Poverty in Yukon

Last week I was in Whitehorse where I released a peer-reviewed policy report on poverty in Yukon. The report was part of the much larger Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada project. Report findings include the following: -Ignoring poverty can be quite costly, as has been clearly demonstrated by research on the ‘costs of poverty’ done by economist Nathan […]

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Why Can’t We Afford What We Used to Have?

In this age of  austerity, we are constantly told by governments that we have to tighten our belts. Tuition fees have to go up; public pensions, Unemployment Insurance and social assistance benefits have to be cut; universal public health care is no longer affordable, and so on ad nauseam. But, as my friend Peter Puxley recently reminded me,  it is […]

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Meilinomics II: Income from Within

The following is another excerpt from Dr. Ryan Meili’s new book, A Healthy Society: How a Focus on Health Can Revive Canadian Democracy, which fellow blogger Greg Fingas has been discussing. The road to Tevele is red sand and sloppy in the rainy season. The pick- up truck bounces in and out of ruts as we head thirty-some kilometres from […]

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The Big Banks’ Big Secret

The CCPA today released my report: “The Big Banks Big Secret” which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks.  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 reports from the banks themselves. […]

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PBO Strikes Again

I wanted to tip my hat to the hard working folks at the PBO for a particularly revealing Economic and Fiscal Outlook that was published today.  While the PBO has more than once eaten my lunch on various issue they’ve done a superb job of looking at Canada’s economic and fiscal position. David MacdonaldEconomist with the Canadian Centre for Policy […]

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The Affordability of Post-Secondary Education

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 found here. Nick FalvoNick Falvo […]

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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 people, including the campers and […]

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Why taxing food staples should not be considered a policy option in Canada

Here’s an excellent piece by Sam Boshra, about the recent proposal by Michael Smart and Jack Mintz to apply the GST to food, from Sam’s blog at Economic Justice: Low-income households can’t buy food today with a larger HST rebate they hope to get sometime in the future.  A key objective of the social safety net, welfare, disability, unemployment, child tax, […]

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The Political Roots of Inequality

 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 “skills biased technological change or SBT ” hypothesis so favoured by mainstream economists who desperately avoid discussion of inequality as a political as well as economic […]

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Rising Inequality Spooking the 0.0001%

Contributors to this blog–and CCPA experts–have been warning about the negative economic and social consequences of rising inequality for decades.   Now the even the 0.0001% are getting concerned.   Experts polled for the Global Risks Report for this month’s meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos –one of the most eleite gatherings of the powerful in the world — selected severe […]

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Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession.  Its focus was almost exclusively child poverty, and at full […]

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Economic Climate and Inequality

The December issue of the quarterly Economic Climate for Bargaining publication I produce is now on-line.  This issue has a number of pieces on issues of inequality, including: Rising inequality is hurting our economy Labour rights, unions and the 99% Canadian economy bleeding jobs; public sector cuts to intensify Recession and cuts hit Aboriginal and racialized workers hardest It also […]

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Mind the OECD Credibility Gap

Further to Toby’s post, the OECD report on inequality is well worth a careful read. It bolsters, through careful empirical and cross country analysis, two key arguments long advanced by the labour movement and progressive economists: -  key trends in the labour market – widening wage disparity between top earners and the rest, and the disproportionate growth of precarious jobs […]

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OECD on Inequality

Following concern expressed by the IMF, the Conference Board and of course thousands of protesters around the world, the OECD has just released an extensive 400 page report on the problem of growing inequality: Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps on Rising. I haven’t read through it yet, and it also has quite a lot of other information for downloading […]

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The New Politics Initiative: Ten Years After

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 Rebick and Jim Stanford. Altogether these make for a timely reflection on directions for […]

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Unequal = Indebted

The IMF find that rising inequality is a key driving force behind balance of payments problems and domestic instability in developed countries. “what unites the experiences of the main deficit countries is a steep increase in income inequality over recent decades, as measured by the share of income going to the richest 5 percent of the country’s income distribution. This […]

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Who Occupies the Sky?

CCPA released a new report today by myself and Amanda Card that makes the links between inequality and carbon footprints. We look at the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions for Canada, building on an analysis of BC emissions. While it was not planned this way, the analysis is timely given the Occupy movement’s focus on surging inequality and movements for […]

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Families, Time and Well-Being

Inequality of well-being among families with children is increasing at an even faster rate than income inequality, according to a new study by Peter Burton and Shelley Phipps, “Families, Time, and Well-Being in Canada”. They find that total family working hours have increased for most families, but not for those at the top of the income spectrum who have been […]

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The financial wealth of Canada’s top 1%

Following up on my post on wealth and income of the top 1%, Eric Pineault wrote to add some data on financial wealth distribution for Canada. He had a research assistant comb through microdata from Statcan’s Survey of Financial Security from 2005, and notes: “the 1% richest (all households are classed according to net worth rather then income) hold 22% of […]

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Wealth and Income in the Top 1%

One thing I really like about the Occupy movement is that it reclaiming mental space. I’m thinking of the overt focus on the riches gained by the top 1%, and of naming and shaming capitalism. Two are one and the same, of course. It is in the top 1% that we find the capitalists – those who own large chunks […]

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Canada’s Billionaires

Just in time for the “Occupy Bay Street” protest this weekend, Canadian Business magazine has come out with its annual listing of the richest 100 people in Canada.  So in honour of the protestors and their noble cause (demanding more attention to the 99%, instead of the 1%), let’s peruse together the sordid details of Canada’s ultra-rich.

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Roubini on the Instability of Inequality

Business-school professor and economist Nouriel Roubini earned his nickname Dr. Doom by repeatedly predicting the chain of events that would cause the global economic house of cards to fall down. Yesterday he laid out the economic dilemmas that are triggering a global Occupy movement and concludes: “Any economic model that does not properly address inequality will eventually face a crisis […]

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Why occupy? It’s the inequality.

The Occupy Wall Street protests hinge on injustice, in particular a malaise with the current economic system that has brought us a tremendous inequality and the rise of the super-rich, or top 1%. But surely that is just the US? Alas, no. The figure below shows the change in BC labour income (wages and salaries) and corporate profits (before tax) going […]

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Libertarians for an Inheritance Tax

I rarely give thanks for Neil Reynolds, but today’s column is a must-read. The point is that taxing large inheritances should appeal not only to those of us concerned about highly unequal outcomes, but also to those simply concerned about equality of opportunity. It may or may not be possible to justify inequalities based on differences in effort, skill, intelligence, etc. […]

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Who’s over or under-paid?

We all know that the wages and compensation individuals receive in private competitive markets reflects their productivity, unless pesky unions and government regulations get in the way–because Economics 101 (and Michael Hlinka) have told us so.   Corporate CEOs are worth every penny their “independent compensation committees” award in compensation and stock options them because they are “creating value” and hedge fund operators are […]

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