• Why relying on GDP is unethical

    since the GDP only values certain types of economic activity, it presents a fundamentally distorted and dishonest picture of the economy… Unpacking what the GDP “values” and “doesn’t value” shows why we need a new model and new language to identify and describe positive economic activity if we are to properly measure and enhance the well being… So the next time you hear “GDP,” don’t think “gross domestic product,” think “generating deceptive propaganda,” because that’s exactly what’s going on.

  • The Lion’s Share: Pension deficits and shareholder payments among Canada’s largest companies

    This study examines the status of the defined benefit (DB) pension plans of Canada’s largest publicly-traded companies. Thirty-nine companies on the S&P/TSX 60 maintain DB pension plans, amounting to one-third of all private sector pension plan assets in Canada. However, only nine plans were fully funded in 2016. Together, the 39 companies oversaw a $10.8 billion deficit in their pension plans in 2016, while increasing shareholder payouts from $31.9 billion in 2011 to $46.9 billion last year.

  • Is an economic ‘golden age’ on the horizon?

    Each cycle proceeds in roughly the same stages: New technology is developed (often, as with the internet, through government and military spending), an investment bubble follows, the bubble bursts, then the technology is disseminated through the economy, raising productivity levels and aggregate wealth… this stage, when the benefits of new technology spread throughout the economy, is characterized by strong economic growth and widely dispersed prosperity.

  • Ontario passes labour-reform bill, $15 minimum wage looms

    Ontario will implement a $15 minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2019, and enact other new worker-focused rules even sooner… The labour reforms put in place by the Liberals include requirements that employers pay part-time, casual and temporary employees the same rate as full-time employees for the same job; that employers must pay workers three hours’ wages for shifts cancelled with fewer than 48 hours’ notice; and that all workers be eligible for 10 days of emergency leave, two of which must be paid.

  • Ignore Trump’s whining. It turns out U.S. manufacturing was surging all along

    Developing countries now have a comparative advantage in assembling components with a lot of unspecialized labour. This has become low-end manufacturing, but nobody complains (or should complain) as this specialization has allowed a large number of poor countries to escape poverty, a huge historical shift. The comparative advantage of rich countries has moved to high-end research and development, conception, design, engineering, complex manufacturing (such as 3D printing), logistics, and distribution.

  • The Lion’s Share: Pension deficits and shareholder payments among Canada’s largest companies

    … 39 companies oversaw a $10.8 billion deficit in their pension plans in 2016, while increasing shareholder payouts from $31.9 billion in 2011 to $46.9 billion last year. This paper, co-published by the CCPA and the Canadian Labour Congress, details the extent to which DB pension plans among S&P/TSX 60 companies are underfunded, provides the cost to shareholders that eliminating the pension deficits would pose, and offers a series of recommendations for ensuring the security of retirees’ benefits.

  • Community capitalism: A path to prosperity for First Nations

    Community capitalism generates so-called “own-source revenues” (OSR) – money that First Nations earn for themselves rather than receive from government transfers. We estimate that the total amount of OSR is now in excess of $3-billion a year (some First Nations do not make public reports). That’s a significant amount compared with the roughly $5.5-billion transferred to the same First Nations by governments in fiscal 2015-16.

  • The real pirates of the Caribbean

    … regardless of whether or not most tax haven users are withholding their taxes illegally, surely there is a more troubling moral and ethical factor to consider. It has to do with the ability of so many people to get away with not paying their taxes. They can do so because they’re rich. They can afford the expensive advice of high-priced lawyers and accountants who can exploit convenient loopholes and ambiguities in the tax laws. This explains the vast amount of taxes owed that never get collected.

  • Offshore tax havens are harmful to all Canadians

    … our federal leaders are so beholden to Canada’s richest men — their chief fundraisers — that substantive crackdowns on these schemes are being prorogued. These tax evasions are a spit in the eye to the Liberals’ fabled “middle class,” let alone to the 12 million Canadians who collectively own less than our richest 100 families… It seems that democracy is on sale. The rich families finance politicians to fight elections and, as a quid pro quo, politicians protect their wealth through favourable legislation.

  • How will governments solve the tax haven riddle?

    The entry price for these offshore structures means that they’re beyond the reach of everyone except those whom the industry refers to as UHNWIs — ultra high net worth individuals. In fact, the majority of wealth in tax havens belongs to those worth more than $50 million. These legal offshore tax shelters reserved for the elite create a two-tiered tax system — where the wealthy stockpile their cash tax free and everyone else pays to make up for it.