Things Are Good: If You’re a Nice Person You Likely Have More Fun Than Others

Some people think that the way to get ahead in life is to be a pushy jerk, and those people are wrong. What you should be is nice. Yup, that’s all it takes. Don’t be like that stereotypical Gordon Gecko wannabe, instead just be. There is now more research that being a nice person can ...

Things Are Good: Email, Productivity, And How You Feel

Dealing with an endless stream of emails is challenge in any office environment – even just socially it can be rather taxing. The solution to email always seems to be just around the corner with a new startup from Silicon Valley appearing every year to “save” us from email. Here’s an idea it’s not that ...

Things Are Good: Look at Nature and be More Productive

Go ahead and let your gaze look out that window while you work. If you get caught, tell your boss that you’re just getting ready to be more productive! The challenge: Can looking at nature—even just a scenic screen saver—really improve your focus? How much can 40 seconds of staring at grass actually help? Ms. ...

Things Are Good: Focus Less on Work to Improve Everything – Even Your Job

Stressed about not getting enough done at work? Don’t be. It turns out that you can improve how much you get things done at the office by not thinking about it. Turn your attention elsewhere and focus on things that do matter instead. But, how can performance at work improve with less attention paid to ...

Political Eh-conomy: Someone is making slightly more than you and this report says it’s time for it to stop!

Here’s a familiar refrain: “Someone’s wages rose faster than someone else’s: report”. This depersonalized version sounds about as cynical as it should especially since the first someone is usually not a CEO whose wages are actually rising faster than everyone else’s – it’s that fat cat across the street, like you know, the garbage collector ...

Parchment in the Fire: Britain’s, Not France’s, Middle Class Is Being ‘Run Into The Dust’

http://www.social-europe.eu/2014/02/middle-class/ Filed under: Capitalism Tagged: Britain, Capitalism, France, investment, productivity

The Progressive Economics Forum: StatCan Debunks Small-Business Mythology

Canadian economic commentators often worship small business as the supposed source of economic dynamism and growth. This cult of small business has greatly influenced public policy, with federal and provincial governments giving huge tax preferences to small corporations. But new Statistics Canada research finds: “The gap between the levels of labour productivity in Canada and ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Funding Cuts to Alberta’s PSE Sector: There Are Alternatives

It has recently been reported that the University of Alberta wants to “reopen two-year collective agreements” with faculty and staff “to help the university balance its budget…” This appears to be in direct response to Alberta’s provincial government announcing in its March budget that there would be a “7% cut to operating grants to universities, ...

Bill Longstaff: The need for a global no-growth agreement

Trade agreements are all the rage among nations these days. And that might not be a bad thing if they were principally about trade rather than about empowering corporations at the expense of workers and governments. In any case, what the world really needs is not global trade agreements but a global no-growth agreement. Sensibly, ...

The Scott Ross: Canada Originally Intended All Education To Be Free

Out of Canada’s 33 Fathers of Confederation, only one went to university.1 It’s not that Nova Scotia’s Charles Tupper was the only intelligent one among them, other founders were businessmen, doctors, and lawyers, it’s that none of those jobs, and many others, did not require any post-secondary education. And the eduction jobs in the late ...

The Scott Ross: Canada Originally Intended All Education To Be Free

Out of Canada’s 33 Fathers of Confederation, only one went to university.1 It’s not that Nova Scotia’s Charles Tupper was the only intelligent one among them, other founders were businessmen, doctors, and lawyers, it’s that none of those jobs, and many others, did not require any post-secondary education. The eduction jobs in the late 19th ...

The Scott Ross: Canada Originally Intended All Education To Be Free

Out of Canada’s 33 Fathers of Confederation, only one went to university.1 It’s not that Nova Scotia’s Charles Tupper was the only intelligent one among them, other founders were businessmen, doctors, and lawyers, it’s that none of those jobs, and many others, did not require any post-secondary education. And the eduction jobs in the late ...

