Saturday, January 06, 2018

Progresssive Internationalism

Chrystia Freeland has returned to her first profession. Susan Delacourt writes:

In The Economist’s special New Year’s issue, “The World in 2018,” Freeland has penned an article about how Canada plans to battle global trends toward nationalism and protectionism.
She calls it “progressive internationalism” and describes how Canada will be pursuing this idea in 2018 on two tracks: internationally, in the realms of human rights, immigration and freer trade; and domestically, with fairer taxation and improved labour standards here in Canada.
The two tracks work together, Freeland says. Canadians won’t support immigration, rights and trade if they feel they’re paying an unfair price at home.
“Progressive trade is not a feint or a frill,” she writes. “It is fundamental to the furtherance of a trading system that will enjoy popular support.”

At the moment, some of that policy is being implemented in Ontario:

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is also in the midst of a large-scale effort to battle economic inequality, as she described it to Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn in a recent, year-end interview.
“I have a deep belief that we don’t play on a level field, and so what can I do to level that playing field?” Wynne said in the interview. “It’s our job as human beings to find ways to help each other, and so that for me is at the root of what government is about. We come together, and we decide as a society how we are going to support each other.”
There is a big temptation, an understandable one if you read the polls, to see these next few months in Ontario as the prelude to Wynne’s departure and the end of the Liberals’ 15-year hold on power in the province.

The first battle is all about the $14  -- soon to be  $15 -- minimum wage, with Tim Horton's leading the resistance.

Will progressive internationalism take hold? Stay tuned.

Image: The Toronto Star


Lorne said...

When it comes to fairer taxation, Owen, I will believe it when I see it.

Owen Gray said...

There has been a wide gap between the government's rhetoric and its performace, Lorne. It would be wise to adopt a wait and see policy.

The Mound of Sound said...

I expect you're aware that Seattle instituted a city-wide minimum wage. I believe it mandated $15 per hour. The business community reacted as Toronto's has. The sky would fall down. Society as we knew it would fail. Only that didn't happen. Seattle is booming. The minimum wage hike did nothing to harm the economy. On the other hand it put a little extra money in the pockets of low wage earners, money that was immediately returned to the economy. Low wage earners don't horde cash.

These same complainers now advocate that Canada match America's new corporate tax cuts, tax savings for the rich. Legendary American humourist Will Rogers put it this way: "The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover was an engineer. He knew that water trickled down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will reach the dryest little spot. But he didnt know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands."

Owen Gray said...

Rogers knew that money has to circulate, Mound. Give it to the rich and they'll bank it. Give it to the poor and they'll spend it.

Steve said...

Its barely on topic but still worth looking at. The earth after an 80 meter sealevel rise.

Owen Gray said...

Climate hange is the most pressing reason we need an internationally progressive agenda, Steve.