• How Factories Made (and Unmade) Us All

    … this becomes a key aspect of the factory. Its purpose is not just to make things cheap, but to make them ever cheaper. When unionized factory workers got too expensive, the companies moved to the south, and then to Mexico, and then to China… The day will surely come when Chinese brands outsource their designs to factories in Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone. And if they ever outsource them to the U.S. or Canada, it will be only when we can offer cheaper labour than the Ethiopians.

  • What America forgets: Competition drives innovation

    Competition in an advanced economy leads to more science, more advanced engineering and better products… Raising tariffs simply encourages a more insular United States and reduces access to these improvements. Less competition in the technology realm means that it becomes easier to emphasize cheaper instead of better. Tariffs hold everyone back from advancements in technology.

  • The real reason jobs left America

    … the part of the U.S. that specialized in assembly-line manufacturing, and assembly lines are the easiest things in the world to automate… The data that strongly suggested we were heading for a mostly jobless future was available years ago, but most people ignored it. It was too hard to deal with… Most of the attempts to future-proof our politics are currently focused on developing various versions of a guaranteed basic income (Ontario’s pilot program being the biggest and boldest).

  • Cutting off workers from benefits at 65 unconstitutional, human rights tribunal rules

    In 2006, Ontario passed a law that ended the ability of employers to terminate workers when they turned 65. But the province’s Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act still allow employers to cut workers off benefits when they turn 65, which the tribunal decision called a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The decision means employers will no longer be able to rely on the Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act to justify excluding workers over 65 from their benefits plans, and will make them vulnerable to lawsuits if they do.

  • Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish

    … for decades the United States played by the rules; everyone grew richer and the United States grew richer faster than everyone else. In the postwar world, the United States’ support of free trade was a key – perhaps the key – to its rise to global economic leader. Nowadays, however, the game has changed. Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

  • NAFTA is dead and Canada should move on

    The compelling reason that Canada signed onto NAFTA (and to the original free-trade agreement) in the first place was to shield our economy from this type of capricious protectionism. It largely – if not completely – worked for us for the better part of three decades… But now we are locked in a relationship with an unpredictable and (economically) aggressive partner. No amount of nostalgia or wishful thinking can change that.

  • Ontario divided: Anger, economics and the fault lines that could decide the election

    Over the past decade, Ontario has created 580,000 new positions, as measured by the increase in employed people. Metro Toronto, which accounts for less than half of the province’s population, nabbed 80 per cent of those jobs. Ottawa accounts for another 10 per cent. The rest of Ontario, with millions of people from Cornwall to Thunder Bay, accounts for the remaining 10 per cent.
    The situation is ripe for a populist to rip through the province and attract voters by exploiting the grievances of those who have been left out of the boom.

  • Ignore the gossip and guesswork. The facts prove that Canada’s competitive

    … it will require all of us to take a broad view of what competitiveness means. Yes, that means taking a look at tax rules. But competitiveness rests on so much more than that — from workforce participation to skilled workers to modern infrastructure to science and innovation to global trade… I also believe in making decisions based on the facts, and the fact is that Canada remains one of the best places in the world to start, grow, and invest in a business.

  • Offshore tax havens set to overtake Canada in corporate transparency

    Britain’s House of Commons passed legislation that will lift generations of corporate secrecy in its offshore territories by compelling company owners registered on the islands to reveal themselves in public databases. That kind of transparency is only an idea in Canada, where corporate owners can mask their identity behind lawyers and “figurehead” directors. There is no requirement for real company owners — or “beneficial” owners — to list their names in provincial or federal registries.

  • Can Canada reinvent the plastic economy?

    Stop the irrational level of plastic waste; Systematically ensure reduction of unnecessary products; Ensure reuse and recycling – with thoughtful cradle-to-grave product design; Replace petroleum inputs with benign materials… Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has already called for the G7 to develop a “zero plastics waste charter,” and there is talk of a global treaty… there must be more than a photo op, a news release and a general call for global action.