modernist and Benjamin more of a post modernist ?

2. Explore the work of Walter Benjamin in depth. How is it that he transcends political analysis and enters the realm of art and literature.

3. Select two writers in City of Dreams other than Benjamin and Marx and explore and compare their work.

4. Explain and analyze global metropolises . How does the phenomenology approach aid us in our understanding of a global metropolis ?

5. Use some of the theoretical perspectives developed in City of Dreams to analyze Montreal city politics in recent years.

6. Do an in depth analysis of the work of Jacques Derrida. Explain how it is the outgrowth of his rejection of Sartre’s conception of modernity.

7. How has modern technology facilitated the growth of community? Can the kind of community which this social media driven community has created be considered comparable to the community which writers like Toennies , Durkheim and Marx were searching for.

8. Explore the economic, philosophical and sociological aspects of Marx and Engels’ analysis of cities and capitalism. What if anything in their analysis is still relevant in the the 21st century.

Class notes:

A:Useful in conjunction with the lectures on Marx and the metropolis

1. The falling rate of profit. Major financial crises like the one we have just experienced and the tensions surrounding globalization raise fascinating questions about the structural problems of modern capitalism. In the nineteenth century and for much of the twentieth century many economists debated this question. Keynes was convinced that there was little value in returning to any debate that was wedded to the anachronistic labour theory of value. Instead, he approached the issue of crisis from the point of view of less than full employment aggregate demand and the failure of the classical labour market clearing mechanism to operate consistently to deliver full employment. The labour theory of value that originated in the work of David Ricardo and was built upon by Marx to develop his theory of crisis that was rooted in the tendency of the rate of profit to fall over time because of a tendency to increase the organic composition of capital, that is the ratio of embodied technology, physical plant and raw material that was a key ingredient in the production process. These increases were motivated by the entrepreneurial and corporate desire to increase labour productivity.If the productivity gains are large enough they can reverse the tendency for the profit rate to fall. This was the argument of Bortkiewicz .In a funny sort of way it is also the argument of those who argue that high end technological innovation will rescue the first world from the global outsourcing that is going on whereby production is being shifted from North America and West Europe to countries like China, India and Asia generally. The unresolved problem still remains that high end technology does not appear so far to generate enough jobs quickly enough to replace all those that are being lost due to outsourcing. In addition there is the very real problem of ensuring enough global effective aggregate demand to purchase all of the high end output generated by these high tech centres of activity. Keynes dismissed the labour theory of value as out of date controversializing, but members of his circle like Michal Kalecki were less certain. Even Keynes chose to use an hour’s employment of ordinary labour and the remuneration it received as his numeraire in the General Theory.(see ch.4 GT) Bortkiewicz and Bohm Bawerk in their work raised effective critiques of Marx’s doctrine, according to Sweezy, although Sweezy remained much more convinced that Bortkiewicz was closer to the truth than was Bohm Bawerk.( Bohm Bawerk, Karl Marx and the Close of his System, P.Sweezy editor, London , 1948; L.Bortkiewicz, “Value and price in the Marxian system” translated from “Archiv fur Socialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, ertrechnung und Preisrechnung in Marxschen System” Bd.xxlllHeft 1, 1906, International economic papers no.2.) Bortkiewicz argues that Marx was guilty of methodological inconsistencies and neglected the mathematical relation between the productivity of labour, dependent upon the organic composition of capital and the rate of surplus value.The rise in productivity may be such as to totally reverse any tendency for the rate of profit to fall. Roman Rosdolsky attempts not completely successfully to refute both Sweezy and Bortkiewicz and Keynes’s colleague, Cambridge economist Joan Robinson in their critique of the falling rate of profit in his work the Making of Marx’s Capital, (London, Pluto Press, 1980, pp.398-411). Meghnad Desai in Marxian Economic Theory, ( London, Gray Mills publishing , 1974) has pointed out that Michio Morishima (whose class I regularly attended at the L.S.E.) believed that it would be better to abandon the labour theory of value because of the very difficult technical complications requiring complex mathematics to resolve in order to transform values into prices.(See also Desai’s work Marx’s Revenge:The resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of statist socialism, London:Verso books 2004) Morishima wrote ” We conclude by suggesting to Marxian economists that they ought radically to change their attitude towards the labour theory of value. If it has to determine the amounts of labour which the techniques of production actually adopted in a capitalist economy require, directly and indirectly , in order to produce commodities, it is not a satisfactory theory at all.” M.Morishima, Marx’s economics, Cambridge University press, 1973 p.193. Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy attempted to do precisely that in their classic Monopoly Capital wherein they substituted the tendency for the surplus to rise and the problem of surplus absorption for the falling rate of profit.Piero Sraffa’s classic work The Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities:Prelude to a Critique of Economic Theory, 1960, Cambridge University press, demonstrates a workable mathematical method for assessing dated labour in terms of its contribution to the value and price of a commodity which makes a very key contribution to this debate. Sraffa demonstrates convincingly how prices and values vary with variations in the rate of profit. Sraffa was a friend and colleague of Keynes who Keynes had helped rescue from fascist Italy before the Second World War by helping him secure a position at Cambridge. Sweezy in his classic Theory of Capitalist Development reduces the falling rate of profit to the following striking formulation; p=s'(1-q) where p is the rate of profit and q the organic composition of capital i.e. c/c+v (Marx in Capital vol 2 defines it as c/v rather than as Sweezy defines it c/c+v )p.625 chapter 23, vol.2 Dutton, Everyman’s library edition, London&N.Y. translated by Eden and Cedar Paul, introduction by G.D.H. Cole. &vol.3 p.214 ch xlll, progress edition, 1966.) He arrives at this as follows. p= s/c+v = sv/v(c+v) = sc+sv -sc/v(c+v) = s(c+v)/v(c+v) – sc/v(c+v) = s/v – s/v times c/c+v =s/v(1-c/c+v) where c/c+v is the organic composition of capital, s/v =s’ the rate of surplus value and q is the organic composition of capital so p (the rate of profit) =s'(1-q) so that the greater is q the lower is the rate of profit.

