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The Harper government gives five reasons why Canadians ought to be happy with its proposal to double the maximum contribution to the Tax-Free Savings Account. Examine each of its points more closely, however, and it’s clear that the TFSA carries far higher risks than rewards — for individual Canadians as well as for the economy […]
As Target Canada tumbled into bankruptcy, Loblaw announced that its fourth-quarter profits more than doubled. What can be learned from this tale of two retailers? The main reason for Loblaw’s surge was its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart last March, which turned it into Canada’s largest grocer and pharmacy chain. Shoppers contributed $3 billion to […]
This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab. There are two reasons why it is difficult to comment on the legacy of a finance minister. 1) It is a tremendously challenging job, anywhere, any time. Stewarding one of the largest economies in the world through a […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under budgets, Conservative government, deficits, federalism, fiscal federalism, global crisis, housing, IMF, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, OECD, public infrastructure, Role of government, StatCan, stimulus, taxation, TFSA, World Bank.
March 20th, 2014
Every year when International Women’s Day rolls by, I can’t help but reflect on power, how it’s shared, and how women use the power they have. This year, I am struck by women’s power to reduce inequality, and not just to help ourselves. Women are key to reducing income inequality. It’s been dubbed the girl effect, […]
Yesterday I tweeted this: <blink> Gap will raise minimum hourly pay Walmart “looking” at support of min wage raise In honour of the momentum, I am posting the piece I wrote for Economy Lab a while back, and including the numbers that drive the chart that attracted quite a lot of attention. There is a […]
This piece was first published in the Globe & Mail. In a move that caught everyone off-guard, Canada Post announced a five point “action plan” last week that included phasing-out home delivery of the mail over the next five years, making Canada the only G7 nation to do so. Why? To “protect taxpayers.” Of all the reasons that merit […]
On November 25th, I made the following submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-4, Economic Action Plan 2013 Act No. 2, on behalf of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 1. Introduction and Context Thank you for the invitation to appear before the Committee, as Members of Parliament […]
The rise and fall (and rise?) of Blackberry is a story that has gripped our attention, and not just because it affects so many Canadians. It’s because this tumultuous story has more plot twists than a thriller. Yesterday the company stole the spotlight yet again with news that its future might not be dashed after […]
This piece was first published in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. Five years after a global economic crisis unleashed chaos on markets everywhere, income inequality has become an inescapable political and economic issue, in Canada as elsewhere. That’s because of mounting evidence that the increasingly skewed distribution of gains from economic growth slows future growth potential, […]
This piece was published today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. Two findings stand out in the National Household Survey (NHS) data released Wednesday, both critical in this post-recession era of uncertainty: 1) A quarter of Canadian households spent 30 per cent or more of their pre-tax income on shelter, the official measure of housing affordability. […]
1. He’s Number Two: Stephen Poloz was widely acknowledged in economic and political circles as the second-best choice for the top job at the Bank of Canada. So the surprise was not that he was chosen. The surprise was, Why Not Tiff Macklem? Will someone please find out and tell the rest of us? 2. […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under Bank of Canada, Conservative government, economic growth, free markets, free trade, G-20, inflation, interest rates, international trade, macroeconomics, monetary policy, Role of government, stimulus, unemployment.
May 3rd, 2013
These are the remarks by David MacDonald and I prepared for the press conference marking the release of the AFB 2013 in Ottawa, March 12, 2013. Time flies and our Alternative Federal Budget is now in its 19th year. Year after year it has shown that we can have a Canada where we all do better together. […]
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we ask: Are more women making it to the top in Canada? And what does that mean for the 100 per cent? The 2013 edition, by the numbers. (All data are most recently available statistics.) 1 out of 5: 21 per cent of the people in the top […]
A version of this article appeared today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. (This version includes references to the debate plus charts and graphs from data specially tabulated from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. The data don’t include the self-employed.) President Obama put the idea of raising the minimum wage on the radar in […]
This article was published in an abridged form today in the National Post. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/21/armine-yalnizyan-sorry-andrew-coyne-but-income-inequality-is-a-real-problem/ I like this opening better so I posted it here. You couldn’t have made it through 2012 without running into a story about income inequality. Chances are, it made you think about how you fit into the story. That’s “entirely constructive”, […]
The Harper government likes to remind Canadians that we’ve done better than most developed nations in bouncing back from the global economic crisis. But digging into the data shows why many people might be having trouble cheering this news: wages have not kept pace with inflation, and new hires are making 40 per cent less […]
Four years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, it’s time to take stock of things by asking a stock political question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Where you stand on the answer depends on where you sit. Many people, businesses and communities are still struggling to regain the ground they lost […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under development, economic crisis, economic growth, employment, global crisis, income distribution, Role of government, social democracy, stimulus, super-rich, US, young workers.
