The Economic Policy Dialogue (EPD) is Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Canada, based independent research organization that brings forth the economic policy issues which affect people, society, business, nation, globe, and planet. Also, it puts forward policy alternatives through constructive dialogue.
The global economy has undoubtedly experienced phenomenal prosperity in recent decades. Decades’ growth performance has landed most of the rich nations in a mess, and most of the developing countries far behind on development goals. It has made ordinary peoples’ lives harder, societies with many newer problems (alongside many old unresolved), and created ecological tragedies unseen before.
Inequality is a definite theoretical corollary of higher economic growth – but who benefits from the growth and who bears the cost of inequality? Post-industrial societies now face vanishing middle-class, secure jobs, decent earning, and peaceful retirement – who chose the deindustrialization and pushed such outcomes onto the society? Debt-asset duo is dominating the economic landscape, and the ‘so-called’ healthy financial system is making economies unhealthy – who has led such an economic growth model to drive the economy?
Intellectual premise ‘economic growth is a means and development is an end’ has gone mostly wrong in practice. Instead, the number-race of GDP growth rates on the economic spectrum has created a quality crunch on the human, social, and ecological spectrums!
Perfect Competition produces efficient and fair results – but how many industries are left perfectly competitive, domestically or globally? Tobacco and gambling (addictive industries) are good for the business but bad for the people and society – but who is served? Opioid overdose epidemic is killing people – who have allowed such businesses to run and create a national crisis in the first place? Oil extraction from sand or fracking is good for the business and economic growth, but a dent on the communities and the environment – who is taken care of?
The business is good if it serves the society and cares for the environment responsibly, and also if it is treated equally as any other citizen. The problem arises when it is preferred over all else in the system. It actually becomes a root cause of many problems when it overpowers the polity-policy and other state institutions. Unfortunately, economics and economic policies seem to have become a tool to serve the business and power centers.
There are countless instances of the deliberate policy-options that have produced worse economic, social, and environmental consequences historically.
Not to forget, the present economic system and economic policies are man-made, which affect every aspect of human life and the natural world. Social discord, political polarization, and ecological tragedies are speaking out loud about the wrong choices.
Let us create a good history for the future by correcting man-made historical mistakes. Mistakes are bad when done unknowingly, worse when done without knowing the consequences, but these are the worst when uncorrected despite knowing about their adverse consequences.
Let us dialogue on the policy, practice, and policy-alternatives to make people happier without making them miserable and hopeless any more, and to make the world a better place without worsening it further.
Vision: Just, Equal, and Sustainable World.
Mission: To highlight policies and practices that make the economic, social, and natural world a better place by integrating justice, equality, and sustainability into the policy framework.
Activities: Undertake research to evaluate economic policies and put forward policy alternatives (at micro, macro, regional, and global level) on the issues:
- relating to the imbalances, e.g., poverty, inequality, unemployment, debt, homelessness, insecurity, crime, tragedy of common goods, and others;
- how to remove such imbalances and bring the benefits of progress to all, especially the last, weakest, and voiceless;
- why and how inequality, injustice, and unsustainability have become a part of the policy landscape;
- how to bring about better social, economic, and environmental outcomes; and
- what ways to change the policy fabric and direction so that the system works for everyone.