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 'liberals'

Andrea Horwath’s Debacle

I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud when I saw election results. I almost spat a mouthful of my breakfast across the room. Almost nobody expected Ontario’s Liberals to win a majority, least of all the NDP’s Andrea Horwath. Her decision to pull the plug on the Wynne government has to go […]

Flaherty’s Funny Math with the EI Surplus

The Parliamentary Budget Office has come out with a report, suggesting that the Conservatives will likely balance the budget ahead of schedule. But, and it’s a big but, if there were no EI surplus, there would be no balanced budget in 2016. And the annual surplus in the EI Operating Account is no small potatoes […]

Chrystia Freeland’s Liberal Use of Economic Platitudes

Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein has interviewed the presumptive Liberal candidate in Toronto Centre, Chrystia Freeland, who declares, “I’m a capitalist red in tooth and claw.” 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 […]

Linda McQuaig for Toronto Centre

For the “You Read It Here First” 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 […]

Is Chrystia Freeland Progressive?

Chrystia Freeland, The Globe and Mail’s candidate in Toronto Centre, recently wrote a book about inequality (which I have not yet read) and is supposed to “bring fresh thinking to the Liberal Party’s economic team.” She has already attracted a few jabs from right-wingers Terence Corcoran and William Watson. But is she progressive? The Globe […]

McGuinty Budget Would Cut Over 100,000 Jobs

Last week, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union released an interesting report by the Centre for Spatial Economics on the economic impact of proposed provincial budget cuts. It provides a timely reminder that the public sector is a crucial component of the economy, with public spending also supporting many private-sector jobs. The Centre for Spatial Economics […]

Bear Safety Tips for Bob Rae

Liberal leader Bob Rae seems intent on provoking a Grizzly attack. I have slightly adapted some internet advice for him: – Play dead! (The latest polling results should make that relatively easy.) – Lie face down on the ground with your hands around the back of your neck. – Stay silent and try not to move. – […]

Ontario’s Stimulating Election Platforms

A common refrain among political pundits has been that all of Ontario’s election platforms are unrealistic given a deteriorating economic outlook. Rather than bemoaning this alleged lack of realism, we should evaluate how each party’s platform would fare in a downturn. The NDP platform is built on the fiscal framework set out in the 2011 […]

Liberal Math

This Ontario NDP fact check should warm the hearts of economists, accountants and math teachers everywhere: Are Liberals Smarter Than a 5th Grader? The Ontario Liberals put out a release with this erroneous secondary headline: “NDP K-12 plan amounts to just 0.0009% of total education budget.” To calculate this figure, they divided $20 million by […]

McGuinty’s Graph Misleads on Corporate Taxes

Further to Jim’s excellent critique of the Ontario Conservative platform’s graphs, I am similarly struck by the Liberal platform’s lone graph. “Cutting Ontario’s Taxes on New Business Investment in Half” (page 25) purports to show that corporate tax cuts are required to get the province’s “Marginal Effective Tax Rate” below the US and OECD averages. […]

Fiscal Record of Canadian Political Parties

With all the recent news stories — as well as alarm raised by other leaders — about the fiscal and economic impact and record of NDP governments, I decided to take a look at and review the fiscal record of all federal and provincial governments in Canada for the past three decades. These results may […]

False Consciousness, Part I: On Elections and the Middle Class

The following appeared in the National Post today. We’re in the last week of a federal election campaign, and every party wants you to believe they’re there for the hardworking families of a middle class under enormous pressure. That’s you, right? The idea of the middle class resonates, because it is a notion we all […]

Shock and Awful – The Truth Behind CIT Cuts

Cutting corporate income taxes doesn’t create jobs. They may raise wages, but probably not for you and me. And they mean Canadian taxpayers are paying more….to help the Americans pay down their debt Here’s how I know these things to be true: Yesterday SUN TV rolled out its first full day of programming. The prime […]

Iggy’s EI Reversal

In case progressives needed another reason to distrust Michael Ignatieff, he just pulled the rug out from under Employment Insurance improvements: Michael Ignatieff is reversing his support for a wide range of enhancements to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, saying they are too expensive and are no longer required. The Liberal Leader attempted to provoke a […]

Liberal-NDP Merger?

Warning: The following post probably does not belong on an economics blog. Yesterday, CBC reported that Liberals and New Democrats are negotiating a possible merger of the two parties into one. It seems like everyone except Warren Kinsella has denied this report. So, how does CBC respond? It doubles down on its original report by […]

Liberals Reply to Bay Street

Michael Ignatieff sent an April Fool’s Day letter to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. It marshalled compelling evidence against more corporate tax cuts, but insisted that the Liberals still favour more corporate tax cuts: In a study that KPMG describes as “the most thorough comparison of international business locations ever undertaken by KPMG,” it was […]

Ignatieff on Corporate Taxes

Last night, I went to sleep early before watching any coverage of the Liberal Policy Conference. This morning, a well-rested Erin Weir marched into the office with such purpose that I did not even look below the fold on The Globe and Mail’s front page. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I got an e-mail about […]

McGuinty, the CCPA and the HST

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has taken a shine to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Over the past month, he and other Liberals have repeatedly cited it. Indeed, McGuinty invoked the CCPA’s name four times in the provincial legislature on February 17. However, he first did so the day before that: Ms. Andrea Horwath: […]

A Reverse Mortgage on Ontario’s Crown Jewels

I have the following op-ed on page A19 of today’s Toronto Star. It reiterates points made before on this blog. The only substantive difference is that I had previously low-balled the annual profits of Ontario’s Crown corporations at $4 billion. Today’s op-ed assumes $4.3 billion, the amount anticipated for the current fiscal year. That assumption […]

Paul A. Samuelson 1915-2009

Paul Samuelson was the greatest economic theorist of the 20th century. If we see Leon Walras, with his general equilibrium theory, as the Newton of economics – which I think Samuelson did – then Samuelson was its Einstein. In his Foundations of Economic Analysis in 1947, he laid out the fundamental mathematics that underlay the […]

Reading the entrails of BC’s election

Three-peat. Hat trick. The media is full of jubilation for the re-election of the Campbell Liberals. But looking at the numbers, it was actually quite close: the BC Liberals got 45.7% of the popular vote, compared to 42.2% for the NDP. This slim margin validates the Angus Reid polling camp, which came closest on estimating […]

Costing the Liberal Platform

The Liberals released a “costed” platform today. http://www.liberal.ca/platform_e.aspx There’s a lot to like here in terms of the Liberal Party’s programmatic commitments to child care , support for manufacturing investment, green job creation, public health care, student aid, basic infrastructure, dealing with poverty, and so on – but I stand by my earlier argument that […]

“Junkyard Jack”

An open letter to Susan Riley (Ottawa Citizen) Dear Susan I always enjoy your columns, but feel compelled to modestly take issue with yesterday’s highly critical piece on Layton and the NDP. http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/columnists/story.html?id=380c76cc-f1cc-4aa8-84d7-4aadebd0ec1f   Yes, Layton is sometimes unduly macho combative and, yes, the frequent attacks on the Liberals do sometimes grate, especially if they […]