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The Canadian Centre for Policy Initiatives, on the other hand, is an Interventionalist think thank that advocates government intervention in some cases, but chides it in others.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Montreal Economic Institute can be described as a Neoliberal think tank. The organization, which was founded in 1999, seeks to "promote an economic approach to the study of public policy issues." By studying the organization's publications, however, one can quickly realize that most contributors call under the classification of Neoliberal economists. Shah calls Neoliberalism the "mechanism for global trade and investment." The movement is the one practiced by capitalists and free market economists. Neoliberal economists generally see the international markets as self-governing, motivated by Adam Smith's invisible hand and self-interest. Government intervention, therefore, is looked down upon in any case other then protection from invaders.
Though the think tank's information did not specify Neoliberal ideas in its written information, articles published on the site had clear Neoliberal implications. For instance, Sylvain Charlebois' article "Trade Barriers are Tumbling Down -- Whether We Like it or Not," which was published in the Edmonton Journal this month, the author discusses the problems with free trade, arguing that the Canadian government must participate in free trade talks and agreements with the United States or other countries in order to be successful economically. In addition, the author suggests that other government interventions, like subsidizing the farm market, are hurting not only market economics, but the whole economy as well. Additionally, Ian Irvine's May article, "Protectionism is to Blame for the Food Crisis," the author argues that government intervention through protectionism, or trade barriers, is preventing the world from producing enough food for its population. Through this assertion, therefore, the author also suggests that government intervention is immoral, causing social and ethical problems. Thus, the Montreal Economic Institute is similar to both the Socialist and Interventionalist think tanks previously studied in that it is concerned with social issues. The organization is dramatically different from the other two think tanks, however, because of its Neoliberal associations. While the other two think tanks advocate government intervention to some degree, the Montreal Economic Institute suggests that this is at the root of social problems.
Whether the Canadian Economy is fluctuating in an upward or downward trend, economists, government officials, and citizens all have their views on how the country and world's problems should be solved or prosperity should be continued. Think tanks are an excellent source of those opinions that see to affect the decisions of government and Department of Finance. By studying three of them that advocate different economic theories, one can understand not only how they can be classified and compared, but also, through the articles published by their members, how they are relevant to modern social and economic problems, like wages for immigrants, the food crisis, and living standards. Though contributors to the organizations may feel strongly about their opinions, the existence of different think tanks and organizations contribute to the worldwide debate on economic issues.
Albo, Greg. "Neoliberalism and Canada's Ruling Class." 7 July 2007. Monthly Review.
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Economic Institute. 5 June 2008. Lee, Marc. "BC Budget 2008: A good start tackling global warming, but who are we leaving behind." 21 Feb. 2008. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 5 June 2008. http://www.policyalternatives.ca/Editorials/2008/02/Editorial1861/index.cfm?pa=AE5DAA5F.
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June 2008. http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/FreeTrade/Neoliberalism.asp.
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