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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 itâ€™s clear that the TFSA carries far higher risks than rewards â€” for individual Canadians Â as well as for the economy […]
This is a guest blog post from Louis-Philippe Rochon. Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon. — What a tumultuous few weeks we witnessed in Greece. Though the victory of Syriza was ill-received in particular in Germany and the European Central Bank, it was nonetheless a resounding victory for democracy. This victory may now spill into other […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Austerity, debt, democracy, economic crisis, economic growth, Europe, exchange rates, Greece, monetary policy, progressive economic strategies.
February 10th, 2015
Over at the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Ottawa U professor Mario Seccareccia has given an interview titled “Greece Shows the Limits of Austerity in the Eurozone.Â What Now?” The interview can be read here.
Posted by Nick Falvo under banks, budgets, capitalism, debt, deficits, deflation, democracy, economic crisis, economic history, Europe, exchange rates, financial crisis, Greece, IMF, inflation, monetary policy, recession, taxation, unemployment, wages.
February 5th, 2015
What follows is a guest post by Craig Jones, former Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Canada. Champions of harsher justice measures in the Harper government would have us believe that longer sentences are a win-win-win: for victims, for safe streets and for future victims. To that end, the government enacted a number […]
This afternoon I spoke on a panel on university governance at a conference titled Future U:Â Creating the Universities We Want, organized by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.Â Also presenting on the panel were Professor Glen Jones and Professor Claire Polster. Future U: Creating the Universities We want Future U: Creating the Universities […]
Watching Rob Ford in the recent weeks reminds me of what John Ralston Saul once wrote of Benito Mussolini and his contemporary reincarnation in Silvio Berlusconi: â€œHe was the nascent modern Heroic leader. Mussolini combined the interests of corporatism with public relations and sport, while replacing public debate and citizen participation with false populism and […]
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. Â Â 1.Â Â Â Â Introduction and Context Thank you for the invitation to appear before the Committee, as Members of Parliament […]
Almost a year ago, Paul Krugman wrote a blog post entitled â€œInaction is the Greatest Risk.â€ He was addressing American monetary policy, but the same theme applies to Saskatchewan politics. Much as Krugman warned readers upfront that his post was â€œwonkish,â€ Iâ€™ll admit that the following is â€œhackish.â€ For several months, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall […]
This piece was Â publishedÂ today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab.Â Two findings stand out in the National Household Survey (NHS) data released Wednesday, both critical in this post-recession era of uncertainty: 1)Â A quarter of Canadian households spent 30 per cent or more of their pre-tax income on shelter, the official measure of housing affordability. […]
Forty economists, including many Progressive Economics Forum members, have signed the following statement (PDF version): We write to endorse Linda McQuaigâ€™s candidacy for the upcoming federal by-election in Toronto Centre. Linda has deep roots in Toronto Centre, having been born in the riding and lived in it for many years. She is also well-known across […]
Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein has interviewed the presumptive Liberal candidate in Toronto Centre, Chrystia Freeland, who declares, â€œIâ€™m a capitalist red in tooth and claw.â€ To his credit, Klein asks her a couple of times for policy specifics. She concludes the interview by saying: My job right now is to win the right to […]
For the â€œYou Read It Here Firstâ€ file, I wrote on Friday: Toronto Centre needs a candidate with a track record of advancing more substantive and more progressive positions on economic issues. Specifically, the NDP should nominate someone who can take on Freeland regarding inequality and what to do about it. Today, Linda McQuaig announced […]
Chrystia Freeland, The Globe and Mailâ€™s candidate in Toronto Centre, recently wrote a book about inequality (which I have not yet read) and is supposed to â€œbring fresh thinking to the Liberal Partyâ€™s economic team.â€ She has already attracted a few jabs from right-wingers Terence Corcoran and William Watson. But is she progressive? The Globe […]
Today’s CBC Edition Business Panel focused on the proposal by Fraser Surrey Docks to build a new coal terminal on the Fraser river to export US thermal coal (if you missed it, here’s the recording starting at 1:50). This may seem like a local issue for the West Coast, but the arguments stand for most […]
L. Ian MacDonald wroteÂ a defence of the Senate in todayâ€™s Montreal Gazette. He makes the familiar argument that it provides useful study of policy issues. However, his first example is the 2002 Senate report supporting bank mergers. In the wake of the global financial crisis, we should be glad that opposition MPs like Lorne Nystrom […]
Readers of this blog will have hopefully read my report “The big banks big secret”Â which examines the $114 billion that Canada’s banks received during the 2008-09 financial crisis. Â Its major finding was that at some point three of Canada’s fiveÂ big banks had received support worth more than their market capitalization, or the value of all […]
Posted by David Macdonald under Bank of Canada, banks, democracy, economic crisis, financial crisis, financial markets, financial regulation, fiscal policy, global crisis, monetary policy.
