PEF home page and weblog
The following commentary also appears on The Globe and Mail’s Global Exchange blog: What Obama’s Corporate Tax Proposal Means for Canada Last week, there was much consternation in Canada’s business press that some modest reversals of provincial corporate tax cuts and President Obama’s proposed corporate tax changes could erode our competitiveness. Canadians should maintain a [...]
Carleton University’s Ted Jackson teaches a graduate seminar course on post-secondary education in Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration. Earlier this month, I was invited to give a guest presentation to Professor Jackson’s class. I focused the presentation on affordability challenges faced by students wanting to pursue post-secondary education. My slide presentation can be [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under education, fiscal federalism, income distribution, inequality, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, post-secondary education, Quebec, social indicators, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, working time, young workers.
February 29th, 2012
The Drummond report claims that Ontario is headed for a $30-billion deficit. This figure has been widely and uncritically reported. For example, The Globe and Mail printed four articles featuring this number in its February 18 edition. The Ontario government projected a balanced budget with a $1-billion contingency reserve by 2017-18. To instead project a [...]
So recent is the word “globalization” that, if you consult the revised 1978 edition of The New Political Dictionary: The Definitive Guide to the New Language of Politics by the eminent neo-conservative writer William Safire, you will not find it. Instead you will find “Globaloney,” a term used in the early 1940s to riducule the [...]
(This guest blog was written by Mike Marin and Anouk Dey. It originally appeared in the Toronto Star on February 24. The authors are part of a team that produced the report Prospering Together (in English http://bit.ly/z4GQx5 and in French http://bit.ly/yabiK2) What do the Occupy Movement and Canadian software giant OpenText have in common? Most [...]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under competition, economic growth, education, inequality, Occupy Movement, productivity, progressive economic strategies, skill shortages, social policy, young workers.
February 26th, 2012
Take a look at the picture below. Take it in. Now scan your eyes to the far right…there, in faded blue you’ll see the initials MMT. Now zoom out. Take it in again. Notice: a few hundred people. Spending their time learning about an economic theory called Modern Monetary Theory or MMT and its application [...]
Here’s an excellent piece by Sam Boshra, about the recent proposal by Michael Smart and Jack Mintz to apply the GST to food, from Sam’s blog at Economic Justice: Low-income households can’t buy food today with a larger HST rebate they hope to get sometime in the future. A key objective of the social safety net, [...]
This may come as a bit of a shock to Andrew Coyne and Jim Flaherty, but even the IMF are warning in their most recent fiscal policy update that austerity in the advanced economies is going too far, and will dampen growth. Indeed, they even suggest that too much austerity may spook the dreaded bond [...]
Krugman hardly needs me to leap to his defence against Canadian economic flat earthers like Andrew Coyne, but here goes. Coyne’s latest column argues that there is a recovery underway in the US which owes nothing to Keynesian stimulus. Accordingly, “we can add America post-2008 to the long list of failed experiments in Keynesian demand [...]
The Harvard International Review has posted an interview with Don Drummond. I have posted the following response: It is good Drummond confesses that his free-market policy prescriptions failed to improve productivity, but old habits apparently die hard: “We have an Employment Insurance scheme that basically dissuades people from going where the jobs are. We still [...]
An interesting nugget in last week’s Drummond report is Table 11.1, an updated version of Table 2 from “Ontario’s Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth” (2009). It provides a sectoral breakdown of the McGuinty government’s recent business tax breaks: HST input tax credits, cutting the corporate income tax, and eliminating the corporate capital tax. The [...]
John Stapleton has an opinion piece out on Prime Minister Harper’s proposed changes to Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). I find the following quote from Stapleton to be particularly troubling: By providing OAS and GIS at age 65, Canada has greatly reduced the incidence of poverty among seniors. By moving the [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Conservative government, CPP, demographics, fiscal federalism, income support, Old Age Security, older workers, pensions, population aging, poverty, retirement, seniors, social policy.
February 19th, 2012
The United Steelworkers’ union made the following submission to the Government of Canada earlier this week: The United Steelworkers union welcomes the opportunity to comment on Canada’s proposed entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade negotiations. Our union represents 200,000 Canadian workers, employed in every sector of the economy. While our traditional membership base [...]
On January 5th, 2012, the American Economics Association adopted new guidelines for the disclosure of potential conflicts of interests by economists. Please find my disclosure information below (thanks to Andrew Leach for turning the AEA guidelines into a template, which I have used as the basis for my own). Employment: I have been employed with the Canadian [...]
