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Canada’s Rising Dollar: The Hidden Cost

The Canadian dollar is now on par with the American dollar for the first time in over 30 years. Judging from the media, it would seem like every Canadian has somehow magically become richer overnight and it is now time to do some big spending. But before you start throwing around your strong Canadian currency, take some time to ponder about how the strengthening of the dollar is really affecting things.

Marx was Right! Statistics show that the harder you work, the less you get.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives recently released a study showing irrefutably that real wages for Canadian workers, which take inflation into account, have been frozen since the late 1970's. However, over that same time the economy has grown by 72% and Canadian workers have been working harder and smarter and have managed to raise productivity by 51%. These statistics show that the harder Canadian workers work, the less they get, just as Marx predicted.

The AIDS Pandemic: A crisis that capitalism is unable to solve

Far from being a “gay man’s” disease, HIV/AIDS now infects 40 million people around the world, 45% of them women and 6% children.  The list of regions and populations most affected by AIDS reads like a list of the poorest and most disadvantaged populations.  How will we do away with HIV and AIDS? This is not an easy question, and there are no easy answers. These days, the pharmaceuticals are far more interested in treating profitable “diseases”.

Capitalism and the Environment

Global warming – the ‘population time bomb’ – nuclear energy – pollution – environmental issues are always in the news. There is even a party – the Green Party – that claims to put the environment at the centre of its concerns. The Green Party claims to be neither right wing nor left wing as, they say, environmental issues transcend the traditional issues of class and the division between rich and poor that define conventional political discussions and divisions.

It's good to be a capitalist -- or is it?

An astonishing article appeared in the Financial Times on Saturday 29th July. Written by Philip Coggan, a senior staff writer on the newspaper, it opened with brutal honesty by saying "it has been a great time to be a capitalist. All around the world, profits have been rising as a percentage of GDP". The author goes on to give examples showing how in Europe, the United States, and also now in Japan, profits are at record levels.

USA: The Statistics That Shock

Capitalism cannot provide a decent living to everyone, but as long as it guarantees significant layers of the population a reasonable standard of living it can maintain a degree of social stability. Recent figures on the situation in the USA show that “middle America” is beginning to feel the pinch, a phenomenon which indicates that social turmoil will soon be on the agenda.

49% of Canadians Support Nationalizing Oil Industry

In the last five years, gas prices in Canada have soared from about 65-cents per litre to over $1.10. This price hike hits the working class hardest. While the right wing are trying to blame taxes for the increase, the majority of Canadians see that corporate super-profits are the real culprit. In a recent poll, 49% of Canadians (and 67% of Quebecers) support nationalizing the oil industry. As Marxists have contended, support for radical policies is far higher than generally realized. This issue could mobilize millions given the correct lead. (by Alex Grant)

China – "Socialist market economy" or just plain capitalism?

Since the era of Deng Xiaoping China has been moving ever closer to capitalism. What started as an attempt to use market criteria to push forward economic growth within the context of an economy still dominated by the public sector, took on a momentum of its own. Now we have capitalist relations dominating. (by Michelle Fabbri)

Rate of Profit and Capitalist Crisis

In reviewing Robert Brenner's theories, Mick Brooks looks at the causes of capitalist crisis and delves into such questions as the tendency for the rate of profit to fall and overproduction. This article is to be considered as a contribution to the debate among Marxists on the causes of capitalist crisis. (By Mick Brooks)

Marxism and the theory of "Long Waves"

In the recent period the theories of Kondratiev have enjoyed new popularity with bourgeois economists and some people who consider themselves Marxists. It is one of those ironies of which history is so rich that Kondratiev's ideas are being used by bourgeois economists to justify the idea that the capitalist system can go on indefinitely in a never-ending series of "long waves" in which long periods of downswing are automatically followed by long periods of upswing and vice versa. It is rather like an economic version of the "perpetual motion machine" which people have endeavoured to discover for centuries, but which so far has not been found anywhere under the sun. (by Alan Woods)
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