PEF home page and weblog
We are pleased to present this rich guest post by a new PEF member, Edgardo Sepulveda. Edgardo has been a consulting economist for more than two decades advising Governments and operators in more than 40 countries on telecommunications policy and regulation matters (www.esepulveda.com). Redistribution, Inequality and the new Federal Tax & Transfer initiatives I want […]
We’re coming up to a Federal Election, and one where “The Economy” will likely be a central battlefield. As such, we’re going to hear many claims and counter-claims that support the view that Stephen Harper is either the Greatest or Worst Prime Minister ever. One point of contention is wages. Part of the problem areÂ the […]
Inequality, the Financial Crisis and Stagnation: Competing Stories and Why They Matter Thomas Palley There exists several mainstream explanations of the financial crisis and stagnation, each explaianing the role they respectively attribute to income inequality. Those explanations contrast deeply with a structural Keynesian explanation of the crisis. The role of income inequality also differs substantially, […]
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 […]
My debate with Alex Usher on tuition fees continues, over at the Academic Matters web site.Â In my latest post, I make the case that Mr. Usher needs to consider Canada’s tax system when suggesting that reducing tuition fees is “regressive.”
Posted by Nick Falvo under Child Care, education, health care, income distribution, labour market, Ontario, post-secondary education, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, young workers.
May 20th, 2014
This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab. Â 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
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 […]
Yesterday’s release from Statistics Canada on the income share of the wealthy generated some interesting coverage and commentary.Â It reported that the top 1%’s share of total income in Canada remained steady in 2011Â in Canada, at 10.6 percent — but still significantly higher than in the 1980s. Most observers did not mention, however, that this […]
This piece wasÂ first publishedÂ in the Globe and Mailâ€™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. Thatâ€™s because of mounting evidence that the increasingly skewed distribution of gains from economic growth slows future growth potential, […]
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. […]
The news of UBC Sauder Business School students chanting about rape of underage girls during a FROSH week event has generated much outrage. As it should. While the chant might seem like an isolated incident, it is not. The recent rape chant scandals in UBC and in St Maryâ€™s University in Halifax are evidence of […]
It has recently been reported that the University of Alberta wants to “reopen two-year collective agreements” with faculty and staff “to help the university balance its budget…” This appears to be in direct response to Alberta’s provincial government announcing in its March budget that there would be a “7% cut to operating grants to universities, […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Alberta, budgets, corporate profits, education, employment, fiscal policy, income, income distribution, income tax, inequality, post-secondary education, productivity, taxation, unions, wages.
August 7th, 2013
On Monday, Andrew wrote that we need a Bay Street sunshine list. Today, we got something almost as good: a Fraser Institute sunshine list, courtesy of US tax filings and The Ottawa Citizenâ€™s Glen McGregor. This piece is a great counterpoint to the Fraser Instituteâ€™s recent attack on public-sector salaries. I hope it is printed […]
Last weekâ€™s publication of the so-called â€œsunshineâ€ list of 88,412 Ontario public sector workers earning more than $100,000 per year elicited lots of howls of outrage in terms of on line commentary. It should not be forgotten that the whole point of the annual list â€“ which dates back to the Harris days â€“ […]
I have a commentary posted on the Broadbent Institute web site, arguing that inequality of wealth fundamentally undermines the argument that market rewards are “fair.” http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/en/blog/andrew-jackson-distribution-wealth-implications-neo-liberal-justification-economic-inequality
This article was published in an abridged form today in the National Post.Â http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/21/armine-yalnizyan-sorry-andrew-coyne-but-income-inequality-is-a-real-problem/ Â 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. Â Chances are, it made you think about how you fit into the story.Â That’s “entirely constructive”, […]
This September, like every year, a new group of high school graduates headed to college or university to pursue higher education. But todayâ€™s generation of students is in for a very different experience from the ones their parents had. On campuses across the country shiny new buildings are popping up, bearing corporate logos or the […]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under education, income distribution, inequality, labour market, privatization, public infrastructure, public services, student debt, taxation, user fees, young workers.