(p.68)) We won’t be pursuing this controvery further in the course but those who wish to read further about it consult the works cited above and also look at Ronald Meek, Studies in the Labour theory of Value, Jesse Schwartz, The Subtle Anatomy of Capitalism and M.Desai, Marx’s Revenge as well as Paul Mattick, Marx and Keynes. Desai who is a former teacher of mine who may now want to revise his assessment about the success of globalization in the light of recent events has an interesting chapter on Marx, Hayek and Keynes.You might also want to look at my conference paper which I presented to the association for heterodox economics in London in 2001 which is part of The Deficit Papers, The Theory of the Business cycle in Keynes, Hayek and Schumpter:What do we know in the Age of globalization ? David Harvey, Limits to Capital, Verso 2006 is also very accessible and useful in integrating spatial and urban issues from a radical geography perspective.

Perspectivism:One of you brought up this approach which is identified with Nietzsche’s view of the relativity of belief according to the perspective of the individual , as opposed to the objective circumstances of reality. You are right , of course, to suggest a close affinity between the views of the post moderns, relativism and those of Nietzsche. However, in City of Dreams I drew not upon Nietzsche but rather upon the phenomenology of Husserl, Merleau Ponty, Schutz, Mead and Berger and Luckmann among others, as well as my own observations about the metropolis and the work of Benjamin.Clearly the approaches are related.

Jurgen Habermas: for those interested in exploring the work of Jurgen Habermas and the culture of communications in more detail you can start by checking out the references in footnote 34 on pp.52-53. see also Harold Innis’s Bias of Communications. See also, Jurgen Habermas’s prolific writing for example: Knowledge and Human Interests; Toward a Rational Society;Legitimation Crisis(available on the internet)The Theory of Communicative Action; also Thomas McCarthy, The Critical Theory of Jurgen Habermas.

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Course outline: Poli 489:The political economy of inequality(under construction)

Poli 489 Course outline
Professor Harold Chorney
Wed. MB-S2.465

The real estate bubble and the crash of 2007 -09 uncovered serious strains in the economic and social fabric of global capitalism. The recovery from what turned out to be the most serious recession since the great depression of the 1930s has been slower than hoped for and very uneven. In North America largely because the Fed reinforced the Keynesian fiscal stimulus with significant quantitative easing thereby ensuring appropriately low interest rates, the performance of the recovery has been more solid than in Europe where the European central bank and the European Union have both retarded the recovery by refusing to use quantitative easing and stressing fiscal austerity rather than Keynesian policies. As a consequence European unemployment is still very high in a number of countries and Europe appears to be teetering on the edge of deflation and stagnation. But in addition to these negative features of the recovery, the crash and slow recovery laid bare the terrible and widening gap in socio-economic inequality as well as growing poverty in many countries. This course will focus on the issue of inequality and equity in a number of leading global economies in an effort to document the problem, analyse emerging trends and evaluate policy proposals and programs designed to counter it.

