This week’s podcast focuses on two numbers, one million and fourteen, that draw out some interesting links between economics and politics in Ontario and beyond.
One million is the number of jobs that Tim Hudak has promised to create in Ontario if elected next week. This one million claim has been laughed out of the park by a consensus of economists. My first interview is with Toby Sanger, economist at the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Toby explains the faulty math and points to how it fits into an agenda centered on a variety of extreme economic measures.
The second number, fourteen, is the minimum wage being proposed by grassroots organizations in Ontario in their “Fair Wages Now!” campaign. I speak with Deena Ladd, director of the Worker’s Action Centre in Toronto about this grassroots campaign for a $14 minimum wage and how it fits into broader anti-poverty strategies. This item has been missing from the election-time political agenda. In many ways, the focus on one million over fourteen is a focus on job quantity over job quality and says something about the limited scope of economic policy debate not only in Ontario but beyond. Both Deena and Toby identify grassroots worries about just work and thirst for alternatives that are either mangled or left out of the political process entirely.