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Archive for 'Nordics'

Mining in the NWT: Who Gets What?

In a recent blog post at Northern Public Affairs, Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox looks at the issue of ‘who gets what?’ when a mine is developed in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Here is an excerpt from the post: – The resource extractor: they pay royalties (the NWT has the lowest royalties in the world), and costs of […]

The OECD on Iceland

Further to Toby’s excellent post on Iceland. Here are some extracts from OECD Country Reviews – courtesy of Roland Schneider of TUAC – which show gross disregard for the risks as they were building. Economic Survey of Iceland 2006 Published on 9 August 2006 Chapter 1: Policy challenges in sustaining improved economic performance Iceland’s growth […]

Milton and the Meltdown in Iceland

I was intrigued by what is happening in Iceland, so the following is a piece I’ve written on it.  It has some introductory macro-economics in it, which I think it is good to keep in perspective as we consider the frantic attempts being made to prevent an economic depression. The economic and financial collapse of 2008 […]

Kesselman on Income Splitting

There has been so much discussion of income splitting on this blog that we already have two posts entitled “Income Splitting Redux.” Adding to the mix, the Institute for Research on Public Policy has released a major paper by Jon Kesselman on the subject. He cites my Ottawa Citizen op-ed among many other sources. I […]

The Danish Flexicurity Model

The Nordic Model blog posted this summary of a paper by one of the grand-daddies of Danish flexicurity (blog comments in italics, followed by the text): When Per Kongshøj Madsen, one of the fathers of the flexicurity Danish model, from the CARMA centre of the University of Aalborg, writes an excellent synthesis about flexicurity and […]

PEF session on taxation and social democracy

Stephen Gordon’s presentation from our PEF “taxation and social democracy” session at the CEA meetings is now online at his blog, here. The other presenters on the panel were Andrew Jackson, Erin Weir and Marion Steele. I was the discussant for the session, so I will take Stephen’s cue and jot down some of the […]

OECD praises “flexicurity”

Just in from Paris, some fascinating quotables from the OECD: Governments must do more to help workers adapt to new global economy, says OECD Rather than seeing globalisation as a threat, OECD governments should focus on improving labour regulations and social protection systems to help people adapt to changing job markets. That is the message […]

Inequality and progressive taxation

As Andrew Jackson points out, there are some interesting musings in the US about progressive taxation. In a recent post, Mark Thoma cites four good reasons for progressive taxation: Personally, I’m not much on redistribution simply to make outcomes more equal. But there are (at least) three reasons to depart from this. First, when there […]

The Nordics are embarassing us again

A lovely counterpoint to last week in Canadian politics on greenhouse gas emission reductions, Kyoto and Minister Baird: Norway Plans to Go ‘Carbon Neutral’ April 20, 2007 — Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday proposed to make Norway the first “carbon neutral” state by 2050 and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 30 percent […]

Anarchy in the DK

Something rotten in the state of Denmark? Here’s an interesting take on Copenhagen’s recent youth riots. Anarchy in the DK Jakob Illeborg Copenhagen is burning. For four days the downtown area of the Danish capital has looked like a war zone. At least 690 people have been arrested, many of them younger than 18. As […]

Research and Development

This afternoon, I attended Kenneth McKenzie’s presentation at Industry Canada on “Taxes, R&D and Enterprise Formation.” To a large extent, it was based on his C. D. Howe Institute Commentary. His main message is that governments seeking to promote R&D can “push” by reducing its cost through incentives (i.e. subsidies) or “pull” by increasing its […]

The kids are alright (in Scandinavia)

Some factiods on the well-being of children from a recent UNICEF report (hat tip here). The Nordics are generally at the top of the list; Canada is number 12; the US and UK round out the bottom of the 21 countries on the list. Way to go, Scandinavia – with your high taxes, generous social […]

More truthiness from the Fraser Institute

Last week the Fraser Institute released a report arguing for a shift in Canada’s tax mix that would increase the GST to pay for personal and corporate income tax cuts. The proposal would be a massive gift to the richest among us. It is kind of like asking everyone to make out a cheque for […]

