• To understand U.S. health care, think like an American

    Canada spends roughly half as much as the United States on health care, yet has comparable or better outcomes on most health barometers… The widely accepted view that more care is not necessarily better care has yet to penetrate the American psyche. Those with good insurance use it to the max. Doctors and hospitals are complicit in this overconsumption, treating the well-insured as cash cows.

  • Ottawa’s tax reforms don’t go far enough

    Tax expenditures now account for upwards of $100 billion of forgone revenue annually, about a quarter of all government spending. Yet, unlike other government outlays, they are not subject to significant parliamentary scrutiny or even government study. No one seems to know exactly how much is lost through these loopholes, or whether they achieve their stated objectives… these tax breaks… too often benefit most those who need help least, deepening rather than mitigating economic inequality.

  • Shrewd businesses support $15 minimum wage and decent work

    A boost to $15 an hour also gets low-wage workers closer to realizing the benefits of the productivity gains that have been made over the last 40 years. Between 1965 and 1975, the minimum wage roughly tracked productivity gains as both increased over time. However, since 1976, the two have become decoupled and minimum wage earners have not been seeing gains in their pay cheque anywhere near what the economy has seen in terms of productivity growth.

  • Can giving everyone free money reduce the stigma of a guaranteed income?

    Rather than leading to social collapse, the program just helped a small number of people overlooked by or ineligible for the welfare of the 1970s. Governments at that time, the authors point out, had not yet removed the dumbest clawbacks and “welfare traps” from their social programs. The effects on participation from a permanent basic income might be smaller now.

  • Ottawa targets income ‘sprinkling’ loophole that lets wealthy Canadians reduce tax bill

    Wealthy Canadians can now legally reduce their tax obligations by routing their incomes through private corporations. They then pay salaries to family members, such as their children, who are subject to lower personal tax rates or none at all. The government is working on new rules that would “help to determine whether compensation is reasonable, based on the family member’s contribution of value and financial resources to the private corporation,”

  • Cancel the panic: Canadians have been borrowing like crazy for good reason

    … even with any small forecast increases, interest rates remain low and the Canadian economy has performed adequately in terms of employment with relatively low unemployment rates. Moreover, while these macroeconomic factors are of concern, they should also be kept in context. Despite record high levels of household-sector debt, there are also record high levels of net worth.

  • Makers of OxyContin, Percocet sued by U.S. governments over opioid crisis

    Their suit is part of a wave of litigation against pharmaceutical companies by states, counties and local prosecutors besieged by the worst addiction crisis in American history… Opioid overdoses killed 33,000 people in the U.S. in 2015, about three times the number of gun homicides. The intensity of the crisis, and likely the fact that many of the victims are white middle-class suburbanites with political clout, has produced a bipartisan shift in perceptions of addiction.

  • Can we ever knock down the walls of the wealthy ghetto?

    There are two factors in particular that make Canada’s cycle of privilege a closed loop that excludes outsiders. The first is Canada’s lack of an inheritance tax. Taxing inheritance heavily doesn’t generate much government revenue… It expands privilege rather than keeping it cloistered… The second is Canada’s lax policy on private schools. The 6 per cent of Canadians who attend fee-charging schools are overwhelmingly there because their families are wealthy… even though their fees and sometimes their operations are taxpayer-subsidized.

  • Temp agencies on rise as province seeks to protect vulnerable workers

    It’s “like a huge warning bell to anyone who is concerned about (work) conditions and low wages and precariousness,” said Deena Ladd of the Toronto-based Workers’ Action Centre. “I think it’s a huge indication that corporations are shifting their responsibility to a third party for employment…” … “We seem to be growing into a society where agencies are proliferating, and these people are getting a little piece of everybody’s paycheques,” said Labour Minister Kevin Flynn

  • Presentations and caveats on minimum wage hike

    when wages go up, people spend more thus helping businesses and the economy in general. Secondly, if the only way you can run a business is by paying poverty wages then perhaps you shouldn’t be running a business… the proposed changes to Ontario’s labour laws increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2019, introducing paid sick days and increasing vacation pay for experienced workers is “. . . good for child-care workers, good for children and good for families.”