The Progressive Economics Forum: Why occupy? It’s the inequality.

The Occupy Wall Street protests hinge on injustice, in particular a malaise with the current economic system that has brought us a tremendous inequality and the rise of the super-rich, or top 1%. But surely that is just the US? Alas, no. The figure below shows the change in BC labour income (wages and salaries) and ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Murray Dobbin comments on the role that the Occupy protest movement can play in countering corporate power that’s faced far too little opposition for far too long: Why now? Perhaps it is the international dimension of this spontaneous burst of political action. The notion that Stephen Harper would ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Libertarians for an Inheritance Tax

I rarely give thanks for Neil Reynolds, but today’s column is a must-read. The point is that taxing large inheritances should appeal not only to those of us concerned about highly unequal outcomes, but also to those simply concerned about equality of opportunity. It may or may not be possible to justify inequalities based on differences ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament In Review: September 29, 2011

As Parliament heads into a week off, let’s get caught up on what happened in the last couple of weeks before its break – starting with a day that focused on the NDP’s choice of opposition day motions. The Big Issue While the Cons have spent nearly all of their time cracking down on immigration ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading. – Armine Yalnizyan points out what a “Buffett tax” could do for Canada: Put Larry and his 99 fellow CEOs together, and they could put almost a 10% down payment on a national program to bring dental care to school kids. Canadians spend more than $13 billion on ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: 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 ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Who’s over or under-paid?

We all know that the wages and compensation individuals receive in private competitive markets reflects their productivity, unless pesky unions and government regulations get in the way–because Economics 101 (and Michael Hlinka) have told us so.   Corporate CEOs are worth every penny their “independent compensation committees” award in compensation and stock options them because they are “creating value” ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fighting energy poverty and the transition to zero-emission housing

Today CCPA released a new Climate Justice Project report, Fighting Energy Poverty in the Transition to Zero-Emission Housing: A Framework for BC, by yours truly, Eugene Kung (a lawyer with the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre and a steering committee member of the CJP) and Jason Owen (who worked on this project as a student at UBC, now with the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: William Watson on PSE

On Wednesday, William Watson wrote a comment piece in the Financial Post in which he was critical of Armine Yalnizyan’s recent essay on inequality that appeared the National Post. In his piece, Mr. Watson alleges that Armine “is guilty of fantastical reminiscence,” particularly with respect to her take on post-secondary education (PSE). Among other things, Mr. Watson ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Taxing the Rich

Over at the Globe and Mail Economy Lab our friend Stephen Gordon argues that there are only limited revenues to be gained by taxing the rich. He plays around with some back of the envelope calculations based on CRA data on the incomes of those making more than $500,000 – accurately enough, I think –  ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Armine Yalnizyan points out how inequality is bad for everybody – including those at the top who are fighting to exacerbate it: Say the word “inequality,” and many people automatically assume you’re talking about the poor. But a mounting body of research shows that, left unchecked, a ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: 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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Alex Himelfarb offers a warning about Canada’s current inequality trap: In a society with just a few winners and many losers, a case can be made that everybody truly loses. When he argued for higher taxes on the rich, Buffett also said that the rich people he ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading. – Janet Bagnall discusses Canada’s steadily-growing income inequality: In the last 20 years, the income of 80 per cent of Americans has stagnated while that of the richest one per cent has nearly doubled. Similarly, the Conference Board of Canada reported this week that a third of the wealth ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Gerald Caplan laments the difficulty in trying to comment reasonably on the actions of a government whose attitude toward reason ranges from overt hostility to wilful blindness: Stephen Harper has just declared that the greatest security threat to Canada is something he called “Islamicism.” I’ve seen no sensible ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Inequality is bad for business

In August Canadian Business magazine published my article on why inequality is bad for business.  It is produced in full below. Last week the International Monetary Fund, not well-known for left-leaning n\views, released a series of articles entitled “Why Inequality Throws Us Off Balance”. One of the papers is by Andrew Berg and Jonathan Ostry ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Dan Gardner makes the case (with which I wholeheartedly agree) as to the importance of making thoughtful decisions at the best of times: If there is one lesson we must learn from 9/11 and the decade that followed it is that the future will not unfold as ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – For those with a few months to kill between now and next March, now may be the time to direct a browser tab toward Alice’s NDP leadership site and start hitting “refresh”. – The Conference Board of Canada is once again warning about rising inequality, this time pointing ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – David Olive points out the growing consensus that those who have benefited most from free-market economics and bailouts alike should be expected to contribute more to the price of civilization – and the unsustainability of the system that’s led to growing inequality: “My friends and I have been ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario Student Debt

Last week, the CCPA released a paper by David Macdonald and Erika Shaker entitled Under Pressure: The Impact of Rising Tuition Fees on Ontario Families.    The paper does a good job of explaining which households have been most impacted by rising tuition fees in Ontario. Points made in the paper include the following: -In light ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading. – Chris Selley nicely summarizes Jack Layton’s celebration of life today: I can just hear people kvetching: Was this a funeral for a great man, or a rally for his party? But again, this is surely to miss the point. Mr. Lewis said, son Mike and daughter Sarah confirmed ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your day. – Leftdog points out that the Wall government’s regressive ideology is doing exactly what it usually does – resulting in workers losing ground as a result of stagnant wages and skyrocketing costs even as billions of dollars get funnelled to big business in the name of “growth”. – Meanwhile, ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Double Whammy of Defunding Universities

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 ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Racialised Impact of Tuition Fees

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Chantal Hebert offers up the definitive response to the Cons, Libs and media outlets still going out of their way to attack the NDP for winning support in Quebec: Given the context, to retroactively portray Layton’s party as a fallback vehicle for Quebec nationalism amounts to rewriting ...