The Globe and Mail – the Canadian media’s strongest supporter of neoliberalism and uncontrolled capitalism – published a news story today that questions whether the economists, business owners and governments that dictate the economic policies of Western society might have it all wrong.
Barrie McKenna’s article, “Time for a rethink of modern economics”, in today’s paper, quotes a research paper by two Canadian economists who have identified a series of anomalies that, as they say, “call into question the basic understanding of economics that underpins policy formulation today.”
Even though it’s only one story, this is a remarkable development. The Globe, as well as other mainstream corporate media, has unwaveringly endorsed supply-side economic policies during most of the past 30 turbulent and destructive years.
The research paper, written by economists Dan Ciuriak and John Curtis, says that three decades of supply-side policies have produced the same economic problems they were supposed to fix, including stagnant growth, high unemployment, deflationary pressures and piles of public sector debt.
While the paper was published April 1, The Globe reported on it only this week as the Western world’s economic model appears to be self-destructing.
As many as four European countries are on verge of collapse. In Greece, some people who lived a normal life a year ago are eating from garbage cans. In many countries, the rich and corporations pay less in taxes than an office secretary. In the United States, there is not enough money to run the country and the economy is collapsing because the rich won’t pay taxes.
McKenna’s Globe article does not say that the Harper government is also guilty of using supply-side economics. The corporate-dominated Harper government has given billions in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy on the pretext that jobs will be created. This has given the Conservatives the opportunity to slash government services that Canadians need. Soon they will be officially saying we can’t afford universal healthcare.
Supply-side economics was denounced by progressive economists when they were adopted by U.S. President Ronald Regan in the 1970s. Dozens of books and hundreds and hundreds of articles have been published documenting the damage caused by supply-side economics, but few of these articles have ever made it into mainstream media. This 1984 article from TIME magazine discusses how supply-side economics contribute to poverty.
Meanwhile, small but apparently determined protests are taking place or are planned for Europe, the United States and Canada.
While the European unrest over government cuts and the loss of jobs is seldom reported in Canada, protests are occurring in at least nine countries.
Protests in at least eight communities are now planned for across Canada. Again, another business publication: International Business Times.
The corporate-owned media, particularly the business media, are now paying attention. Could it be that the “Barons of Wall Street” and the “Captains of Industry” are getting nervous?
Nick Fillmore, previously an investigate journalist and producer with the CBC, is a freelance journalist and social activist based in Toronto.
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