The Scott Ross: Why Health Care Should Be Privatized

It would be a risky claim to suggest health care should be privatized while education, from preschool to post-secondary, should be fully publicly provided, but considering the importance of education, what’s really risky is that currently we have it the other way around. To compare the importance of health care and education, ask yourself, would ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Gender Wage Gap hurts Economic Growth

BREAKING NEWS: Women are paid less than men across OECD countries. OK, it’s not breaking news.  Not even close.  In Canada the ‘Female to Male earnings ratio’ has hovered around the 70% mark for the past 20 years.  And for women with university degrees, the ratio peaked in the early 1990′s, and has been below ...

The Scott Ross: The Conservative Economic Record

Sept 2012: Unemployment is up at 7.4%; it has been increasing since June while American unemployment has only gone down. July 2012: Worst trade deficit ever in Canadian history at $2.3 billion. 2012: GDP growth rate is declining (PDF pg 22). Canada is no longer the fastest growing economy in the G7; it is now ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Selective Amnesia at the Bank of Canada

A guest blog from Marc Lavoie and Mario Seccareccia, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa  In a speech delivered on October 4th to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (see: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2012/10/speeches/a-measure-of-work/), the senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklen, has offered some self-congratulatory remarks, by arguing that the near-zero inflation policy pursued by ...

Things Are Good: Track the Small Things for Big Happiness

Teresa Amabile is a professor at Harvard Business School who has researched diary keeping and has made a very nifty realization: even keeping a few thoughts a day can amount to huge differences in happiness. I use I Done This to track my days, perhaps you’d like to too after watching this video: Via the ...

The Scott Ross: Canada Already Has A 1¢ Carbon Tax

Last year this Conservative government collected $424,418,000 in taxes to pay for carbon emissions. That same year Canadians used 38,208,346,000 litres of gasoline. Doing the quick math, Canadians paid 1.1¢ or $0.011 for every litre of gas they consumed in 2011. Now Canadians weren’t taxed at the pump, though it would have been far more ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Kady points out that despite the Cons’ best efforts to stonewall, the Robocon investigation in Guelph looks to have locked in on the source of their fraudulent robocalls. And while it’s indeed somewhat concerning that Elections Canada hasn’t reached anywhere near the same depth of investigation when it ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Labour Losing to Capital

The just-released OECD Employment Outlook – full text not available on line – has an interesting chapter on the sharp decline of labour’s share of national income in virtually all OECD countries over the past 30 years, and especially the last twenty years. The median labour share in the OECD fell from 66.1% in the ...

The Scott Ross: Canadians Should Envy Greeks

Canadians aren’t too envious of Greeks, Italians, and Egyptians right now, but maybe they should be. Though Canada has a relatively better economy and a stable political system, the other countries in the world facing crises have something Canada seems to be lacking, a resolve to make things better. Facing financial collapse Greeks, who already ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education

On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference.  My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link. Points I raised in the address include the following: -Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your weekend. – For much of the relatively recent past, one of the areas of relative consensus in economic theory is that productivity increases would find their way to workers. But Paul Krugman shows that hope to be utterly misplaced: Where did the productivity go? The answer is, it’s two-thirds the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: New Generation of Thinkers Link Inequality, Innovation and Prosperity

<em>This guest blog was written by Mike Marin and Anouk Dey. It originally appeared in the Toronto Star on February 24. The authors are part of a team that produced the report Prospering Together (in English http://bit.ly/z4GQx5  and in French http://bit.ly/yabiK2) </em> <em></em>What do the Occupy Movement and Canadian software giant OpenText have in common? ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Drummond’s Productivity “Puzzle.”

Don Drummond confesses that he has been wrong to believe that changes in public policies – such as free trade, cuts to corporate taxes, low inflation, the  introduction of the GST, balanced budgets and reductions to inter provincial trade barriers (aka the neo liberal agenda) – are the key to improving Canada’s dismal productivity record. ...