Texts: Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st century , 2014 The Belknap press of Harvard University, 2014 also available in the original French edition Le capital au XXIe siècle editions du Seuil.
Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of inequality, Norton, 2013.

Additional readings:
Joeseph Stiglitz interview with Lynn Parramore in Salon magazine.
http://www.salon.com/…/joseph_stiglitz_thomas_piketty_gets_income_inequality_ wrong_partner/‎
Meghnad Desai, Marx’s Revenge:The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism, Verso. 2004.
Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, anchor books, NYC, 1999.,
Ethan Kapstein, Sharing the Wealth,W.W. Norton, 1999.
Frank Stilwell, Political Economy:the Contest of Economic ideas, Oxford University Press, 2012.
John Kenneth Galbraith, The Economics of Innocent Fraud,Houghton Miflin,Boston&NYC, 2004
Helen Sasson, Between Friends, Perspectives on John Kenneth Galbraith Essays by Derek Bok, Carlos Fuentes, Peter Galbraith et al, Houghton Miflin , 1999.
James Galbraith, Created Unequal:The Crisis in American Pay,Twentieth Century fund, The Free Press,Simon&Schuster, 1999.
Samuel Hollander,Classical Economics,University of Toronto Press, 1992.
Alvin Finkel, Our Lives:Canada after 1945, James Lorimer&Company, 1997.
Robert Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers,Simon%Schuster, NYC, revised edition 1965.
Between Capitalism and Socialism:Essays in Political economics, Vintage,Random House, 1970
Robert Lekachman, Greed is Not Enough, Pantheon, NYC, 1982.
John Porter, The Vertical Mosaic, University of Toronto Press
Wallace Clement The Canadian Corporate Elite
A.A. Hunter, Class Tells:On social Inequality in Canada, 1986
David Harvey, Limits to Capital,Verso, 2006.
Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class,Macmillan, 1912,Mentor edition 1953.
C.W. Mills, Power,politics and People
Steve Keen, Debunking Economics, Zed books, U.K.2001,London&NYC.
H.Bougrine & Mario Seccareccia eds. Introducing Macroeconomic analysis,Edmund Montgomery, Toronto, 2010.
Adam Harmes, The Return of the State, Protestors, Power Brokers and the New Global Compromise, Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver&Toronto, 2004.
Tony Cutler, Karel Williams&John Williams, Keynes, Beveridge and beyond, Routledge&Kegan Paul,London&NYC, 1986.

Students will be asked to consult the quality and financial press including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, the Guardianthe New York Times and the Globe and Mail , Le Monde ,Le figaro, Liberation various issues and weekly during the course for relevant articles to the discussion.

Each student will required to present a topic in class in combination with one other student 15 % and make available a short 2-3 page synopsis of the presentation to all students and to me. Complete a term essay 40 % and write a final test 40 %.

Course weekly topics:

1.Introduction and overview:

2.The ethical basis of Democracy and markets :Flaws at inception.R.H.Tawney and the Acquisitive society.C.B. Macpherson, Hobbes, Locke, Bentham and Mill, Arrow&Debreau.

3. Keynes, full employment and the Beveridge Welfare state.the neo-conservative epoch and the return of inequality.

4.The crash and the sudden growth of inequality as an issue.

5. From Veblen to Keynes to C.W.Mills to J.K.&James Galbraith

6. Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz

7. Piketty and Stiglitz continued

8. Piketty and Stiglitz continued

9. The Canadian case an exception? Innis, Porter, Clement, Hunter, Macionis&Gerber to the present.

10. Marx, Ricardo,Malthus Keynes and the distribution question in age of globalization

11. Distribution and development :Amartya Sen

12. Distribution and the environment, carbon taxes, stable states, guaranteed annual incomes, GDP and trade issues.

13. Review and conclusion.

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Greek parliament fails to elect President:New national elections called for January 25, anti-austerity Syriza likely winner

Events are moving closer to a major policy change for the better in Greece. The Greek parliament failed to vote in large enough numbers for the proposed candidate for President Stavros Dimas. He required 180 votes but received only 168 votes . In the elections that are now required under the constitution a new parliament will be elected at the end of January. Syriza led by Alex Tsipras is ahead in the polls and is likely if the polls are borne out on election day to be elected as the new Greek government. It is resolutely opposed to continuing the austerity policies which have wrecked the Greek economy and caused widespread misery.It wishes to renegotiate the terms of the EU bailout and loan program . Whether it will succeed in doing so is another matter. But it will place the issue of ending austerity clearly on the table and thereby affect European economic policy and politics.

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