Statistics Canada reported today that the number of Canadians receiving Employment Insurance rose by 4,230 in December, a month in which unemployment rose by 6,100. The proportion of unemployed workers receiving benefits remained below 39% (i.e. 544,720 beneficiaries out of 1.4 million unemployed). Although December saw relatively little change in these totals, it capped off [...]
Statistics Canada reported today that consumer prices jumped in January (by 0.4% or 0.5% seasonally-adjusted), offsetting the drop in December. As a result, the annual inflation rate is now 2.5% and the Bank of Canada’s core inflation rate is 2.1%. Monetary Policy Both measures are well within the central bank’s target range, which should allow [...]
With unemployment high and rising, job creation should surely be on the agenda. The Government of Canada has a program called Job Creation Partnerships, funded under Employment Insurance. It supports projects which “provide insured participants with opportunities to gain work experience that will lead to ongoing employment. Activities of the project help develop the community [...]
Statistics Canada is sometimes unfairly blamed for decisions made pursuant to budget cuts and to political direction, most notably in the decision to replace the long form Census with a much less reliable Household Survey. But the agency deserves tremendous credit for the decision, implemented just a couple of weeks ago, to provide universal free [...]
The Drummond Commission reported today. The Good While the McGuinty government prevented the Commission from considering tax rates, it proposes some sensible measures to raise revenue. Chapter 18, “Revenue Integrity,” recommends combating corporate tax avoidance and cracking down on the underground economy. Businesses sometimes hire workers as “contractors” to avoid paying Ontario’s Employer Health Tax. [...]
The Ontario government’s long awaited and much discussed report of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services (aka, the Drummond report) was finally publicly released this afternoon. As was rumoured, the report says Ontario would need to increase program spending by no more than 0.8% per year for the government to reach balance [...]
An excellent commentary from Andrew Watt.
If the National Post’s John Ivison wanted to agitate this blog’s authors, he could not have done much better than last week’s commentary on the census numbers. It was printed on the front page under the headline “Jobs in the West, jobless in the East; EI impeding labour mobility.” To paint a picture of eastern [...]
A shorter version of this article appears today at Economy Lab, the Globe and Mail’s on-line business feature. Capitalism has entered an ugly new era, one that may work well for the shareholders of world, but not for the rest of us. I couldn’t help but notice that, on the very same day Caterpillar shuttered [...]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under big business, capitalism, corporate profits, employment, federal budget, globalization, immigration, labour market, migrant workers, taxation, temporary workers, wages.
February 14th, 2012
The Prime Minister’s trip to China last week sparked a flurry of media coverage regarding prospects for “closer” economic ties between Canada and China. Some even speculated that another free trade agreement is in the works (as soon as the Harper government inks its planned deals, of course, with the EU, India, Korea, and the [...]
What is this thing called “globalization?” To be absolutely precise, it’s the word that took over discourse about the global economy and pretty much everything else for what seemed like an eternity but, in fact, labelled a phenomenon that lasted only for a single decade, that of the 1990s, from the end of the Cold [...]
The top story in the Globe and Mail today reports on something I warned about a year ago: Statistics Canada is making changes to the way it calculates the Consumer Price Index. At that time I suspected changes to calculations of the CPI would be introduced as part of the renewal of the inflation target with [...]
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ biennial guide to Canadian mining taxation, Digging Deeper, features a comparative summary of royalties, mining taxes and corporate taxes for a hypothetical gold mine. This approach differs from the table I posted yesterday, which displayed royalty and mining tax revenue as a share of the minerals actually extracted from different provinces and territories in 2010. However, [...]
Empires vary: of conquest, of settlement, of trade; contiguous and maritime. Empires abound: a long list, longer even than many books on empire admit to. Wikipedia lists over 200 empires from the Akkadian Empire of Sargon the Great in the 24th century BCE to today’s American Empire. In terms of territory the largest are the [...]
There’s been some good public debate about the need for changes to the Investment Canada process in light of Caterpillar’s incredible actions in London. They showed up uninvited in 2010, took over a long-standing productive profitable plant, demanded money (from workers and government alike), then left — leaving behind a shuttered plant and a shattered [...]
This table displays the mining taxes and royalties paid for minerals – including coal, but excluding oil and gas – to Canada’s major mining jurisdictions in 2010. The ideal would be to compare these charges with economic rent, which varies by mine and is difficult to calculate. However, even a simple comparison to overall production values suggests [...]