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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Jul 9, 2020

Today’s guest is Dr. Jim Stanford, Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work and author of Economics for Everyone. We kick things off with Jim hearing his perspectives on what makes this recession unprecedented before he argues that a traditional approach to macroeconomic policy won’t be enough to augment more than a crippled and unstable recovery. This situation might hold a silver lining though and Jim sketches out the opportunity it provides for rethinking employment ethics. After weighing in on why the deficits caused by a much-needed post-war style economic reconstruction might not such a bad thing, Jim does an amazing job of explaining the connections and differences between quantitative easing and government deficit. On this topic, he talks about why fears around credit creation are centered on an outdated concept of banking, and the potential quantitative easing has for facilitating investment and economic activity in this recession rather than buying corporate assets in the secondary market. From there, we talk about wealth distribution, the inevitability of an economic system that supersedes capitalism, and the concept of the political economy. Jim gets into how issues about history, norms, culture, and power – things that don't show up in your usual supply and demand graphs – are actually crucial inputs for understanding the economy and understanding economics. Don’t miss this incredible conversation about ethics and capitalism with today’s guest.


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing Jim Stanford and his work on economics and quantitative easing. [0:00:05.3]
  • What makes this recession unprecedented; the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ recovery. [0:03:16.2]
  • How many of the most vulnerable groups are experiencing more job losses. 0:06:27.3]
  • Challenges of remote work and implications that only 25-30% of jobs can be done remotely. [0:09:32.3]
  • Impacts of social distancing on the economy, a socially constructed phenomenon. [0:12:07.7]
  • Avoiding the Loch Ness recovery by implementing a post-war style recovery plan. [0:14:53.3]
  • The silver lining of this crisis: putting an end to inhumane work arrangements. [0:18:38.4]
  • Why large deficits that could come with a reconstruction might not be a problem. [0:21:02.0]
  • Connections and differences between quantitative easing and government deficit. [0:24:30.3]
  • Dispelling fears of credit creation inflation; how banking actually works. [0:28:14.7]
  • The dangers of quantitative easing and how it can be better used in the recovery. [0:32:44.3]
  • Why GDP might not be the best measure of how well an economy is doing. [0:35:49.1]
  • Metrics that make skew wealth distribution seem less harsh than it is. [0:38:58.2]
  • The precariousness of the bank and mining-based Canadian economy. [0:41:49.9]
  • How Capitalism is not perpetual and examples of seeds of change. [0:46:17.3]
  • Why the capitalist economy is political and gross inequality contradicts it. [0:50:21.8]
  • Jim’s education, early activistic goals, and definition of success. [0:53:28.5]