The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector IV: Pre-Election Update

My first, second and third posts on the Ontario electricity sector described how policy and administrative decisions by different Liberal Governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity prices. In anticipation of June 2018 elections, the Liberal Government recently implemented a costly and first-in-Canada financial scheme to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Ashifa Kassam writes about the elements of Canada’s health care system which call for ambitious improvement rather than imitation: “I think privatisation is a major threat to public health care in Canada,” said Natalie Mehra of the Ontario Health Coalition. Earlier this year, her organisation released a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week. – Jim Hightower writes that the risk of technology displacing workers is ultimately just one instance of the wider problem of corporate greed. And the New York Times is examining how the principle of total corporate control is the basis for the Trump administration’s handling of regulation. – Ed ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Ian Welsh neatly summarizes the rules needed to ensure that capitalism doesn’t drown out social good: Capitalism, as it works, destroys itself in a number of ways. For capitalism to work, it must be prevented from doing so: it must not be allowed to form unregulated monopolies ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Saskatchewan Party’s choice to poison our province rather than coming clean about the dangers of sour gas. For further reading…– I’ll link again to the reports from the National Observer and the Star on the sour gas hazard and cover-up, along with Emily Eaton’s take (and Elizabeth McSheffrey’s followup as to the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – The Equality Trust examines the UK’s increasing level of personal precarity – and how public policy needs to be changed to support the people who need it, not those who already have the most. And Eduardo Porter offers a reminder that tax cuts for the rich do nothing ...

Accidental Deliberations: Breaking the silence

Needless to say, there will be plenty more to discuss about the Wall government has exposed residents of Saskatchewan’s oil patch to avoidable (and sometimes fatal) hazards in order to avoid acknowledging the dangers of fossil fuel development. But for now, there’s already plenty worth reading in the Price of Oil series, including two reports ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Ben Steverman examines the unfairness of the U.S.’ tax system – which, like Canada’s, offers gratuitous giveaways to wealthy investors which force workers to pay more: Politicians have intentionally set tax rates on wages much higher than those on long-term investment returns. The U.S. has a progressive tax ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – David Sirota talks to Naomi Klein about the push by right-wing politicians and corporate media outlets alike to stifle any discussion of how fossil fuels contribute to the climate change fuelling Hurricane Harvey. Matt Taibbi laments how the media contributed to the development of a public so ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Seth Hanlon and Alexandra Thornton review the evidence from the U.S. showing that tax handouts to the rich don’t produce job gains for the general public. And Binyamin Appelbaum reports on Janet Yellen’s warning that financial deregulation produces bubbles, not sustainable growth. – Alan Freeman is rightly ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Melanie Schmitz writes that Donald Trump’s plan to hand giant tax goodies to the rich is opposed by nearly three quarters of Americans. – CNBC reports on the skepticism among U.S. workers as to their future opportunities. And Jim Stanford offers a historical perspective on what’s most recently ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Housing Affordability and Inequality: Low-Income Renters in Ontario

In this first of a series of housing-related posts I analyze rental housing expenditures for low-income households in Ontario. Rent is the single largest expenditure element for renters in the first and second household income quintiles and is therefore an important indicator of housing affordability and expenditure inequality. This is a relatively under-studied component of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – David Leonhardt looks at the glaring growth of inequality in the U.S., while Matt Bruening charts how that trend is based entirely on capital ownership. And in the face of the Republicans’ plan for another round of giveaways to the rich, the New York Times’ editorial board ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Cole Eisen points out how Sears – like far too many other businesses – has deliberately depleted employees’ pension funds while extracting billions of dollars for executives and shareholders: Sears Canada’s woes stem from what appears to be a methodical process of value extraction. While Sears’s pension funding ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Martin Lukacs discusses the need for collective action to fight climate change – and the dangers of allowing ourselves to be distracted by calls to focus solely on individual choices: These pervasive exhortations to individual action — in corporate ads, school textbooks, and the campaigns of mainstream ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Martin Lukacs writes that the world should able to draw plenty of positive examples from Canada’s politics – though not from the corporate-focused federal Libs: As Donald Trump rips up the Paris climate accords, it may seem easy to despair. But these provincial victories show us there is ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Alan Freeman discusses the real costs of ideologically-driven deregulation: The idea that “the market” will root out bad actors in any industry and that regulations are just a hindrance to economic vitality is a dangerous concept. Companies, like individuals, will do what they can get with. If there ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Alex Collinson discusses how insecure work makes it impossible to reliably structure an individual’s life: Many respondents told us about how difficult it is to budget without knowing how much you’ll be earning from one week to the next. The number of hours we are given every ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how a misguided war against “red tape” contributed to the deaths of dozens in the Grenfell Tower fire – and how we’re at risk of becoming casualties as well. For further reading…– Details about the UK’s obsession with red tape can be found in archives including the home page and housing and construction ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Aditya Chakrabortty describes the Grenfell Tower fire as nothing less than social murder of the UK’s poor: Austerity is at the heart of the Grenfell story. Think of the firefighters, who have seen stations closed and colleagues laid off by May, when she was home secretary. Consider ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Nina Shapiro comments on the price of privatizing public goods. And George Monbiot weighs in on how the Grenfell Tower fire confirms that what corporatist politicians deride as “red tape” is in fact vital protection for people: For years successive governments have built what they call a ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Electricity Sector III: Legislative & Finance Update

My January and March posts on the Ontario electricity sector described how decisions by different Ontario governments gave rise to excess electricity generation with an inflated cost structure, leading to higher electricity prices. Here I discuss the latest development, the Liberal Government of Ontario’s proposed financial framework for its “Fair Hydro Plan” (FHP). In election ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Program Evaluation

I’ve just blogged about program evaluation and the way it’s used where I work—namely, at the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF). The blog post serves as a primer on program evaluation. It also discusses how CHF measures performance by programs that it funds (CHF disburses $42 million annually to programs in Calgary’s homeless-serving sector). The blog ...

The Political Road Map: A Shivering Premier in a Hot Housing Market

I am watching Premier Kathleen Wynne and Charles Sousa introduce their Fair Housing Plan and I must say I am both impressed and skeptical. Wynne has mentioned a few times already how she is shivering, while approaching the microphone to answer questions in both English and kindergarten French. Premier Wynne Praying this plan doesn’t further ...

The Political Road Map: Great Canadian Pot

Yesterday, after a much anticipated election promise, Justin Trudeau and his administration officially announced that marijuana will become legal for sale and consumption throughout all of Canada…In July of 2018…. While some may have begun partying and cheering at the announcement, others like myself are still scratching their head a little. Why has it taken ...