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RESCUE: SAVING THE CANADIAN ECONOMY

A. D. Hutcheon.

Victoria, Press Porcépic, c1982.
Distributed by Beaverbooks.
171pp, paper, $13.95.
ISBN 0-88878-198-9.


Post-Secondary.
Reviewed by John D. Crawford.

Volume 11 Number 2.
1983 March.


The first ten chapters of this book contain a well-organized survey of past and present economic theories and policies with particular emphasis on their application in Canada. The author correctly underlines the dismissal of James Coyne from his position as Governor of the Bank of Canada in 1962 and also the settlement of the longshoremen's strike in 1966 as important indicators that successive governments in Canada often allowed political considerations to unduly influence economic decisions. In bringing his survey to the present time, Hutcheon identifies the present victims of past policies as being the unemployed and poorer-paid section of the work force, and emphasizes the poverty of applying either Keynesian or monetarist solutions to the economic problems facing Canada today.

In the final chapter, a three-stage proposal is put forward to set Canada on a healthier economic road in the future. The first stage would include "a system of indexation of wages which would maintain a constant ratio of aggregate wages to aggregate profits." An additional feature would be "a freeze on wage relationships." The second stage of the proposal would build upon the achievements of stage one, with the final stage concentrating upon the problem of unemployment. The chief feature of the proposal is an original form of wage and profit controls, which the author describes as strong but necessary medicine.

Hutcheon's proposal, like all others, will be subject to criticism. To some, the mere idea of controls is anathema; to others, leaving the attack upon unemployment to the third stage will seem callous, while to those who see the solution to Canada's economic problems as being tied to an international economic recovery, the proposal will be thought parochial. The book is certainly interesting, original, and thought-provoking, and on those counts well worth reading.


John D. Crawford, Frank Hobbs E. S., Victoria, BC.
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