Public enterprise and economics

Whether dealing with crown corporations, the public sector, the role of markets, or anything else in the world of economics and business, these commentaries depart from the conformist fare typically found in the business pages of one’s daily newspaper. They debunk, for example, the right-wing mantra, reinforced by most so-called “business commentators,” that crown corporations should be sold off simply because they are crown-owned. The collection contains two items of particular note. “A rigged conference,” June 1987, led to the writing of the book-length treatment of the subject, The Privatization Putsch. “Ailing, failing, up in the air,” about air transport, written in a white heat in 1992, is notable for its style - a contrarian delight. And there’s much more on how the conventional wisdom on many things approaches absurdity.

(For a history of the dynamic role that public enterprise has played in Canada, see A Nation Unaware. For a book-length critique of the privatization movement and also a rare insight into the nature of enterprise and economic development (the chapter on “community-centred enterprise”), see The Privatization Putsch. For an exposé of waste and folly in the private sector and the corporate scene’s more colourful and outrageous indulgences, see The New Bureaucracy.)

"Financial 2008 meltdown foreseen in a prophetic 1991 book," The CCPA Monitor, July/August 2009.

"Why politicians' pay zooms: We let corporate executives set the bar crazily high," The, July 26, 2007.

Stock markets aren’t all that important,” CBC Radio 1, Commentary, July 2002.

"Corporate ideologues undermine local economy," Georgia Straight, July 2002.

The upside-down world of Ralph Klein, Gordon Campbell, et al.,” CBC Radio 1, Commentary, January 30, 2002.

"Using Crown Corporations to Greater Economic and Social Advantage," in Policy Alternative for the BC economy (Proceedings of a CCPA-BC Workshop on the Future of the BC Economy), Vancouver: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, May l999.

"Why welfare-state skeptics merit Canadians' skepticism," Vancouver Sun, January 31, 1998.

"Ailing, failing, up in the air" (on the mess in Canadian air transport), Vancouver Sun and other papers (Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette) November 25 (and subsequent), 1992.

"Air Canada is a crucial competitor," Toronto Star, June 6,1988.

A review of Uneasy Lies the Head: The Truth About Canada's Crown Corporations, by Walter Stewart, Canadian Public Administration, 1988.

"Public vs. Private" (on privatization of public enterprises), The Facts, 10:3 (Fall 1988) .

"Privatization of Corporations in Canada, in Britain, and in Europe," The Provincial, December 1987.

"Air Fears" (on airline deregulation), The Facts, Vol. 9 No. 1. January-February 1987;

"Phoney Business" (on telephone deregulation), The Facts, Vol. 9 No. 3, May-June 1987;

"A rigged conference: privatization fans simplify their cure," Vancouver Sun, June 24, 1987.

"Economics and Man," Ideas lectures, CBC radio, series of two, unpublished, circa 1975.

"The Crown Corporation as Entrepreneur," in Incentives, Location and Regional Development, Manitoba Economic Development Advisory Board, Winnipeg, 1975.

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