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Back in 1998, I wrote a lengthy investigative feature for The Financial Post about Canada’s signals intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), and its post-Cold War role. You can read it here: http://circ.jmellon.com/docs/pdf/trolling_for_secrets_economic_espionage.pdf The CSE and its sister signals intelligence agency in the US, the National Security Agency (NSA), engage in espionage using solely [...]
This is a little old, but it was brought to my attention late and it seems to be of durable relevance. Last month, the New York Times (NYT) published an article chronicling public giveaways to corporations in the United States. What is extraordinary is that the article is the result of ten months – 10 [...]
The US federal budget is back in the spotlight now that the election is over. In one sense, not much has changed in that the Republicans continue to hold the House, the Democrats the Senate and White House. But what we are now witnessing is the culmination of budget deals going back to the first [...]
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 [...]
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
A release by the Fraser Institute – Measuring Labour Markets in Canada and the United States, 2012 Edition – registers as a spectacular own goal. The Fraser Institute believes – and argues in this study – that strong unions, high minimum wages and high levels of public sector employment undermine labour market performance measured in [...]
In case anyone was wondering about the effectiveness of right to work laws in suppressing unionization, here is a chart of Union coverage rate by State (the percentage of all employees that are covered by a collective agreement) as of 2010. Right to work states have an asterisk, and are outlined with a black dotted line. (Chart [...]
The US Federal Reserve today released its triennial examination of incomes and net worth of American households in the Survey of Consumer Finances. 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 [...]
Professor Miles Corak had a post on The Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab yesterday comparing measures of unemployment in Canada and the U.S. I remember learning in Economics 100 that the official Canadian and American unemployment rates are not directly comparable, in part because Statistics Canada includes 15-year-olds whereas the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [...]
The following commentary also appears on The Globe and Mail’s Global Exchange blog: What Obama’s Corporate Tax Proposal Means for Canada Last week, there was much consternation in Canada’s business press that some modest reversals of provincial corporate tax cuts and President Obama’s proposed corporate tax changes could erode our competitiveness. Canadians should maintain a [...]
An article in yesterday’s Village Voice looks at the rising costs of post-secondary education (PSE) in the United States. It points to research suggesting that the “biggest single factor” contributing to the rising cost of PSE for both private and public institutions is the cost of employee health benefits. I would infer from the above that, insofar [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under bubble, education, fiscal federalism, health care, post-secondary education, privatization, social policy, student debt, student movement, US, user fees.
January 5th, 2012
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 – [...]
Newly-released data indicate that student debt is rising amongst new physicians in Canada. In 2010, 23 percent of medical residents reported having more than $120,000 in education-related debt upon completion of their residency training (as compared with just 17 percent in 2007). (Note: across Canada, average tuition fees for medical students amount to just over $10,000 a year.) This appears to have [...]
Scott Sinclair writes cogently on the CCPA blog about the current edition of the Buy American debate. We had somewhat different views of the 2010 Canada-U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement. However, I certainly endorse Scott’s conclusion that the Canadian government should be strengthening public investment here rather than just complaining about proposed public investment south [...]
After watching Jack Layton’s state funeral, I noticed that Jean-Claude Trichet’s speech from Jackson Hole is online. The European Central Bank president does not seem to get it. Far from acknowledging that last month’s interest-rate hike was premature, he touts “price stability.” His main theme is that the economic divergence between Eurozone countries is comparable [...]
A recent article in The Atlantic looks at student debt in the United States and suggests there may be a student debt bubble. Written by the authors of the recent book, Higher Education?, the article points out that “college loans are nearing the $1 trillion mark, more than what all households owe on their credit cards.” The article also [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under bubble, debt, education, household debt, labour market, post-secondary education, social policy, student debt, student movement, unemployment, US.
August 23rd, 2011
As I’ve blogged about here, federal funding for post-secondary education (PSE) in Canada is decreasing. Between 1985-1986 and 2007-2008, annual federal cash transfers to Ontario for PSE (in constant 2007 dollars) decreased from roughly $1.4 billion to just under $1 billion. (Yet, during that same period, PSE enrolment in Ontario increased by more than 60 percent). And as I’ve written about [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under competition, education, fiscal federalism, health care, human rights, inequality, Ontario, post-secondary education, social policy, student movement, unions, US, user fees.
