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The Word On The Street has been renowned for the quality and diversity of its event programming and our next festival promises to offer the best so far. Check out our 2020 schedule!

Nov 12: Jeff Rubin – The Expendables

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Expendables

From the #1 bestselling author of Why Your World Is About to Get A Whole Lot Smaller, a provocative, far-reaching account of how the middle class got stuck with the bill for globalization, and how the blowback–from Brexit to Trump to populist Europe–will change the developed world.

Real wages in North America have not risen since the 1970s. Union membership has collapsed. Full-time employment is beginning to look like a quaint idea from the distant past. If it seems that the middle class is in retreat around the developed world, it is.

Former CIBC World Markets Chief Economist Jeff Rubin argues that all this was foreseeable back when Canada, the United States and Mexico first started talking free trade. Labour argued then that manufacturing jobs would move to Mexico. Free-trade advocates disagreed. Today, Canadian and American factories sit idle. More steel is used to make bottlecaps than cars. Meanwhile, Mexico has become one of the world’s biggest automotive exporters. And it’s not just NAFTA. Cheap oil, low interest rates, global deregulation and tax policies that benefit the rich all have the same effect: the erosion of the middle class.

Growing global inequality is a problem of our own making, Rubin argues. And solving it won’t be easy if we draw on the same ideas about capital and labour, right and left, that led us to this cliff. Articulating a vision that dovetails with the ideas of both Naomi Klein and Donald Trump, The Expendables is an exhilaratingly fresh perspective that is at once humane and irascible, fearless and rigorous, and most importantly, timely. GDP is growing, the stock market is up and unemployment is down, but the surprise of the book is that even the good news is good for only one percent of us.

  • Nonfiction

Jeff Rubin

JEFF RUBIN is the author of the internationally acclaimed Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller, a #1 national bestseller and the winner of the National Business Book Award. His second book, The End of Growth, was a #1 bestseller and made multiple best book of the year lists in 2012. His most recent book, The Carbon Bubble, also made the bestseller list. Rubin was the Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets, where he worked for over 20 years. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance (CIGI). He lives in Toronto.