Main menu:

Posts by Author

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Archive for 'competition'

Rental Housing in Yellowknife

Yesterday I blogged about rental housing in Yellowknife, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site.  Specifically, I blogged about a recent announcement by the city’s largest for-profit landlord that it plans to “tighten” its policies vis-a-vis renting to recipients of “income assistance” (which, in most parts of Canada, is known generically as social assistance).  […]

The NSA Scandal is all about Economics

Back in 1998, I wrote a lengthy investigative feature for The Financial Post about Canada’s signals intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), and its post-Cold War role. You can read it here: http://circ.jmellon.com/docs/pdf/trolling_for_secrets_economic_espionage.pdf The CSE and its sister signals intelligence agency in the US, the National Security Agency (NSA), engage in espionage using solely […]

The Blackberry mess and what Canada needs

Another year, another dead Canadian tech giant.  Blackberry was sold yesterday for scrap to the Toronto private equity firm Fairfax.  The purchase price of $4.7 billion is essentially valued at its cash of $2.6 billion and the value of its patents.  Blackberry’s active businesses are being valued at essentially nothing.  If Fairfax can stop the […]

Glass-House Mortgages

A letter appears in today’s Globe and Mail in response to recent direction given by Minister Flaherty to private mortgage lenders over mortgage rates.  The letter was written by Steve Pomeroy, one of Canada’s leading housing policy experts. Here is the full text of the letter: – Glass-house mortgages Twice in recent weeks, the Minister […]

Canada’s Economic Problem is NOT High Wages

Bill Curry reports in today’s Globe that, at last year’s economic policy retreat, business leaders urged Finance Minister Flaherty to reduce the pay of “overpriced” Canadian workers, including through anti union right to work legislation. Coincidentally, or not, the subsequent 2012 federal Budget introduced new rules which will require most EI claimants to accept jobs […]

Canada’s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education

On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference.  My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link. Points I raised in the address include the following: -Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts […]

The Rise of the Casino Economy

I was on a road trip recently, driving through the American south, and ended up coming face to face with the economics of gambling. The friend I was travelling with is a professional poker player, making his living at casinos all across the US. He used to work as an IT consultant in Toronto, helping […]

New Generation of Thinkers Link Inequality, Innovation and Prosperity

(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 […]

Copyright on Campus

A recent article by George Monbiot in The Guardian takes a critical look at academic publishers, apparently with a focus on the United Kingdom. The article makes the following points: -Journals now eat up 65 percent of university library budgets. -”[A]cademic publishers get their articles, their peer reviewing (vetting by other researchers) and even much of their editing for free.”  -The […]

The Double Whammy of Defunding Universities

As I’ve blogged about here, federal funding for post-secondary education (PSE) in Canada is decreasing.  Between 1985-1986 and 2007-2008, annual federal cash transfers to Ontario for PSE (in constant 2007 dollars) decreased from roughly $1.4 billion to just under $1 billion. (Yet, during that same period, PSE enrolment in Ontario increased by more than 60 percent). And as I’ve written about […]

Mintz: Wrong Again on Corporate Taxes

Ten days ago, Jack Mintz released yet another paper claiming that international competitiveness requires continued corporate tax cuts. In addition to the usual questionable interpretations, it featured at least one straight factual error. Mintz inaccurately reports Iceland’s 2010 statutory corporate tax rate as 15% (Table 2 on page 7 and Table 3 on page 9 […]

OECD Corporate Tax Rates: Does Size Matter?

Advocates of corporate tax cuts like comparing Canada to an unweighted average of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development members. Since the OECD keeps admitting more microscopic economies with very low corporate tax rates, this average keeps falling regardless of whether any country actually lowers its rate. Last year’s admission of Estonia, Israel and Slovenia […]

Laying pipe in Canada

It has been fascinating to watch the growing public reaction to the full-court press from Canada’s Big Pipe companies (aka, the telcos and cablecos) for usage-based billing (internet metering). The CRTC has played a corporatist role that has largely been compliant with the demands of industry. Even in the midst of the turning political tide, […]

New Research Money for the University of Alberta

An article in today’s Globe and Mail discusses some new research funding for the University of Alberta.  In particular, the article notes: The U of A ranks second in total research funding, behind only U of T and up from fifth in 2006. This year, the U of A will spend $514-million on research, more […]

Competition in the Canadian telecom market

Perhaps by now you have seen the TV commercials for Bell touting its much faster 3G network for web phones. Rogers is suing on the basis that Bell is basically making this up. What’s interesting about it, though, is that Bell, Telus and others entering the web phone (or should we just say iPhone) business […]

The Case Against Ticketmaster

Anti-trust lawyer David Balto, with the Center for American Progress, recently made the case against Ticketmaster’s proposed merger with LiveNation in testimony to the US Congress. The testimony also provides an excellent summary of Ticketmaster’s existing monopoly, some of which I excerpt below: Let’s be straightforward about one transparent fact: Ticketmaster is a monopolist and […]

Ticket rage: a national solution

It is so nice to see the backlash against Ticketmaster’s monopolistic practices. Two class action suits have been filed in Canada over the past weeks, and south of the border anti-trust alarm bells are ringing due to Ticketmaster’s proposed merger with Live Nation. Tickets sales have become something close to a natural monopoly, and as […]

Is Layton’s Tax Rate Competitive?

Stéphane Dion has branded Jack Layton an “old-style socialist” with a “job-killing” platform. The C. D. Howe Institute’s Finn Poschmann echoes this view, arguing that corporate tax cuts are needed to keep Canada internationally competitive. (The C. D. Howe Institute is financed and governed by corporate Canada.) Of course, corporate taxes are but one of […]

Competition Law vs Neoliberal Competition Policy

I wrote a paper for a volume on the OECD and competition policy last year, but the editors ultimately wanted less policy analysis and more on the inner workings of the OECD, so it got dropped. But a lot of the content is relevant to today’s release of the Competition Policy Panel report, so I’ve […]

Report of the Competition Policy Review Panel

The report has been released: http://www.ic.gc.ca/epic/site/cprp-gepmc.nsf/en/h_00040e.html This corporate dominated panel has put forward a set of highly pro business recommendations. Given the circumstances in which it was set up – major concerns over foreign takeovers of Canadian resource giants like Inco and Falconbridge – this is actually slightly surprising. The key recommendation is that only […]

Dion-omics: Corporate Tax Cuts and Deregulation

“Dion Would Wield Tax Axe to Spur Growth” was the headline in Tuesday’s Financial Post. The story reported that “Mr. Dion said his party would look to cut taxes across the board” but that “He would not elaborate on which taxes he would cut.” However, Monday’s Liberal press release seemed quite clear about which taxes […]

Competitiveness vs. Comparative Advantage

This post is in response to the following excellent comment from Stephen Moore, the man who will trounce Ralph Goodale in the next federal election (or at least do better than I did): April 2007 testimony before the parliamentary committee on International Trade saw Industry Canada, DFAIT reps and others stress the importance of the […]

Competition vs capitalism in Canada

An interesting story in The Tyee that picks up on evidence from the Conrad Black Trial (from a story in the Globe  as blogged here), and runs with it. It is a telling insider story, one that nicely clears up the difference between the notion of competitive markets and the real world of capitalism and […]

Notes on a potential Telus-BCE merger

The big news story (Globe article here and political analysis here) of the day is the proposed merger between Telus and BCE (aka Bell), and what the government should do about it. Below are a few notes to add some context, and an alternative, to merger mania. First, was it not just a year ago […]