No Small Change: Success in Canada's New Economy
Barbara Lenes is an Edmonton-based economist.
This breezily written book joins others that seek to promote the same
message namely, that computers/information services will serve as the
engine of growth for Canada’s economy into the 21st century. Not only
are these the fields of growth, Cohen says, but they will redefine the
place of labor and government in the functioning of the country’s
economy, undermining attempts to organize, legislate, or otherwise
control fiscal affairs, as the speed of computers enables investors to
maneuver around attempts at economic management.
Most of the book is a disjointed discussion of how various industries
have been, or are on the cusp of being, revolutionized by computers
(banking, transportation, telecommunications, real estate, publishing,
and news media) and globalized production (agriculture and
manufacturing). There are prescriptions concerning education, taxes, the
environment, and federal social-service policies—prescriptions that
will be familiar to followers of the free-trade agenda. Cohen’s call
for a complete overhaul of social services is exactly the type of agenda
that was predicted by opponents of free trade.
This book seems to have been rushed into print, which is curious, since
it does not appear to have anything new to say.