The Danish Model

  A useful piece on the ‘new’ Danish Economy and why it works by Jonathan Cohn, a senior editor at the (American) New Republic and a senior fellow at Demos, a US-based national, non-partisan public policy, research and advocacy organization. NEOLIBERAL UTOPIA AWAITS. Great Danes by Jonathan Cohn Post date: 01.03.07 Issue date: 01.15.07 If […]

Taxes and outcomes:Nordic vs Anglo-American

The CCPA released today a study by Osgoode Hall tax professor Neil Brooks and York’s Thaddeus Hwong called The Social Benefits and Economic Costs of Taxation: A Comparison of High and Low-tax Countries. The study compares 50 indicators of social and economic performance. The full study is available here and a condensed summary follows: Tax […]

Jeffrey Sachs’ Conversion?

Whaddya make of Jeffrey Sachs these days? He was the guy, was he not, who brought free-market shock therapy to Russia and Eastern Europe. But today he is out there championing the virtues of the welfare state. Here’s a recent missive from no less than Scientific American (Oct 16 2006 edition). It sounds just like […]

Jim Flaherty, meet Jeffrey Sachs

Here are two items that go together well. First, here is the most recent tax cut talk from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, as quoted by the Globe and Mail:   “I can assure you that our government is by no means finished in our efforts to improve our tax system for the benefit of Canadian […]

Taxing in Scandinavia

Jim Stanford and Stephen Gordon are keeping me busy today. Another missive from Jim Stanford in the Globe prompted this post from Stephen that leads to some interesting points of comparison between the Nordic model and the Canadian status quo: Welfare states can be competitive Jim Stanford sets aside our shared scepticism about the WEF […]

Norway to cancel illegitimate debt

Kudos to Norway, already a leader in foreign aid as a share of GDP, for cancelling the bilateral debts of five poor nations. The amount of money is not huge, so one might ask why it has taken this long – the 2000 Jubilee campaign might have been a better time. From the story below, […]

Interesting UK Progressive Think Tank

http://www.compassonline.org.uk/publications/good_society/good_society.pdf Compass has just published the first of three short books in an attempt to redefine the social democratic project in the UK. Highly critical of New Labour but strongly influenced by Scandinavian social democracy, Compass is advancing themes and policies which will resonate on the progressive left in Canada – a relentless focus on […]

Congestion pricing

Another aspect of the Swedish elections: voters in Stockhold back an already-introduced measure that changes a fee to motorists entering the city. Shades of London, where congestion pricing has been in effect for a few years now. In our traffic-clogged cities, it is an interesting question about if and how such congestion pricing might come […]

Unspinning the Swedish elections

OK, so the glee of the right regarding the loss of the Socialists in the Swedish elections on Sunday was getting to me. Even though the new government, The Moderates, won by a squeaker, the end of the Swedish model has been triumphantly splashed across the world’s business pages. But as Peter Lindert has pointed […]

Sweden and the Future of Social Democracy

This week’s Economist magazine celebrates in advance the widely expected defeat of the Swedish social democrats in imminent national elections. Actually, a close reading of the data in the piece underlines the fact that Sweden’s economic performance has been well above average over the past decade, precisely the period in which one would have expected […]

Defending Sweden

The Globe and Mail’s Neil Reynolds does a hatchet job on Sweden. Alas, conservatives have called for the end of the Swedish welfare state for a long time, and this smear job may postpone the day that Canadians start looking at Sweden as a model we may want to emulate. Truth be told, I have […]

Debunking labour market “rigidities”

Neoclassical economics, when looking at the labour market, plots its supply and demand curves, with all of their loaded and unrealistic assumptions, and finds an equilibrium wage and employment. Then it finds that anything added on to this simplistic and flawed model – taxation, unions, minimum wages – perturbs that equilibrium. Therefore those things must […]

Sachs sings the praises of Scandinavia

If you listen to the Fraser Institute or like-minded think-tanks on the right, high taxes kill incentives to work and invest. They argue that Canada needs to lower its taxes in order to produce higher rates of economic growth. By their logic, the Scandinavian countries, all of whom have levels of taxes relative to GDP […]