October 9th, 2012
Armine Yalnizyan had a great twitter debate with Andrew Coyne on poverty and inequality that Trish Hennessey storified here:Â http://bit.ly/QwHGJB I think it bears repeating that GDP growth has far outpaced any growth in median and average incomes for Canadians, as you can see in the graph below. (2010 dollars, average and median income in $’s, […]
Four years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, itâ€™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
Kudos to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for raising the profile of the over $500 billion Canadian corporations are holding in excess cash surpluses and not investing in the economy, which garnered front page coverage (and kudos to the CAW for inviting him to speak.) It’s not the first time he’s raised this Â concern. […]
Posted by Toby Sanger under Bank of Canada, capitalism, corporate income tax, corporate profits, debt, deficits, economic crisis, financial crisis, household debt, income distribution, investment, progressive economic strategies.
August 23rd, 2012
The just-released OECD Employment Outlook – full text not available on line – has an interesting chapter on the sharp decline of labour’s share of national income in virtually all OECD countries over the past 30 years, and especially the last twenty years. The median labour share in the OECD fell from 66.1% in the […]
Another sad tombstone to the shrinkage of information for informed social and economic policy – Statscan has decided to discontinue “Perspectives on Labour and Income” in both print and online format. For as long as I can remember, Perspectives reliably provided a firm empirical base for policy debate on key labour market and income issues […]
Today’s Statscan release of income data for 2010 allow for a backward glance at the state of the recovery. What is most striking is that – following two years of flat income growth in 2008 and 2009 – there was no meaningful economic recovery for most Canadians in 2010. Median earnings (half earned more, half […]
The US Federal Reserve today released its triennial examination of incomes and net worth of American households in the Survey of Consumer Finances.Â It shows the crushing effects on net worth of a housing and financial bust unparalleled since the great depression. The shocking results of this study overviewed in the New York Times are […]
On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference.Â 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 […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, competition, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, demographics, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, household debt, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, Newfoundland and Labrador, P3s, part time work, post-secondary education, privatization, productivity, public infrastructure, Quebec, rankings, regulation, Role of government, social policy, student debt, student movement, taxation, user fees, working time, young workers.
June 7th, 2012
Despite the remarkably poor media coverage of the early days of the protests (especially in English Canada), it seems that the Quebec student protestors have finally succeeded in sparking a broader public discussion about civil liberties and the right to protest (even in the Globe here,Â here and in the Celebrity Photo captions). Yet, media […]
I, Jason Clemens from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and David Macdonald from the CCPA discussed the social and economic implications of growing income inequality on an ipolitics panel yesterday. Jason was a bit outgunned so I won’t go after him here, except to say that he took the usual neo liberal tack of shifting the debate […]
The CCPA today released my report: â€œThe Big Banks Big Secretâ€ which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.Â The report bases its estimates on publicly available data from CMHC, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, as well as quarterly […]
Posted by David Macdonald under asset backed commercial paper, auto industry, Bank of Canada, banks, capitalism, corporate profits, economic crisis, economic risk, financial crisis, financial markets, financial regulation, free markets, global crisis, income distribution, inequality, recession, Role of government, Uncategorized.
April 30th, 2012
Last Monday, BC teachers held a Day of Action in communities across the province to protest the BC government’s decision to legislate a contract and put an end to their collective bargaining process. I was invited to speak to teachers at the Surrey rally, where I had the opportunity to share some of my analysis […]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under BC, budgets, economic growth, education, employment, income distribution, inequality, poverty, public services, recession, social policy, taxation, unions, user fees, wages.
March 4th, 2012
Carleton University’s Ted Jackson teaches a graduate seminar course on post-secondary education in Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration. Earlier this month, I was invited to give a guest presentation to Professor Jackson’s class. I focused the presentation on affordability challenges faced by students wanting to pursue post-secondary education. My slide presentation can be […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under education, fiscal federalism, income distribution, inequality, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, post-secondary education, Quebec, social indicators, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, working time, young workers.
February 29th, 2012