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Archive for October, 2012

Will Frankenstorm put climate change back on the political radar?

In recent years the world has experienced a sequence of climate-change-related disasters. Hurricane Sandy comes on top of massive drought through the summer that has led to 40% loss of American corn and other grain crops, raging wildfires in the southeast US, tornados and derechos, etc – and that is just the US. Check out […]

Why Natural Disasters are Good for Capitalism

It’s been amusing today to listen to the pundits discuss the economic implications of Hurricane Sandy. 

Exchange Rates, the Price of Oil and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel

This is a guest post by Paul Tulloch, of LivingWork.ca and frequent commentator on this blog, reporting on some  significant and timely work he prepared for the northern gateway pipeline review panel, analyzing correlations betwen the price of oil and the Canadian dollar. Exchange Rates, the Price of Oil and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel […]

The Limits of Demography

Here is a piece I wrote for today’s Globe Economy Lab re the Department of Finance report on the costs of an aging society. The key point is that the mainstream doom and gloom projections of the costs of falling labour force growth  ignore the positive impacts which can be expected as and when we […]

The Austerity Trap

Below is a recent editorial from the New York Times that does an excellent job of summarizing the failures of austerity policies. The NYTimes also published a very good analysis of how austerity measures have actually increased debt loads in many countries, instead of reducing them:  “Despite Push for Austerity, European Debt has Soared” I made […]

CAW Major Auto Bargaining 2012: Lessons Learned

I am now finally emerging from the mental fog induced by the 24-7 triennial marathon otherwise known as “CAW major auto bargaining.” To close the circle, here are my thoughts in retrospect on the bargaining: how the union prepared for it, the issues at stake, the contents of the final deal, and the challenges that […]

BC’s Natural Gas Strategy nothing more than a fairy tale

I have an oped in Saturday’s Vancouver Sun. The editor wanted me to focus on the claims of economic gains for BC, so the piece ended up being a complementary piece to the Behind the Numbers report on GHG emissions and the Natural Gas Strategy. The title was his choice not my own, but I like […]

FTA’s Assumed Benefits Can’t Be Found

Last month’s over-the-top “celebrations”of the 25th anniversary of Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan’s signing of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement seemed strained, to my mind.  The self-congratulation and back-patting struck me as rather overdone, contrived even.  Remember, this wasn’t the 25th anniversary of the FTA’s implementation (that won’t occur until Jan. 1 2014).  It was only the […]

Effective Corporate Tax Rate Falling

Further to my earlier post critiquing the recent  Mintz study -  which argued that cuts in corporate tax rates are not significantly denting corporate tax revenues – I looked up the effective corporate tax rate (income tax paid as a percentage of taxable corporate income.) Here is what shows up on CANSIM 180-0003.   2006 […]

Ontario hiding savings from lower interest rates

The Ontario government Fall Economic Statement and Fiscal Review ignores and hides billions savings the province will gain from lower borrowing rates in coming years. While this statement acknowledges that borrowing rates will be considerably lower in coming years–and more than 100 basis points lower in 2014–their forecast of debt interest costs (on page 85) […]

Household debt going from bad to worse

Canadians are now more indebted than either Americans or the Brits at the peak of their housing bubble.  Statistics Canada today revised the national accounts.  The result on the household debt front was that instead of Canadian households having a debt to disposable income ratio of 154, it has now been revised upwards to 166. […]

Is BC breaking its GHG law by pursuing natural gas development?

Today CCPA’s Climate Justice Project released a new report by yours truly, BC’s Legislated Greenhouse Gas Targets vs Natural Gas Development: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. It was just five years ago that BC brought in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act, a signal that BC was serious about climate action. The Act calls for a 33% […]

Globe and Mail on higher education in Canada

The Globe and Mail has just launched an in-depth feature on higher education in Canada, an installment of their Our Time to Lead series. For a couple of weeks, you can expect to see increased coverage of the issues facing our post-secondary education system in print but especially online. The editors deserve credit for seeking […]

Time to Rethink The Way We Fund Higher Education

This September, like every year, a new group of high school graduates headed to college or university to pursue higher education. But today’s generation of students is in for a very different experience from the ones their parents had. On campuses across the country shiny new buildings are popping up, bearing corporate logos or the […]

Selective Amnesia at the Bank of Canada

A guest blog from Marc Lavoie and Mario Seccareccia, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa  In a speech delivered on October 4th to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (see: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2012/10/speeches/a-measure-of-work/), the senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklen, has offered some self-congratulatory remarks, by arguing that the near-zero inflation policy pursued by […]

We can do better

So there were 52,000 new jobs in September, but we needed 72,500 to keep up with labour force growth.  33,800 of those jobs were self-employed workers, and none of those jobs were for workers under 25. In the past year, men over 25 have been adding full time jobs, with 116,000 more full time jobs […]

The Canada-US FTA at 25

My take, in the Globe Economy Lab today.

Income Inequality & twitter

Armine Yalnizyan had a great twitter debate with Andrew Coyne on poverty and inequality that Trish Hennessey storified here: http://bit.ly/QwHGJB I think it bears repeating that GDP growth has far outpaced any growth in median and average incomes for Canadians, as you can see in the graph below. (2010 dollars, average and median income in $’s, […]