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 'super-rich'

Women On Top, By the Numbers

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we ask: Are more women making it to the top in Canada? And what does that mean for the 100 per cent? The 2013 edition, by the numbers. (All data are most recently available statistics.) 1 out of 5: 21 per cent of the people in the top […]

Happy Crashiversary! Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Four years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, it’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 […]

Canadian banks use of tax havens keeps growing

A growing share of Canada’s investment overseas is being channeled by Canadian banks into tax havens. The latest Statistics Canada figures  show 24% of Canadian direct investment overseas in 2011 went to the top twelve tax havens, up from 10% in 1987.   In fact, tax havens of the Barbados, Cayman Islands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Bermuda were […]

Neil Reynolds’ Fuzzy Tax Math

If you need help with your tax return, don’t ask Neil Reynolds. His latest attack on the New Democrat proposal to collect modestly more tax from Ontario’s super-rich stated that “the province’s highest marginal rate on personal income would rise, federal and provincial rates combined, from 46.4 per cent to 49.4 per cent – meaning that […]

Taxing Ontario’s Richest

Ontario’s NDP was out today with a Robin Hood proposal to collect more provincial tax from personal incomes in excess of half a million dollars. The approximately $570 million of additional revenue would increase the Ontario Disability Support Plan, protect childcare spaces and remove provincial HST from home heating. UBC economist Kevin Milligan has been […]

Cost of Inequitable Tax Loopholes Increases

Finance Canada published its annual Tax Expenditure Report for 2011 and it shows that the cost of some of the most inequitable tax preferences and loopholes continues to rise. For instance the stock option deduction, which allows CEOs and executives to pay tax at half the rate of ordinary working income, is estimated to cost the federal […]

One Way the Richest 1% Can Help the Other 99%

It’s often said that there aren’t enough rich people in Canada to make a real difference to fiscal policy and, in consequence, the rest of us. Yesterday Canadian Business’s annual special edition devoted to Canada’s richest 100 people hit the stands, where it will stay until Christmas. As a regular contributor I was invited to […]

Why even conservatives are worried about rising inequality

This essay was commissioned by the National Post.  It was published in today’s edition under the headline “A Problem for Everyone“.  In the print edition, the overline -  a large font summary of what you are about to read  written by the editors –  reads:  “Income inequality isn’t just unfair — it threatens the whole […]

The Ontario NDP Platform

Pollsters tell us that Ontario’s New Democrats may double their seat total in next month’s provincial election. It’s also entirely conceivable that they could be part of a coalition government at Queen’s Park. But what’s actually in the party’s election platform? One central feature of the NDP’s proposals is to implement a tax credit for companies that hire new workers. The tax […]

BC’s Regressive Tax Shift

With much of the talk on taxes in BC about the HST, we issued a new report today that looks at the bigger context for BC’s tax system (Vancouver Sun oped here, CTV News story here). Iglika Ivanova, Seth Klein and I compare and contrast BC’s tax system after a decade where tax cuts were […]

Did NDP Sectarianism Screw Canada?

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 […]

Of the 1%, For the 1%, By the 1%

The first leg of the federal election campaign has featured much debate over who benefits from different proposals. At least indirectly, it has been a conversation about income inequality. What have they been saying? The Harper Conservatives have introduced a number of high-cost measures all of which are based on tax cuts, all of which […]

Who Benefits from the TFSA?

A shorter version of this analysis was published today in the Globe and Mail’s online business feature Economy Lab. Stephen Harper has unveiled yet another plank in a platform that seems remarkably out of touch with the concerns of an electorate walking on post-recession eggshells. His latest proposal would double the contribution limit to the […]

An Alternative Budget: Making Jobs, Not War

This piece was initially posted on the Globe and Mail’s online business feature, Economy Lab. Join the comments section! For 18 years I’ve been part of a national project in participatory budgeting called the Alternative Federal Budget. Each year dozens of national and community organizations representing millions of Canadians convene over a six month period, […]

The Rise of the Global Elite

“The already wealthy have emerged from the global recession in an even wealthier position. What does the rise of global elites mean to power and influence at home and abroad?” That’s the blurb from TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, the latest Canadian news show to tackle the issue that explains so much of what […]

