• No evidence that ‘Canada works’ in new internal free trade deal

    Not only are whole sectors walled off for future negotiations (financial services, alcohol) or simply excluded (supply management) but more than half of the 329-page agreement… is taken up listing all the other exceptions insisted upon by one government or another. Even the chapters devoted to freeing trade are riddled with limitations, caveats and exemptions…

  • What if Sociologists Had as Much Influence as Economists?

    … a wide body of sociological research shows how tied up work is with a sense of purpose and identity… Sociology also offers important lessons about poverty that economics alone does not… It’s relatively clear how a change in tax policy or an adjustment to interest rates can make the economy grow faster or slower. It’s less obvious what, if anything, government can do to change forces that are driven by the human psyche.

  • Federal budget to show how infrastructure bank can attract, free up investment

    A new infrastructure bank could free up billions in new money for social services Canadians regularly use, internal government documents say — provided the experimental new institution meets its lofty financing goals… Funding for social infrastructure projects, which tend to be less attractive to private investors, could increase by one-third if the bank meets its target of leveraging $4 in private investment for every $1 from the federal government

  • Canada’s 150th year could be as pivotal as 1867 and 1967

    Canada confronts five big economic challenges: · to live within its means; · to achieve stronger productivity improvement; · to expand the globally competitive supply side of its economy; · to make itself more competitive globally in terms of risk/reward opportunity for the best people; and · to do something bold… to help better match greater private-sector strength with better public-sector infrastructure… to build solid and desirable personal lives in a country that combines dynamism with calm and common sense.

  • Public spending should rise because it needs to, not just because it can

    … fully two-thirds of federal program spending — is on transfers: to individuals, to businesses and other groups, and to other levels of government. Much of these, too, are spent on purchasing goods and services from the private sector… for the most part there’s no reason why this spending needs to expand faster than inflation plus population growth.

  • A venture capitalist on how boomers wrecked America

    In the venture capitalist’s new book, A Generation of Sociopaths, he argues that since the 1970s, U.S. politicians have been essentially currying favour with baby boomers—and now, their entitlements (Social Security, Medicare) must be safeguarded… Gibney figures the U.S. is headed for a financial and environmental reckoning around the 2030s, when the median boomer will have died, having successfully “deferred” paying off his or her debts to society so that younger generations will have to take them up.

  • Guaranteed Basic Income on Verge of Take-off in Canada

    … the proposal is popping up in Liberal governments and is being championed by New Democrats and Conservatives… “There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation… With a basic income… “people (could) actually think of their future rather than thinking of what they will have to eat.”

  • As he drafts his next budget, some advice for the Finance Minister

    Mr. Morneau’s economic advisory council a few weeks ago pointed out that one of the surest way of boosting long-term economic growth is to grow the workforce, by encouraging seniors and near-seniors to remain in it… allowing the Baby Boom generation to continue to work, accumulate benefits and build up sheltered retirement savings for longer, if they want to…

  • Baby Boomers, please don’t retire just yet

    … An across-the-board increase in the age of eligibility for government retirement programs will hit hardest at poor Canadians and Canadians in physically demanding occupations that aren’t easy to carry on beyond age 65… A better strategy is to make CPP and OAS far more flexible – so that the later you retire, the greater the benefits… All kinds of experienced people in their 60s and 70s want to keep working, whether part-time or full-time.

  • How to temper protectionism in Trump’s trade world

    … our shared interest in infrastructure and job creation, may provide a unique opportunity to explore a much-needed change in a technical area of international trade known as anti-dumping – a change that considers the impact of anti-dumping action on workers and consumers on both sides of the border… The practical effect would be to reduce the duty to one that only corresponds to harm suffered, not more – a so-called “lesser duty” in the parlance of trade law.