Beyond the Bubble

Beyond the Bubble

Imagining a New Canadian Economy

By James Laxer



With the onset of the current economic crisis, one chapter in the economic history of the world is ending and a new one is beginning. What role will Canada play in this vastly altered world?

James Laxer examines the anatomy of the crash: the forces that have controlled the global system and the forces that have the capacity to usher in a new global system as the U.S.-centred age of globalization comes to an end. He explores what needs to be done to combat the crash in Canada, and poses the questions we all want to have answered. What comes next for the global economy, and what does this mean for Canada? Where will we fit in? Is an egalitarian economic future possible? What could an economics for humanity look like?

A reflective and useful treatise on where we go from here, Beyond the Bubble is a must-read by one of Canada’s best-known political commentators.

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James Laxer has warned for years about the dangers of Canada’s reliance on digging stuff out of the ground for foreign multinationals. He has been proven 100 per cent right by this latest and most spectacular economic crisis. His new book offers both penetrating critique and hopeful vision, and will be invaluable for Canadians struggling to build a better alternative.

– Jim Stanford, Economist, Canadian Auto Workers, and author of Economics for Everyone

Who better than Jim Laxer to provide a concise analysis of the conditions that pushed Canada-and the world-to the economic precipice? But more than simply documenting how we got to where we are, this book offers an impassioned and hopeful prescription for moving Beyond the Bubble and embracing a more egalitarian economic future.

– Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians

[James Laxer] offers many insightful and well-researched ideas for bringing real democracy and social equality to this country-not just for “imagining a new Canadian economy,” but for actually establishing it. It won’t be easy, he admits, but it can and must be done.

– The CCPA Monitor

A lucid and timely analysis of the causes, and implications for Canadians, of the economic crisis. It will help spark and shape popular debate on the contours of the new economy which we are challenged to build at home and at the global level to replace the discredited neo liberal model.

– Andrew Jackson, Chief Economist, Canadian Labour Congress

Both [of the main] arguments are presented in Laxer’s characteristically lively style and with a useful mix of historical analysis and political economy. Each is also provocative enough that it will generate considerable debate.

– Literary Review of Canada

With characteristic historical insight, clarity, and candour, James Laxer shows how Canada is at the crossroads between a new and old era of economic globalization…. A must read for Canadians concerned about the country’s economic, social, and environmental future.

– Tony Clarke, Director, Polaris Institute (Ottawa), and author of Tar Sands Showdown

This book offers solid evidence to refute the claims of those who insist that the current crisis is a temporary aberration in the economic cycle. It provides a powerful argument against those who are determined to put the system that caused the crisis back on track.

– Julie Guard, Associate Professor, Labour Studies, University of Manitoba, and editor of Bankruptcies and Bailouts

The myriad dog-ears that I left littered through Laxer’s book certainly speak to the great number of explanatory gems he’s produced, the almost constant moments of realization and recognition that attend his patient history of bubble economics … Laxer’s creativity and clear-headedness are worth dog-earing the hell out of [it].



Chapter 1 The Passing of a World Age
Part One Anatomy of the Crash
Chapter 2 Onset of the Crash
Chapter 3 The Life and Times of Speculative Bubbles
Chapter 4 The Housing Bubble
Chapter 5 The Perils of Deflation
Chapter 6 Income and Wealth Inequality: An Underlying Cause of the Crash
Chapter 7 American Debt and the Global Crisis
Chapter 8 The House the Neo-Liberals Built
Chapter 9 The Coming Global Economy
Part Two Imagining a New Canadian Economy
Chapter 10 Canada's Political Response to the Crash: An Exercise in Denial
Chapter 11 Staples, Oil Sands, and Other Resourceful Fantasies
Chapter 12 Trains, Planes, and Automobiles for Twenty-First-Century Canada
Chapter 13 A Progressive Economic Strategy for Canada
Chapter 14 Economics for Humanity