Training, Productivity and Political Football

“Canada’s New Government” says that it wants to focus on “the productivity agenda.” But they seem unable to look beyond partisan considerations to make the rather obvious link between investment in skills, and building a more productive economy. The previous Liberal government had just begun to slowly re-invest in worker training and adult learning after years of federal cuts, devolution […]

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Economic Impacts of Unions

The Economist (September 21 Print Edition) runs an article “The Limits of Solidarity” which attacks US Democrats for favouring union-friendly legislation. It concludes as follows: “After all, trade unions have obvious drawbacks as well as modest attractions. Whenever they win their members higher wage rises than in non-unionised firms, this money has to come from somewhere. If it comes from […]

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ILO Study on Impacts of Liberalization of Public Services

Winners or Losers? Liberalizing Public Services Edited by Ellen Rosskam International Labour Office, Geneva 2006 New state of the art review, available upon request by emailing your name/address to: secsoc@ilo.org. Approx. 400 pages. Free of Charge. Available from ILO Geneva Public services are being liberalized world wide, opened to foreign service providers, often turned into private services through privatization, commercialization, […]

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Who Benefits from Earned Income Tax Credits?

The last federal Liberal Budget promised to introduce a tax credit to supplement the incomes of the working poor, and this commitment was re-iterated in the first Conservative Budget. The recent Toronto-based task force on Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults advocated such a supplement, and this widely-publicized proposal has been taken up by several of the leading federal […]

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Lots of kindling

Are we headed towards a recession in 2007? Housing markets have begun to turn, interest rates are back where they were pre-9/11 and oil is near $80 a barrel. Nouriel Roubini puts the risk of a US recession at 50% for 2007. I like this approach – no one can predict the future so we must think ahead in terms […]

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Foreign ownership in the Canadian economy

Statscan reports the latest numbers on foreign ownership: Foreign-controlled corporations accounted for 21.9% of assets held in Canada, and 30.0% of operating revenues. Despite the odd fluctuation, these shares have remained fairly stable ever since the post-recessionary period of the mid-1990s. Assets of foreign-controlled corporations rose a healthy 8.3% to $1.1 trillion in 2004, while those of Canadian-controlled corporations jumped […]

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