With guest Jim Stanford, Research Director, CAWCanada, Phd in Economics from the New School for
Social Research, Author of author of Paper Boom and Economics for Everyone
PUSHING FOR POLITICAL & POLICY CHANGE : INDUSTRIAL POLICY TO CREATE MORE & BETTER JOBS
What are staples?
• Natural resourcebased products.
• Production for export.
• Exported in unprocessed or barelyprocessed form.
• Sold to more advanced trading partners, in return for manufactured inputs.
• Examples: fish, fur, timber, wheat, minerals, forestry products, energy, bitumen.
What’s wrong with staples?
• Volatile prices.
• Resources eventually run out.
• Loss of valueadded jobs (which now are located abroad).
• Very heavy capital & infrastructure needs.
• Disproportionate reliance on foreign capital.
• Disproportionate political influence.
• Severe environmental costs.
• A business invests in huge infrastructure for staples export.
• Centralized, influential corporations.
• Companies must get investments back.
• Urge to extract more resource, more quickly.
• Other industries are ignored.
o As is the broader economy’s general innovative capacity.
• Cumulative causation: staples beget staples
The environmental dimension
• We must become more aware of economy’s impact on the environment.
• Staples production (resource extraction) has severe environmental impacts:
o Localized damage
o Resource depletion
o Emissions / climate change
o Far more polluting form of fossil fuel
o Accounts for over 100% of Cana