As the federal government rolls out financial aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps a big question, should be: how do we ensure that the benefits of all this government spending ultimately go to local economies rather than financial and corporate elites? I suspect a lot of people don’t realize that the money to finance the recovery is actually being created out of thin air by the Bank of Canada (the BoC). The BoC uses this new money to stimulate the economy by purchasing government bonds, either directly from government or from financial corporations that already own government bonds. It’s called quantitative easing (QE), and it’s is something US, European and Japanese central banks have been doing for more than a decade.
Government payments to farmers have surged to historic levels under President Donald Trump as the Agriculture Department floods the industry with cash to stem the financial losses from Trump’s tariff fights and the coronavirus pandemic. But as agriculture grows more reliant on unprecedented taxpayer support, farm policy experts and watchdog groups warn the subsidies are growing too big and too fast, with no strings attached and little oversight from Congress — and that Washington could have a difficult time shutting off the spigot.