Luxury carbon

I was talking about carbon pricing and BC’s carbon tax recently and Michael Byers asked me about the prospects for a progressive carbon tax in terms of its rate structure. My first answer was that I liked the idea but was not sure how that could work in practice; that is, tax carbon and deal […]

Federal Taxes and Inequality in the U.S. — and Ontario’s HST

Today the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published analysis and data on the incidence of different US federal taxes by income group.  They are a model of summary data and accessibility, with easily downloadable spreadsheet files, that Canada’s federal agencies (whether Revenue Canada, Statscan or the Parliamentary Budget Office) would do well to emulate.  The data show […]

Tax the very rich and solve the PBO problem

A guest post from PEF Steering Committee Marc Lavoie of the University of Ottawa: Tax the very rich and solve the PBO problem Among the dozen or so sessions I attended at the meeting of the Canadian Economics Association last week-end in Quebec City, one was devoted to the forthcoming fiscal crisis and another to […]

Canada Breaks Rank on Banker Bonuses

Canada likes to think of itself as the country that emerged from the financial crisis squeaky clean. Too bad it is abdicating a leadership role in creating a safer financial system going forward. The issue is bonuses paid to top executives in the financial sector. It looks like the Europeans and Americans have hammered out […]

Public subsidies for billionaires

In a recent episode of The Simpsons, Monty Burns wins control over a professional basketball team and moves the franchise to Springfield. He then convinces the town to build him a new arena. On opening night, he tells the crowd: “Welcome to the American Dream: A billionaire using public funds to build a private playground […]

Ememies of the heir beware

My old classmate from Upper Canada College, Ed Rogers, was featured in a story in the Globe on the weekend. This gist is that Ed has been waiting a long time to assume the throne of the Rogers empire, but he does not a lock on the top job: Five years after taking the reins […]

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 […]

Capital Gains — and Federal Revenue Losses

The federal finance department just released its Tax Expenditures and Evaluations report for 2007. This annual report includes the estimates and projections of revenues that the federal government loses from different tax credits, deductions, exemptions and other tax expenditures.  The number of these loopholes has proliferated in recent years as the Conservatives have used boutiquey […]

Dark Lord sentenced to Azkaban

What I find so remarkable about Conrad Black’s sentencing to six-and-a-half years in the big house is that none of it needed to happen. Black essentially fell victim to his own hubris: he had a fortune in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and could easily have paid himself for the lavish lifestyle he and […]

Does Canada have too few billionaires?

Alex Davidson of forbes.com, in an article published by the Globe and Mail, comments: Canada has bragging rights as the world’s second-largest country, but when it comes to number of billionaires, they are few and far between. In March, we pinned down the fortunes of just 23 Canadian billionaires — outnumbered by the U.S.’s 415 […]

Competitiveness Meets Poverty and Inequality

On Monday, Ontario’s Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity released a paper entitled, Prosperity, Inequality, and Poverty. As Andrew Sharpe pointed out in a review of Jack Mintz’s book, free-market “policy entrepreneurs” often completely ignore the distributional consequences of their recommendations. The Institute deserves credit for trying to grapple with distributional issues (and also for quoting […]

London’s Super-Rich

The following passage is from “Why England is Rotting” in the June 11 issue of Maclean’s: London’s role as a financial centre on its way to eclipsing New York City has provided a vision of prosperity which, it is assumed, trickles down to the population at large.  But it is a city in which increasingly only […]

The Super-Rich and The New Gilded Age

The New York Times has an interesting piece on the New Gilded Age, with many a multi-millionaire interviewed. Below is a rather unbalanced clipping of some of the more interesting (and progressive) parts of the article: “I don’t see a relationship between the extremes of income now and the performance of the economy,” Paul A. […]

Dark Lord sent to Azkaban

Guilty. The trial is over, or at least this lengthy phase is. The Globe has a good summary of why he was found guilty (see The Independent, too), and an insider look at how the jury made its decision. Below is a (lengthy) retrospective based on various post-trial commentary and analysis in the media, with […]

Competition vs capitalism in Canada

An interesting story in The Tyee that picks up on evidence from the Conrad Black Trial (from a story in the Globe  as blogged here), and runs with it. It is a telling insider story, one that nicely clears up the difference between the notion of competitive markets and the real world of capitalism and […]