• Doug Ford gives away the store on cannabis

    Now…, our most experienced distributor of restricted substances has been dealt out of the equation, relegated to online and wholesale sectors. Ideology aside, for-profit marijuana marketing comes at a cost — the LCBO’s dominance would have maximized revenues and minimized expenses, with more cash flow to pay for, say, the welfare increases that Ford has halved, and the mental health hikes he has dialed back.

  • Notes on a Butter Republic [Social Democracy]

    … a country can produce agricultural products, be “dependent” by most definitions, yet use that as the basis for permanent elevation into the first world. And in today’s world, Denmark manages to be very open to world trade, while having very low levels of inequality both before and after redistribution. Globalization need not be in conflict with social justice… Denmark, where tax receipts are 46 percent of GDP compared with 26 percent in the U.S., is arguably the most social-democratic country in the world.

  • What Are Capitalists Thinking?

    Back in the days when our economy just grew and grew, we had a government and a capitalist class that invested in our people and their future… And, funny thing, during all this time, socialism didn’t have much appeal. But ever since, the median income picture has been much spottier, hardly increasing at all in inflation-adjusted dollars over 18 long years. And those incomes at the top have shot to the heavens.

  • Labour force participation, immigration headline OECD’s Canada report

    … the OECD recommended, among other things, that Canada invest more in affordable child care, raise its retirement age and do a better job matching immigration applicants’ qualifications and experience to specific skills needs… “Get people to work longer or retire later, increasing female participation – that kind of thing has a bigger effect than changes in feasible amounts of immigration,”

  • Still waiting for that adult conversation about taxes and public services

    The disconnect between public services and the taxes we pay to provide them… invites us to vote for a property tax freeze, a sales tax cut, an income-tax cut — even if it doesn’t benefit us much. It invites us to disregard the reality that governments have a responsibility to ensure the ability to pay for the public services that we depend on.

  • Provincial carbon tax revolt could be a blessing in disguise for federal Liberals

    Ottawa can and should proceed without them. A federal carbon pricing plan would not only offer the virtues of simplicity. It would also free the feds to tailor it to their own designs, rather than taking on whatever half-baked or watered-down plans the provinces threw at them… Maybe internal free trade is beyond us, but carbon-fuelled tax reform is eminently feasible.

  • What does progressive trade policy look like?

    Existing democratic mechanisms are proving inadequate to channel popular discontent in positive, evidence-based directions. Instead, ugly and increasingly dangerous forms of right-wing populism are capitalizing on discontent, creating a platform for inconsistent, arbitrary and ultimately destructive policy responses… Into this ferment, progressives must inject an ambitious, honest and pragmatic vision of how to manage international trade, capital and human flows in ways that protect and enhance living standards, equality and the environment.

  • Ottawa must close ‘tax gap’ and stop multi-billion-dollar rip-off

    Tax evasion is not a victimless crime. The victims are all of us. Lost revenue to which the government is entitled pays for an already over-burdened health care system, infrastructure more than overdue for replacement or repair, the aircraft, vessels and equipment provided to Canadian troops, and much more… there is mounting evidence of the extent of an unconscionable problem and increasing urgency to address it.

  • Good job prospects improving in the GTA — but only for some, report finds

    The prospect of finding a good job in the GTA has improved overall since 2011 — but race, gender and a university education still determine your likelihood of landing one, a new report shows…. For racialized women, even those with a higher education failed to see an increase in secure employment — and those without a post-secondary degree continued to be the lowest paid in the region.

  • 10 ways Ontario can save half a billion dollars a year

    The incoming administration proposes to conduct a “line-by-line audit of government spending to bring an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement.” If I can find $521-million of annual savings between the couch cushions in under half an hour, then a professional line-item audit of non-public information easily will find billions more in annual savings.