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Archive for May, 2010

Green Jobs in Transit and Passenger Rail

I’ve posted below an introduction and link to a short piece I wrote a while back for the Green Economy Network on possible job creation from the development of transit.  A student will be doing some work in this area at the CLC this Summer and we would welcome any input or leads on the […]

Rising Top Income Shares

Over at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, Stephen Gordon has posted Michael Veall’s data, updating his past work on the rising  income share of top income recipients (expressed as a share of market income declared by adults for tax purposes, and excluding capital gains.) Veall presented his main findings at the CEA meetings.  The data were extracted […]

Growth After Stimulus

This morning, Statistics Canada reported a robust economic expansion in March and hence in the first quarter of 2010. Although February’s growth was revised down to 0.2%, strong growth of 0.6% in both January and March propelled the quarterly total to 1.5%. That figure corresponds to an annual growth rate of 6.1%, more than double […]

Recession’s Impact on Homelessness

I recently wrote a paper on the recession’s impact on homelessness, looking at Toronto as a case study.  I presented it on Friday at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association (May 28-30, Quebec City).  The paper’s title is “Calm Before the Storm,” as I believe that, based on the outcome of the last […]

Dangerous delusions about corporate income tax cuts

For years we have been asking Stephen Gordon to provide the evidence for lower corporate taxes. Like Stephen I like the Nordic model and take away from it that tax mix matters, so funding a large public sector may require more than taxes on “people we do not know” (ie corporations and the rich), so […]

The Euro Crisis

A lucid analysis from Andrew Watt,  chief economist with the European Trade Union Institute “Angela Merkel may have got just about everything else wrong, but she was right to tell the German parliament that urgent action is needed to save the euro area, otherwise the future of Europe is at stake. Europe’s reaction to the […]

Uruguay’s Encouraging Economic & Social Progress

My good friend and CAW brother Paul Pugh (President of CAW Local 1075 in Thunder Bay) has brought to my attention recent economic and political developments in Uruguay, the little nation of 4 million people squashed between Argentina and Brazil.  Paul has family connections to Uruguay and follows developments there closely.  While not as well-covered […]

Inflation, Wages and Monetary Policy

This morning, Statistics Canada reported that the annual inflation rate rose to 1.8% in April. Inflation and Wages While inflation remains low, it is eating up almost all of the modest wage increases that workers have eked out over the past year. The Labour Force Survey indicates that the average hourly wage rose by 2.0% […]

Remembering Wynne Godley

Progressive economists everywhere should say a thank you this week to Wynne Godley, who passed away May 13.  He started out his career as an economist working for the U.K. Treasury, then got to know Nicholas Kaldor and moved over to Cambridge to help establish the Department of Applied Economics there (from which he retied in […]

PEF at the CEA meetings 2010

Hi all, Last time I was in Quebec City, I got tear gassed by my government during the 2001 Summit of the Americas. I’m sure next week’s trip for the CEA conference will be much better than that. In fact, we have an amazing line up of panels, including a new Galbraith lecture from this […]

EI: The Decline Resumes

Statistics Canada reports that, after February’s pause, Employment Insurance (EI) resumed its contraction in March. Specifically, 24,200 fewer Canadians received regular EI benefits. The key question is whether these unemployed workers found jobs or simply ran out of benefits. The Labour Force Survey indicated that employment rose by 17,900 in March. Therefore, it seems unlikely […]

Employment Insurance and Toronto

Erin has blogged before on variable EI coverage of the unemployed at the city level  http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2009/09/28/employment-insurance-benefits-by-city/ and I have been aware for some time that  coverage is relatively low in the giant Toronto CMA. Nonetheless, I was taken aback to find out that, in the most recent month for which we have EI and Labour […]

Why Deleveraging Hurts So Much

Last Friday I had the honour of sharing the podium (and a good supper afterward) with Steve Keen, the awesome Australian economist who was recently named the winner of the “Revere Award” for most accurately forewarning of the global financial crisis.  In fact, that award was announced the same day we spoke together to the […]

The job market may be recovering but some jobs are not coming back

A recent article in The New York Times illustrates this point with the story of an unemployed administrative assistant in her 50s, who has not been able to find a job for over two years after being laid off. As the journalist explains, her difficulties are likely not the result of age discrimination, the weak […]

IMF Endorses Australian Windfall Profits Tax

I’m afraid I can’t find the report on the IMF website but this news story indicates IMF support for the new Australian tax on windfall mining profits. The obvious thought, if it’s good there, why not here? The Advertiser (Australia) May 17, 2010 Monday IMF backs super tax on nation’s big miners BYLINE: BEN BUTLER […]

Ontario’s great HST tax shift

There have been clouds and clouds of smoke generated about the impact of Ontario’s impending introduction of its Harmonized Sales Tax.  Fortunately there is finally now some substance out there in terms of a detailed analysis conducted by Statistics Canada that was recently released by the Ontario NDP.  And what is shows is quite surprising. Much […]

The Greek Tragedy

The IMF staff documents relating to the “bail out” of Greece make for scary reading. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2010/cr10110.pdf The scale of the economic contraction being imposed through this “solution” is staggering. On top of 2% contraction of real GDP in 2009, there will be a decline of 9% over the next several years, with 6.6% of that […]

Still More on the Pensions Debate

Last week I attended what turned out to be an excellent pensions conference organized by the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP). It was a behind closed doors, Chatham House rules event which stops me from blogging too freely, but several of the presentations have now been posted to the IRPP web site. The […]

The Bank of Canada and the Recovery

The Bank of Canada’s most recent Monetary Policy Report   http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/mpr/pdf/2010/mpr220410.pdf forecasts quite a strong short-term recovery. However, it is projected that growth will begin to taper off from the middle of this year and slow to just a 2% annual growth rate by mid 2011. The recovery is being driven by government stimulus spending – […]

April’s Shower of Jobs

This morning, Statistics Canada reported that employment shot up by an incredible 108,700 in April. Although employment has been recovering for almost a year, it had lagged behind the rebound in output. But today’s job numbers show a 0.6% rise in monthly employment, double the monthly GDP growth reported last week. Total hours worked increased […]

Vale’s Striking First Quarter

Vale, the company against which my union has been on strike since July 2009, released its first-quarter earnings this evening. The release deflates Vale’s rationale for demanding labour concessions and confirms that the strike is hurting its bottom line. The company wants to eliminate defined-benefit pensions for new employees and drastically reduce the bonus paid […]

Facts on public sector wages

The National Institute on Retirement Security in the U.S. produces some really excellent reports which should be more widely read, and not just on pensions or retirement income.  Last week they published a good report, Out of Balance?  comparing public and private sector compensation over the past 20 years, written by two professors at the […]

Digging Deeper on the GM Loan Repayment

Last week’s announcement by GM that is has fully repaid the loans it received from the U.S., Canadian, and Ontario governments (years ahead of schedule, and with interest) was greeted in most circles as another positive sign of the auto industry’s modest recovery.  Since the dark days of last June (when Chrysler was shut down […]

New West Partnership

On Friday evening, I was in Kingston listening to a speech by western Canada’s best Premier. The following morning, I awoke to discover a far less coherent op-ed by the other three western Premiers on The Globe and Mail’s website. They were trumpeting Friday’s unveiling of the New West Partnership. As the Saskatchewan Federation of […]