• The Localist Revolution

    Localism is the belief that power should be wielded as much as possible at the neighborhood, city and state levels. Localism is thriving — as a philosophy and a way of doing things… But under localism, the crucial power center is at the tip of the shovel, where the actual work is being done. Expertise is not in the think tanks but among those who have local knowledge, those with a feel for how things work in a specific place and an awareness of who gets stuff done. Success is not measured by how big you can scale, but by how deeply you can connect.

  • 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,”

  • After legalizing pot, is decriminalizing other drugs the logical next step?

    … Public-health officials have long recognized a reality that elected politicians are only belatedly appreciating: Drug use and dependency are best addressed with the tools of health policy, not those of criminal justice… decriminalization… upholds worthwhile social norms – that making, smuggling and trafficking illegal drugs is wrong – while acknowledging that those in the grip of dependency are ill.

  • The refugee ‘crisis’ originates far from our borders

    … in 2017 just over 50,000 asylum claims — irregular or otherwise — were processed. Yet somehow a population that is less than one per cent of Canada’s population has come to constitute a “crisis.” If there is any crisis, it is one of political will and compassionate policy.

  • Unequal partners: A breakdown of how many hold how much of Canada’s wealth

    … across the countries that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the top 10 per cent of households own 52 per cent of wealth. In terms of income, the top group accounts for 24 per cent. On the lower rungs of the ladder, 60 per cent hold about 12 per cent of household wealth… At the country level, here’s a look at the various groups at the top… [and] among the less fortunate in 28 countries:

  • 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.

  • Canadians with offshore holdings evade up to $3 billion in tax per year

    … the government estimates Canadian individuals are hiding between $75.9 billion and $240.5 billion in offshore tax havens and elsewhere, and not paying tax on it… the fact that so much wealth is being hidden offshore reveals a dangerous attitude among the wealthy… After years of refusing to estimate how much tax was being lost to cheating… the CRA did an about-face and started issuing partial tax gap estimates in 2016, shortly after the Panama Papers were made public.

  • 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).