The Progressive Economics Forum: The Alternative Federal Budget 2017

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) was released on March 9. I was proud to be the primary author of its housing chapter (that chapter is available in English here and in French here). The first AFB exercise began in 1994, with the first AFB being published in 1995. That involved a joint effort between ...

Things Are Good: Building the WikiHouse of the Future

Affordable housing is a problem for every country and over the years there have been initiatives to lower the cost of being a home, today some of those are efforts in digitization. The WikiHouse project is all about lowering the cost to design a house by providing people the files needed to plan and build ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Erica Johnson reports that the problem of bank employees being pushed to fleece customers (legality be damned) is common to all of Canada’s major banks. And Lisa Wright reports that the result will be a national investigation. But it’s appalling that it took anonymous reports to the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget

An Alberta-based volunteer working group, of which I’m a part, recently released a document titled Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget (for media coverage, see this Metro article).  Working group members include staff from Alberta’s non-profit sector, labour movement and advocacy sector. While our long-term goal is to emulate the great work of the Alternative ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Wanda Wyporska writes that growing inequality is primarily the result of political choices: If it seems ridiculous that 1,000 people work harder or offer more value than 40 per cent of the population, that’s because it is. This level of inequality isn’t natural or desirable, it’s not about ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Five emerging trends in affordable housing and homelessness

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Five emerging trends in affordable housing and homelessness.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The Trudeau government has spent impressive amounts of money on affordable housing and homelessness.  This is time-limited money though. -There is currently ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Olivia Loveridge-Greene comments on new research showing how many workers may be forced to keep working into their 70s or beyond in order to be able to stay afloat. And Don Pittis explains why tax-free savings accounts and other giveaways to the wealthy won’t do anything to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Olivia Loveridge-Greene comments on new research showing how many workers may be forced to keep working into their 70s or beyond in order to be able to stay afloat. And Don Pittis explains why tax-free savings accounts and other giveaways to the wealthy won’t do anything to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – François Côté-Vaillancourt suggests a greater focus on redistributing wealth and income to ensure a secure standard of living, rather than seeking primarily to put people to work: (I)nstead of fighting job losses, I would suggest that maybe the most important thing we could do would be to raise ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – François Côté-Vaillancourt suggests a greater focus on redistributing wealth and income to ensure a secure standard of living, rather than seeking primarily to put people to work: (I)nstead of fighting job losses, I would suggest that maybe the most important thing we could do would be to raise ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dietrich Vollrath discusses both what’s included in our societal capital, and how best to think of redistributive policies as means of fairly dealing with it: (T)axes are a way of collecting the royalties on trust and scale that we inherited and/or create ourselves. Taxes are the rents ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dietrich Vollrath discusses both what’s included in our societal capital, and how best to think of redistributive policies as means of fairly dealing with it: (T)axes are a way of collecting the royalties on trust and scale that we inherited and/or create ourselves. Taxes are the rents ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Public Policy and Homelessness: The Case of Calgary

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Public Policy and Homelessness:  The Case of Calgary.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Calgary experienced explosive growth in the size of its homeless population from the mid-1990s until 2008. -Though causation is hard to establish, ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Poverty Reduction in Alberta

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “Poverty Reduction in Alberta.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The NDP government of Premier Rachel Notley has undertaken important poverty-reduction initiatives since forming a government in 2015. -Alberta (relative to other provinces) has a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Tom Parkin calls out the Libs’ latest laughable excuse for breaking their promise of electoral reform – being the threat that a party like the one which just held power for 10 years might win a few seats. Andrew Coyne notes that we shouldn’t accept Justin Trudeau’s bogeyman ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Federal Role in Poverty Reduction

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “The Federal Role in Poverty Reduction.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development has been tasked to lead the development of a Canada Poverty Reduction Strategy. -Total public ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Assorted content for your Friday reading. – Aditya Chakrabortty writes about the devastating combination of an urgent need for collective action on the key issues we face, and a deeply-entrenched political aversion to anything of the sort. And Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett highlight how the UK Cons are going out of their way to ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Social Housing in BC, AB and QC (1975-2015)

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation is a transcript of a recent discussion I had with Dr. Maroine Bendaoud. His recently-defended PhD thesis looks at social housing in BC, Alberta and Quebec from 1975 until 2015. Points raised in his thesis include he following: -After Canada’s federal government stopped funding new ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Peter Goodman observes that any meaningful action to build a more equal economy needs to involve bolstering wages and workers’ rights – meaning that the elites-only musings in Davos miss the point entirely: Davos is — at least rhetorically — consumed with worries about the shortcomings of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Tom Parkin points out that neither austerity nor isolationism offers any real solution to improve Canada’s fiscal and economic standing. And Rob Carrick highlights what should be the most worrisome form of debt – being the increased consumer debt taken on to allow people to keep spending in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Per Molander examines new research on the sources of inequality which concludes that massive gaps in wealth and income inevitably arise purely out of chance rather than any individual merit: Differences in income or assets that are based on differences in capabilities or effort are widely considered to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your year. – Michelle Chen writes that wealth inequality and social stratification are only getting worse in the U.S. And Edwin Rios and Dave Gilson chart the diverging fates of the top .01% which is seeing massive gains, and the rest of the U.S.’ population facing continued income and wealth stagnation. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Jonathan Chait sees Larry Kudlow’s claim that “Wealthy folks have no need to steal or engage in corruption!” as an all-too-accurate statement of the belief system underlying Donald Trump’s presidency: What has been exposed is not only the lie at the heart of Trump’s campaign, but a delusion ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Christo Aivalis offers some suggestions for a set of progressive and effective tax policies: My view is that the Left has to combine the general philosophy of economic redistribution with the practical needs of getting the money to preserve existing social programs and build new ones. We have ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Lynn Parramore interviews Mariana Mazzucato about the options available to build a more fair and inclusive economy even in the face of corporatist leaders like Donald Trump: LP: In your earlier book, The Entrepreneurial State, you describe a model of capitalism that would address many of these ...