August 21st, 2011
Mainstream policy wonks often claim that tuition fees and rising levels of student debt in Canada are relatively inconsequential. They argue that though the costs of higher education for students (and sometimes their families) are increasing, so is post-secondary enrollment, meaning that raising the cost of post-secondary education clearly doesn’t block access. While enrollment is indeed [...]
The 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) was released on Monday. Because it’s compiled by Shanghai Jiaotong University, it’s commonly known as “the Shanghai ranking.” As I recently blogged about here, the methodologies used in global university rankings typically advantage English-language universities. This year’s Shanghai ranking confirms this: 20 of the Top 25 universities in the ARWU are located [...]
This guest post is from PEF members Marc Lavoie and Mario Seccareccia, both of whom are full professors of economics at the University of Ottawa. The “Japanization” of the World Economy Over the last twenty years, the Japanese economy underwent a long period of economic stagnation that some economists have characterized as a protracted “balance-sheet [...]
I have been reluctant to condemn the credit-rating agencies for sovereign downgrades because it seemed like shooting the messenger. As the bond markets have noticed, a few European countries have serious fiscal problems. Blaming the raters for also noticing did not seem like an effective response. However, I think that Standard and Poor’s decision – [...]
Jason Clemens, who hangs his hat at several right-wing think-tanks (the Fraser, Pacific Research and Macdonald-Laurier Institutes), lauds Canadian fiscal conservatism in today’s Wall Street Journal: Canada’s government, for example, has grown smaller over the last 15 years. Total government spending as a share of the economy peaked at a little over 53% in 1993. [...]
Down south, the Obama administration is in a dangerous game of chicken with Republican congressional leaders, who are cynically holding the US economy hostage in order to impose a radical agenda of spending cuts. Obama has seemingly bought into the rhetoric of cutting debt, rather than focusing on the real US problem of unemployment. Yet, [...]
Manufacturing jobs have been declinining as a percentage of total jobs in most OECD countries for several decades, with Ontario being especially hard-hit as a jurisdiction. At the end of the Second World War, manufacturing jobs accounted for 26% of all Canadian jobs; by 2007, this figure had dropped to just 12%. And as I’ve [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under auto industry, Conservative government, education, employment, industrial policy, labour market, manufacturing, NAFTA, OECD, Ontario, post-secondary education, R&D, student debt, unemployment, US, wages.
June 26th, 2011
I was watching CNBC and happened to see this panel about how the number of Americans killed by natural disasters has declined over time. It was also noted that, in early 2010, fewer people died in Chile’s earthquake than in Haiti’s earthquake. The discussion quite reasonably outlined how improvements in emergency preparedness, building codes, and [...]
Munir Sheikh, former head of Statistics Canada and of tax policy at Finance Canada, has an op-ed in today’s Globe: “A Canada-U.S. tax gap means a Canada-U.S. tax transfer.” As he notes, “any U.S. citizen, resident or company earning income in Canada is subject to U.S. tax, with a credit for Canadian tax paid or [...]
From the PEF’s mailbag, here is a guest post by Nick Scott, a recent college graduate and aspiring writer with a passion for environmental conservation. He currently resides in the southeastern United States. The United States and the Business of Pollution In light of the recent environmental tragedy in Japan, there has been a growing [...]
Multinational corporations generally provide more detail to the US Security and Exchange Commission than in their Canadian annual reports. Thank goodness for American disclosure requirements. Along with its 2010 Annual Report, PotashCorp released its Annual Report on Form 10-K (a Security and Exchange Commission filing) on Friday afternoon. The following section is on pages 14 [...]
The main objection to my argument about the treasury transfer effect is that American companies do not actually repatriate their Canadian profits and pay US corporate tax on them. As The Globe reported: Jack Mintz, director of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, said the unique tax status of U.S. companies [...]
A few months ago, I tore a strip off Barrie McKenna’s column on internal trade. But today I write to praise his column on corporate taxes: U.S.-based companies . . . are taxed by the Internal Revenue Service on their global income. So any profits they don’t reinvest and try to repatriate are hit with [...]
Today, the Global Development and Environment Institute and the Institute for Policy Studies released the following statement signed by more than 250 economists, including a couple of Progressive Economics Forum members: Dear Secretary Clinton, Secretary Geithner, and Ambassador Kirk: We, the undersigned economists, write to alert you to important new developments in the economics literature [...]