• Report on struggling news business is responsible, high-minded, and profoundly wrong

    Most of the industry’s problems are self-inflicted, a series of bad choices in response to admittedly massive changes. But even if that were not the case, there is nothing whatever to prevent readers from paying for what we produce, if they so chose. They are simply choosing not to do so… My concern is not that such a fund would be partisan, or enforce a government line. I worry, rather, how it would affect our thinking… toward a certain vision of society, and of journalism.

  • What are we talking about when we talk about social innovation?

    … social innovation: undertakings that don’t neatly fit into conventional boxes, but deliver multiple social or environment benefits and even profits, all while holding out the potential for the sort of scalability that promises broader transformation… what are we talking about when we talk about social innovation? – could re-shape the relationship between governments, private investors, and civil society for a generation to come.

  • Canada is doing well … but we could do so much better

    I suggest (once again) a flexible HST — raise it on elective spending (luxury goods, complex financial transactions and the mere velocity of money in financial markets) to eliminate the deficit, and reduce taxes on small personal and corporate incomes to ease the conditions of the most vulnerable and provide affordable stimulus… and shift stimulus from the sterility of traditional welfare, other than where there is no practical alternative because of the acute needs of the seriously disadvantaged…

  • Time for a new narrative on NAFTA

    NAFTA captures the worst features of corporate-led, profit-driven globalization — providing transnational businesses unconditional access to markets with no requirement to invest where they sell and the right to scour a continent in search of the cheapest labour, weakest regulations and biggest tax breaks… It’s a set of rules designed to ensure the benefits of trade are enjoyed mainly by global investment bankers, multinational corporations and the privileged class. Job creation is an added (albeit secondary) benefit, but not the likely outcome.

  • Play the Trump cards right, and Canada’s auto sector will benefit

    By stopping the migration of industrial capital toward Mexico, Mr. Trump will actually help Canada’s auto industry – and other manufacturing sectors equally damaged by NAFTA… instead of trying to defend a flawed deal that has hurt working people in all three countries, Canada should enthusiastically endorse the principle that trade must go both ways – and take advantage of this opportunity to imagine a different way of managing globalization.

  • How Canada could actually become a world leader in pension innovation

    Bill C-27, legislation to facilitate the offering of target-benefit (TB) pension plans… [which] integrates the best elements of the traditional DB and DC plans: an explicit target pension benefit; a recognition that long-term compounding of investment returns makes the target benefit affordable; and it offers fair and sustainable risk-pooling and clearly spelled-out property rights and obligations among the employer, employees, pensioners and the pension-management organization.

  • With automation (not trade or immigrants, as Trump claims) taking jobs, it’s time to consider a universal basic income

    … 47 per cent of existing jobs in the United States are vulnerable to automation in the next 20 years… This is what is really driving the populist revolution… It is only jobs that are being destroyed, not wealth… Or rather, it’s not a disaster unless having no work means no money or self-respect… The UBI would provide everybody with enough to live on. Since everybody got it, there would be no stigma involved in living on it.

  • ‘All for ourselves and nothing for other people': The takeover of economics by neoliberalism

    Inequality, flat incomes, work-life imbalance and unsustainable debt can all to a large extent be traced to this deliberate government policy. Just reversing it would start a recovery. That means returning EI to an actual insurance program, reinstating the federal Canada Assistance Plan which provided strings-attached (read: humane rates) money to the provinces for social welfare, increase the minimum wage to living-wage levels, enforce and enhance labour standards and their enforcement, and make it easier, not harder, for unions to organize.

  • Do Canadian policy-makers understand how alarming it is that their ‘stimulus’ has proven an utter failure?

    Households and provinces are using federal stimulus to bail themselves out of the debt they gorged on for years, not to stimulate… exports of manufactured goods have failed to respond to a lower exchange rate… The Bank of Canada had expected a quick transition from energy to non-energy export growth. Instead, exports of all manufacturing goods have essentially stagnated over the past year… more of the same ineffective medicine isn’t what will get us to better economic health.

  • Don’t blame Keynes for Canada’s low-growth economy

    There’s a widespread view that the Canadian economy is struggling and that it needs a fiscal jolt to get it going. That view gets at some fundamental issues about the nature of the current stagnation and… the nature of Keynesian economics… What’s struggling is not the level of economic activity, it’s the rate of economic growth. Contrary to the impression you’d get from the media, those are two different things…