• 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).

  • For Ontario voters, leadership and vision are not on offer

    This election has been a forlorn hunt for the needed mixture of integrity and smart policy. The electorate cannot vote for leadership where it does not exist, or for platforms that are wrong for the times. So if you are lucky enough to have a local candidate who embodies integrity and principle, we encourage you to support him or her. The representatives you choose will need to be strong to hold the next premier to account.

  • Ontario’s political centre may have collapsed, but progressive values remain

    Ontarians still hew to centrist values when it comes to the big issues — the role of government, health care, immigration and so on… Ontarians are clearly fed up with the Liberals after 15 years and want a change at Queen’s Park. But they aren’t questioning the fundamental values that Ontarians (and indeed Canadians as a whole) have shared for decades, including a robust role for government in assuring the economic and social well-being of all citizens.

  • 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.

  • Why don’t people want free money? The uncertainty around universal basic income

    The original idea, first introduced to the Canadian debate by former Conservative senator Hugh Segal in 2012, was that a guaranteed basic income would be a simpler, more effective and less intrusive way of getting help to both the unemployed and the working poor. But that’s not why so many people elsewhere are watching the Ontario pilot. They are responding to what at first seems an apocalyptic view of the future… [that] 47 per cent of U.S. jobs as liable to be automated in the next 20 years

  • 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.