The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “economic reform

A Populist With Punch

Posted on January 7, 2015

SOMEHOW THE COUNSEL OF THOMAS JEFFERSON doesn’t seem too dated anymore: “The end of democracy and the defeat of the American revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed interest.” It’s an insight Elizabeth Warren would readily adhere to over two centuries later. And who can blame her, given the troubling rise of Wall Street again. The crippling economic crisis of only a few years ago, largely precipitated by Wall Street’s incompetence, was supposedly a wake up call to all of us. Those initial attempts at regulation to keep it from happening again have been the object of numerous complaints from financial executives who claim that such constraints only serve to keep the economy from effectively recovering. For financial institutions,…

No Need For Persuasion

Posted on January 6, 2015

JUST WHEN YOU THINK NATIONAL POLITICS appears firmly cemented into the realm of hyper-partisan and unimaginative policies comes along a candidate who causes us to think different. Sometimes the effect of such a presence is profound, as I discovered over the holidays reading U. S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s gritty, A Fighting Chance. The New York Times describes the book as, “a potent mix of memoir and policy,” as indeed it is. Her presence in the political dimension is energizing enough to spend more than one post on her influence. She’s rapidly becoming the most captivating political personality in years. Yes, Warren is a Democrat, and, yes, she comes from the progressive spectrum. But she is best described as a populist, as seen in the massive movement of middle-class…

The New Star of Bethlehem

Posted on December 11, 2011

We forget that one of the key characteristics shared by all great faiths was that they were marginalized in their origins. Their appearance in their unique geographical confines most often represented an overestimated threat to the holders of power. The reasons why the great religions survived is because they were calling for refinements of the soul as the primary mechanism for societal change. Jesus Christ came from a long line of prophets – a string that lasted for hundreds of years. When he finally arrived on the scene with his gospel of humility and self-sacrifice, about the kingdom of God being somewhere “within,” he hardly appeared as any true threat to the established powerbrokers. But as with Muhammad or Buddha, there was a remarkable…

Reform versus Retrenchment

Posted on October 5, 2011

Just suppose we’ve got the mechanics of economic recovery wrong. Other nations, realizing that a double-dip recession is now a clear possibility, are ramping up stimulus spending in an effort to keep their economies from falling through the floor. According to Jim Flaherty, our finance minister, Canada won’t be heading down that road. Instead we’ll tighten our belts – the same language he used when he was finance minister under Mike Harris. Who’s right? Could they all be wrong? One more question: why have we treated this last serious recession as a one-off, a sad downturn that will surely pass? I think it’s far more likely that our present financial predicament is merely the greatest in a line of economic declines. They are connected,…