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NYT study on public subsidies in the US

This is a little old, but it was brought to my attention late and it seems to be of durable relevance. Last month, the New York Times (NYT) published an article chronicling public giveaways to corporations in the United States. What is extraordinary is that the article is the result of ten months – 10 […]

The PQ budget

On Tuesday, November 20th, the Parti Québécois released its first budget since taking office. This budget was widely anticipated in view of the many fiscal promises the PQ had made during the campaign, most of which where fairly progressive in nature. In the end, the exercise was (aptly) described by Marc Van Audenrode, who followed […]

Another push for jobs by shifting the tax burden on workers…

… in Portugal. Portugal’s Prime Minister announced on Friday that the government would raise workers’ social security contribution rates from 11% to 18% (about one month’s salary)… and decrease companies’ contribution rates from 23.5% to 18% in the same breath. The usual need for job creation is invoked as justificaion for the move… an interesting […]

Pour en finir avec la dette…

The previous post reflects a general mood about the Québec election and its perennial debates, constitutional and otherwise. Nonetheless, for all the talk about Québec’s specificity, many economic discussions bear striking resemblance to what is happening in the rest of North America. Worry about the public debt is one of them, one that has taken […]

Elections and the yearning for change

Watching the election campaign unfold in a province where the [empty] slogan of change manages to obscure most of the spring street action, I was reminded of Tommy Douglas’ nice rendering of Mouseland. It seemed like an appropriate response to the sad series of three bilateral debates between the three main contenders. (Interestingly, Québec Solidaire […]

Ethics and Economics

The New York Times recently reported that the American Economics Association (AEA) will be studying a proposal to adopt a code of ethical standards during its upcoming meetings, set to take place in a few days in Denver. This code of ethical standards could notably address situations where there could be a possible conflict of […]

P3 and Immigration Law in Arizona – “Both” Sides Win?

NPR has just published a very nice piece of investigative journalism about the role of the private prisons industry in influencing immigration law in Arizona. The new law, passed last spring, extends the power (and responsibilities) of police officers to scrutinize immigrants, essentially allowing policemen to stop anybody they deem suspicious and ask them for […]

On public knowledge of tax cuts

Thanks Adrew, Erin, Marc for the nice budget analysis. Far from my mind to take people’s attention from it but while I was listening live to its delivery on CBC, I remembered an article I had read a couple of weeks ago on Cyberpresse (sorry, in French, am looking for the English counterpart). It stated […]

Former Blair minister on why two-tier HC is a bad idea

Just came across this interesting article relating comments by Frank Dobson, former UK health minister under Blair, on the plan by BC liberals to bring in the private sector in health care. Essentially, he thinks it was a fairly bad idea for Britain and advises BC not to go ahead. The following well represents his […]

Municipal police as a locus for PPP’s?

While reading a recent issue of l’Aut’ Journal, I came accross a story claiming that the Montréal municipal police offers privately some of its services (e.g. bodyguards). Well, a rapid visit on the website of the municipal police verified that claim. In fact, there is a whole brochure on the site which details all the […]

Are federal liberals more progressive than conservatives?

A recent debate on strategic voting between Erin Weir and Matthew Bergbusch prompts me to wonder the extent to which liberals are more progressive than conservatives in the federal political arena. I think we can mostly agree that on social issues, such as gay or women’s rights, the liberals do stand on the left of […]

What campaigns for trade deals are made of

An interesting memo just cropped up from Costa Rica in the midst of the debate about the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), one of the latest installements in the string of plans to free trade and capital flows in the Americas. This memo came from the YES campaign and advocated interesting strategies, such as […]

Free University Tuition – A radical position?

A friend just pointed a UN treaty (the International Covenant on Economic, social and cultural rights), to which Canada adhered in 1976, which states that signing parties should strive to tend towards free tuition for post-secondary education. It is in fact one of the “nine core international human rights treaty” (dixit UN website). The relevant […]