The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten proposals from the 2018 Alternative Federal Budget

I’ve written a blog post about this year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB). Points raised in the blog post include the following: -This year’s AFB would create 470,000 (full-time equivalent) jobs in its first year alone. By year 2 of the plan, 600,000 new (full-time equivalent) jobs will exist. -This year’s AFB will also bring in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Rick Smith writes about the Filthy Five loopholes taking the most money out of Canada’s public coffers for the least benefit to anybody but the wealthy. And Ed Finn reminds us to follow the money in figuring out who stands to gain from unconscionable policy choices. – Douglas ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Homelessness in BC

In anticipation of tomorrow’s provincial budget in British Columbia (BC), I’ve written a blog post about the state of homelessness in that province. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Public operating spending by BC’s provincial government has decreased over the past 20 years. -Even after controlling for inflation, average rent levels across ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Panel discussion at federal NDP policy convention

Yesterday I spoke on a panel discussion on economic inequality, along with Andrew Jackson and Armine Yalnizyan. We were guests at the federal NDP’s policy convention in Ottawa. The panel was moderated by Guy Caron. Topics covered included the minimum wage, basic income, affordable housing, the future of jobs, gender budgeting, poverty among seniors, Canadian ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Ed Finn comments on the massive amounts of public money being funneled toward Canada’s wealthiest corporations: When it comes to listing countries on the basis of the social services they provide to citizens compared to the subsidies they heap on corporations, Canada doesn’t fare well. A study from ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – David McGrane writes about Jack Layton’s five great fights – and how they continue to provide an essential framework for social democrats. – Rupert Neate reports on London’s “ghost towers”, which include tens of thousands of high-end homes sitting empty in a city facing a severe housing crisis. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Jim Hightower writes about the importance of a popular movement to build the policy foundation for middle- and working-class prosperity. And Doug Henwood notes that the U.S. union movement managed to hold its ground in 2017. – Ellie May MacDonald points out how austerity imposes a disproportionate ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Kenneth Rogoff writes about the dangers of presuming that economic growth (at least in stock markets if not wages) can withstand political upheaval. Marco Chown Oved reports on the strong support for Democracy Watch’s petition to raise corporate taxes and close loopholes. Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani reports on the latest ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Tom Parkin writes that job numbers inflated by part-time employment shouldn’t distract us from the consumer debt and wage stagnation which are living more and more people with precarious financial situations. Ben Leubsdorf reports on the recognition by members of the American Economic Association that upper-income and ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Evening Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Jennifer Wells reports on the CCPA’s latest study of the continually-increasing chasm between corporate executives and the rest of the workforce. But the Guardian notes that disclosure of CEO pay hasn’t done anything to close the gap – signalling that stronger and more direct public policy will ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Tom Parkin discusses how the growing pile of Liberal disappointments is creating opportunities for Canada’s opposition parties. – Julie Ireton reports on the continued problems being caused by the federal government’s Phoenix privatization debacle – including by forcing retirement-eligible employees to hold on until their retirement income ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Rupert Neate reports on the latest numbers showing the world’s 500 richest people adding a full trillion dollars to their wealth in 2017. And Will Fitzgibbon and Dean Starkman highlight how offshore tax avoidance schemes are sucking prosperity out of the rest of the world. – Noah ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Ryan Avent discusses how wage stagnation is harming U.S. productivity – and how a shift toward empowering workers could be the solution to both: If low wages are indeed inhibiting productivity, what can we do about it? A large corporate tax cut is unlikely to help. In ...

Things Are Good: What We Know After Building Generation One of Net Zero

Popular building low density developments like then pictured above are really bad for the environment. To truly understand how disastrous low density housing is one needs to consider the physical space taken for one household, the need for a car for mobility, the building materials, and obviously the energy used to maintain the house. The ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – The Star’s editorial board calls for a reworking of Canada’s tax system to make sure businesses pay their fair share: The tax bills of most big companies have declined significantly both as a proportion of their profits and as a proportion of Ottawa’s total tax revenue. This means ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Maia Szalavitz writes that the atmosphere of competition and status signalling which prevails in unequal societies is directly connected to increased homicide rates: While on the surface, the disputes that triggered these deaths seem trivial – each involved apparently small disagreements and a sense of being seen as ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Rick Salutin writes that Ontario’s provincial election shows that nobody is prepared to defend neoliberal ideas on their merits – which should provide an opening to start challenging them in practice. And Alice Ollstein examines how Donald Trump’s corporate giveaway looks like an unmitigated economic disaster in the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Joseph Stiglitz writes about the need to learn from past mistakes in order to build a sustainable economy for the future: To someone like me, who has watched trade negotiations closely for more than a quarter-century, it is clear that US trade negotiators got most of what ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Murray Dobbin writes that corporate power is the greatest threat to our health and well-being – and reminds us that government focused on the public interest is a necessary counterweight: The revelations of the Paradise Papers, the earlier Panama Papers and numerous articles in the western mainstream and ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s newly-unveiled National Housing Strategy

Over at the website of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve  written a blog post about the Trudeau government’s recently-unveiled National Housing Strategy. Points raised in the post include the following: -One of the Strategy’s stated objectives is to reduce chronic homelessness in Canada by 50% over 10 years. -The Trudeau government claims that this is ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten considerations for the next Alberta budget

On November 17, the working group of the Alberta Alternative Budget (AAB) sponsored a one-day workshop at the University of Alberta. The event’s main purpose was to discuss recent developments in Alberta public policy, as well as expectations for the upcoming Alberta budget. Twenty speakers presented in total. In light of what was discussed at ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Gimme shelter: is Core Housing Need a useful measure?

For a new CCPA blog post on housing (un)affordability, I dove into the latest Census data for Metro Vancouver. I used two series on shelter cost and shelter-to-income ratio, and found that 32% of households were paying more than 30% of income on shelter (all households, owners and renters) and 16% of households more than ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Larry Elliott interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the rise of Donald Trump and other demagogues in the wake of public anger over inequality and economic unfairness. And Stiglitz also joins a group of economists calling for an end to austerity in the UK. – Phillip Mendonca-Vieira highlights how rent ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to end your week. – Laurie MacFarlane points out how increases in land values have resulted in massive and unearned disparities in wealth. – Kevin Page, Claudette Bradshaw, Geoff Nelson and Tim Aubrey write that a national housing strategy needs to focus on the availability of both affordable housing, and social supports to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Canadians for Tax Fairness discusses the appallingly small tax contributions made by Canada’s largest companies, the vast majority of whom have foreign subsidiaries to avoid paying their fair share. – Meanwhile, Robert de Vries and Aaron Reeves point out the unfortunate reality that far too many people ...