Squeal in the Dark, Part II

Hi Everyone… I promised I’d provide more details on our great debate with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade regarding trade economics, in particular the likely employment effects of their proposed Canada-Korea FTA. The federal critique variously described the CAW study (which predicted significant post-FTA job losses in the auto industry and other high-value sectors) with the following […]

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A Squeal in the Dark

When I was growing up on the farm in Alberta, our family had a saying: “If you throw something out into the dark and hear a squeal, it means you hit the pig.” (OK, I didn’t really grow up on a farm in Alberta.  But I visited one once.) That’s how I feel about the Department of Foreign Affairs and […]

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Jeffrey Sachs’ Conversion?

Whaddya make of Jeffrey Sachs these days? He was the guy, was he not, who brought free-market shock therapy to Russia and Eastern Europe. But today he is out there championing the virtues of the welfare state. Here’s a recent missive from no less than Scientific American (Oct 16 2006 edition). It sounds just like what me and Marc Lee […]

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Oil: Can we give it back?

Every now and then you see a sad story on TV about someone who won the lottery, and then their life went to shit (they gave it all away or lost it gambling, became an alcoholic, etc.).  They invariably say at the end, “I wish I’d never won the lottery.” I kind of feel the same way about oil.  I […]

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Autoworkers and emissions controls

A few posts back, Marc Lee was discussing the Harper government’s sudden discovery of the dangers of global warming.  He mentioned in passing reports that the CAW was opposed to the idea of stronger emissions regulations for vehicles.  In fact the CAW has been in support of the Kyoto process, Canadian efforts to meet its targets, and the principle of […]

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Relative Productivity Levels in OECD

A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that someone ought to publish a comparative ranking of OECD countries by productivity per HOUR of work (rather than the more common, but utterly misleading, measure of GDP per capita). Turns out the Economic Policy Institute in Washington has done exactly that in their latest version of their flagship publication, “State of Working […]

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Who’s Productive, Anyway?

I wrote a recent column for the Globe and Mail on the issue of working hours.  It was a repsonse to a report from the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity that bemoaned that Ontarians worked significantly less hours than Americans (about 130 hours less per year, on average).  In the Institute’s view, this makes Ontarians $3700 less “prosperous” per year […]

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The Stench of Business

Here was an innocuous line from a recent Toronto Star story about the latter acts of the corporate soap opera that has been the battle for control of Inco and Falconbridge: “Inco must now pay Phelps a break fee of $125 million (U.S.), plus an extra $350 million if Inco “consummates” another deal by Sept. 7.” These merger and takeover battles […]

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The Beauty of the Free Market in Action

by Jim Stanford We all know that private companies are efficient, because they are forced to be by the discipline of the free market. Companies which do not operate efficiently will be driven out of business by those that do. This creative destruction will leave us all better off (abstracting from adjustment costs): higher productivity, cheaper, higher quality products and […]

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The World Upside Down

by Jim Stanford I’ve now been in Melbourne Australia for one month of my 12-month sabbattical. It’s always interesting for an economist to live somewhere else and compare the micro-minutae of life. It’s a sure-fire way to drive your travelling partners nuts. Here are my main impressions of economic life on the bottom side of the planet so far: 1. […]

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