The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “economies

Trade of Another Kind

Posted on October 2, 2018

One could almost hear the collective sigh of relief when news emerged yesterday of a tentative NAFTA deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.  Technically, Donald Trump wants it renamed to the “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – or USMC.”   Credit must be given to the negotiators from all three nations who were at it for a year despite obvious hurdles. While citizens, pundits, economists and journalists work diligently to dissect the deal, it is essential to keep in mind that it is taking place in a larger global trading arena that’s in the early stages of transformation.  While the American president seeks to fundamentally alter the world’s trade balance in his favour, other economic players are increasingly cooperating in a fashion that seeks to circumvent…

Revolution or Evolution: The Only Two Choices Left

Posted on September 11, 2018

We have reached the stage where we actually have no idea of what is going to happen.  Here’s a list of questions to get us in the mood for a more serious kind of discussion.  Some are cheeky, but they need to be asked regardless. Is free trade ever going to be as great as past leaders and economists told us it would be? Will the Trump Doctrine, or lack of it, blow up the rest of the world? Can Canada keep its delicate federalism in place when the inevitable threats of separation arise? Will good paying jobs ever come back? Do the terms “post-democracy” or “post-capitalist” mean that both of those systems are about to be relegated to the history books? Are citizens…

A Neat Symbol of Ingestion

Posted on February 27, 2018

The contrast was stark – and telling. En route back to Canada following a trip to South Sudan, our team was on a layover at Frankfurt. Eager for news – any news – I purchased a Time magazine, poring over its pages to see if anything significant had transpired while we were disconnected from the broader world. And there they were, two adjacent stories which together spelled out so much of what is going wrong and right with the modern world. Molly Ball’s compelling narrative concerning President Trump’s visit to Davos for the annual Global Economic Forum revealed just how much has changed in the past year. Most present had grown more at ease regarding Trump’s influence. One year ago, they were collectively on…

Round Economies, Square Nations

Posted on June 11, 2013

Call it economic determinism, if you like – or even economic inevitability.  Either way, Canadians feel as if they are mere passengers on some kind of runaway financial train.  To make us even more anxious is this sense that we’re just like other nations whose financial future seems to be caught up in some kind of maelstrom, making it impossible to tackle significant issues like unemployment or climate change. All that being said, it is important to remember that Canada and its highly innovative communities never developed quite like any other nation. From the very beginning we were ancillary dreams for someone else’s design – British, French, American.  But our early founders knew that if we wanted to set our own independent path we…

Greasing the Skids

Posted on May 6, 2013

Innately, everyone comprehends that the days of cheap oil are over and that supplies have passed their prime.  Yet a large contingent of governments, instead of implementing sustainable policies to slowly maneuver their economies in accordance with that reality, continue to pursue growth in ways that refuse to take the decline of oil into account. In the 1980s, China used up a modest two million barrels of oil each day; currently that consumption stands at nine million – every day.  That seemed okay in an era where oil seemed boundless and all industrialized nations had geared up their national economies to reap the dividends.  No more.  With the end of cheap oil comes the era of shrinking economies and hard choices. According to the…

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