Jim Stanford’s Portrait of Corporate Canada

1 Jul

I appreciate economists like Jim Stanford for going against the ideological grain of their discipline. Mr. Stanford is especially skilled at making economics more accessible for the average person in general, and progressives in particular. I feel like his book Economics for Everyone should be on (as per its title) *everyone’s* required reading list.

For Canada Day, Jimbo treats us to a portrait of Corporate Canada. (via The Progressive Economics Forum) He points out that 50 companies account for about two-thirds of the after-tax profits generated by all corporations in Canada.

For my favourite part of the data crunching, pay attention to the profit-per worker column in the table below.

Source: Jim Stanford's calculations from Globe & Mail's Report on Business “The Top 1000,” and Statistics Canada data.

Jimbo observes:

 the resource producers had very modest employment: just 82,000 in total.  This means that the resource industry is the pinnacle of “exploitation” (measured loosely by after-tax profits generated per worker).  On average, each worker at those 17 companies generated a stunning $325,000 in profit for their employers – compared to a comparatively stingy $75,000 per worker in the financial sector.  Of course, it is not just workers that the oil companies and other resource firms are exploiting: it is the planet, too.

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