June 8th, 2012
Iâ€™ve commented on federal job cuts many times before (here, here, here & here) and in the interests of beating this particular horse good and dead (no animals were harmed in the writing of these reports), the CCPA today is releasing my latest update on the matter: Clearing away the fog: Government Estimates of job […]
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.Â And in Canada, the […]
Â Last Thursday I was at an event on the issue of rising income inequality, sponsored by Canada 2020. It featured one of the authors of the recent OECD report on inequality, who highlighted the â€œskills biased technological change or SBT â€ hypothesis so favoured by mainstream economists who desperately avoid discussion of inequality as a […]
Here’s a guest post from Ben Gillies, a political economy grad from the University of Manitoba. Canadians Must Not Let Dubious Political Tactics Turn Us Off Politics Altogether By Benjamin Gillies Last week, the Conservatives admitted their party was behind a rash of phone calls to Liberal Irwin Cotlerâ€™s federal riding in Montreal, in which […]
Rabble.ca is running a series of reflections on the tenth anniversary of the New Politics Initiative, which sought to create a more democratic politics in Canada ideally as part of a revitalized NDP. The vision statement is here; my piece follows, and there are also contributions from Judy RebickÂ andÂ Jim Stanford. Altogether these make for a […]
Last month, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)Â released a documentÂ entitledÂ Public Education for the Public Good:Â AÂ National Vision for Canada’s Post-Secondary Education System. I found the document to be quite informative, filled with a lot of useful statistics.Â For example: -Enrolment is rising in colleges and universities across Canada. Since the late 1990s, full-time enrolment has […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, democracy, education, employment, fiscal federalism, part time work, post-secondary education, public infrastructure, social policy, user fees, young workers.
November 6th, 2011
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
In August, I blogged about controversy surrounding Concordia University’s Board of Governors. A report co-authored by Bernard J. Shapiro (Canada’s first Ethics Commissioner)Â had concluded that an unofficial, inner circle of Board members had beenÂ micromanaging some of the university’s day-to-day operations, and undermining the President.Â This had apparentlyÂ prompted the resignation ofÂ theÂ previous twoÂ Presidents before the midway points of […]
This essay was commissioned by the National Post.Â It was published in today’s edition under the headline “A Problem for Everyone“.Â In the print edition, the overline -Â a large font summary of what you are about to readÂ written by the editors –Â reads:Â “Income inequality isn’t just unfair — it threatens the whole […]
The Saskatchewan Party had repeatedly promised not to sign TILMA, but signed the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) last year. At the time, many commentators (including yours truly) noted that the NWPTA was little more than a renaming of TILMA. I see that the official TILMA website is now automatically redirecting to the NWPTA […]
Today (June 15th) the Toronto Star broke news that the NDP was planning to drop the term â€œsocialismâ€ from its partyâ€™s platform. This was a mere formality of what had been in existence for decades: the party hasnâ€™t been â€œsocialistâ€ in any shape or form for a very long time. On the very same day, […]
Andrew Scheer has been elected House of Commons Speaker. I met him in 2004, when we were federal candidates in adjacent Regina ridings. I was the no-shot NDP candidate against then-Finance Minister Ralph Goodale and he was the long-shot Conservative candidate against veteran NDP MP Lorne Nystrom. At the end of that summer, we were […]
While NDP supporters might be celebrating last night’s election results, the reality is that it was an umitigated disaster for Canada. The Tory majority will mean more tax breaks for corporations, the gutting of social services and cultural institutions, the widening of the already cavernous income gap, the public defunding of political parties, and the […]
According to the polls, Stephen Harper gets the highest score on handling the economy, though he only gets the nod from 38 per cent of Canadians. As the incumbent, heâ€™s got the advantage on all other candidates.Â What the others have done and might do is a topic for another blogpost. This short summary of […]