September 14th, 2012
Last May federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said there was no such thing as a bad job. The Law Commission of Ontario may disagree. This week it put out a report about the rise in vulnerable workers and precarious jobs. Now that he’s heard from executives who think Canadians are paid too much, Mr. Flaherty […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under Conservative government, employment, employment standards, human rights, immigration, income, labour market, migrant workers, minimum wage, Ontario, poverty, Role of government, women.
August 17th, 2012
It’s been an unusually hot summer, and soaring temperatures have boosted sales of that quintessential summer food, ice cream. But Baskin-Robbins has decided to shut its production facility in Peterborough, Ont., and lay off 80 workers because of…wait for it… increased demand! From the department of “wait, what?”, here’s the scoop behind this brain-freeze-inducing decision. […]
A shorter version of this article appeared today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab Have you noticed how common it has become to talk about replacing workers with even cheaper workers? If you’re looking over your shoulder, you’re not paranoid; you’re paying attention. There’s probably a cheaper you out there. And in Canada, the […]
This is my latest column for Canadian Business magazine. Giorgio, a hard-working, smart-as-a-whip University of Toronto student, asked me a great question after a recent guest lecture: What if the biggest challenge facing Canadian businesses and governments in the coming years isn’t an aging society but the economic and fiscal drag of hundreds of thousands […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under economic growth, economic risk, employment, labour adjustment, population aging, skill shortages, temporary workers, Uncategorized, unemployment, young workers.
April 11th, 2012
(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
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
As Christmas presents go, this one was a shocker: Over lunch on Monday, cash-strapped Finance Minister Jim Flaherty promised provincial and territorial finance ministers he’d increase federal funding for health care by six per cent each year for the next five years. No strings attached. No negotiations. A done deal. With a catch. The provinces […]
Starting today I will be on a regular weekly biz panel for the Lang and O’Leary show, every Thursday night. The panel will take on two six minute segments to discuss the big economic stories of the day. Today’s proposed topics – the Eurozone mess, whither Canada’s GDP, is Occupy a media invention/will it hold […]
Governments around the world are heading down a path to economic suicide. So said Nobel Prize-winning former chief economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, to hundreds of well-heeled financiers and decision-makers who paid a bundle to hear him in Toronto. With a voice as gruff as gravel, and an energy bristling with urgency, he […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under budgets, Conservative government, deficits, economic growth, employment, federal budget, fiscal policy, progressive economic strategies, Role of government, unemployment, World Bank.
October 31st, 2011
Business-school professor and economist Nouriel Roubini earned his nickname Dr. Doom by repeatedly predicting the chain of events that would cause the global economic house of cards to fall down. Yesterday he laid out the economic dilemmas that are triggering a global Occupy movement and concludes: “Any economic model that does not properly address inequality […]
This is not the stuff of usual protests. Over the past month, a little idea from a Vancouver outfit has mushroomed into a cross-continent movement. Occupy Wall Street, kicked off by Adbusters in July and coming to Toronto this weekend, has already spread to 70 American cities and is going global as protestors challenge society […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under capitalism, democracy, economic growth, financial transactions tax, fiscal policy, global crisis, inequality, Occupy Movement, Role of government, taxation.
October 13th, 2011
It’s often said that there aren’t enough rich people in Canada to make a real difference to fiscal policy and, in consequence, the rest of us. Yesterday Canadian Business’s annual special edition devoted to Canada’s richest 100 people hit the stands, where it will stay until Christmas. As a regular contributor I was invited to […]
This essay was commissioned by the National Post. It was published in today’s edition under the headline “A Problem for Everyone“. In the print edition, the overline – a large font summary of what you are about to read written by the editors — reads: “Income inequality isn’t just unfair — it threatens the whole […]