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Is it time to bury the idea of a universal basic income?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

… the real issue with basic income is a public commitment to an adequate income floor below which no one should fall when factoring in all income sources. A range of income support programs can provide universal coverage without being uniform in delivery as the recent B.C. study indicates… Highly diverse needs by age, gender, (dis)ability, family status, education, employment status, etc. suggest that income supports should be tailored to a wide variety of living circumstances within our population.

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Posted in Social Security Policy Context | No Comments »

COVID-19’s impact: not recession, but a completely different economics

Saturday, April 11th, 2020

… sectors hit first like education and child care, retail, personal services and restaurants [are] more female-dominated… They are paid less, are more likely to have part-time or temporary work, and are less likely to have or be able to enforce protections like sick leave and sick pay… the service sector’s gender-skew challenges governments to improve existing income supports to prevent desperate and counter-productive economic survival plans.

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Posted in Debates | No Comments »

Do tax policies that contribute to competitiveness also create inequality?

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

Tax levels are rarely the first consideration for investors, unless the “investment” is a tax dodge… regulations matter, proximity to markets matter; and so do… a healthy and well-educated work force, well-maintained infrastructure, reliable energy, transportation and communications systems, and a robust justice system backed by widely trusted social institutions.

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Posted in Equality Policy Context | No Comments »

Why we’re seeing the ugly new face of capitalism

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Feb. 14, 2012
The implicit deal is that lower taxes create more investment and competitive cost structures create more demand. Both supposedly create more (good-paying) jobs. Lower taxes, check. Lower payroll costs, check. More good-paying jobs here at home: Insert sound of crickets chirping… in Canada, federal taxes on profits had fallen to 16.6 per cent by fiscal 2010-11 after briefly dipping to 13.2 per cent in 2008, a level not seen since the Great Depression… Unlike the 1930s, corporate profits in Canada have rebounded since the 2008-9 crisis, nearing the previous high water mark… Despite growth, there is no shortage of profitable firms telling workers they can keep their jobs only if they agree to get less.

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Posted in Policy Context | No Comments »

Ottawa’s health plan: When money misses the point

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Dec. 22, 2011
The provinces and territories have five years to figure out how to make health care sustainable on their own terms… After that, the Harper Government will contribute less, tying federal contributions to the growth in the economy, with a floor of 3 per cent… By 2017, when the deal ends, the annual transfer will have grown to $36-billion… it pales in comparison with the more than $220-billion dedicated to tax cuts since 2006, or the 20-year, $490-billion commitment to refurbishing military hardware… The $26-billion over five years could buy important reforms if it’s harnessed to that purpose…

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Posted in Health Policy Context | No Comments »

6 per cent solution for better health care

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Dec 21 2011
Here are three ways to spend that $1.6 billion next year that could lever increased efficiency and equity. • Lower costs through economies of scale… (on) pharmaceuticals… bulk buying, and collectively save ourselves billions. • Bend the cost curve by improving health… Take oral health (where) evidence is showing the linkages between poor oral health and higher incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, pneumonia and Alzheimer’s… • Allocate resources strategically. The biggest challenge to our system is the rise of chronic diseases. We really haven’t tackled the integration of care between our hospitals and our communities.

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Posted in Health Policy Context | No Comments »

Newfoundland has a lesson for Canada on globalization

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

May 20, 2011
Vale’s “home country” has few regulations, weak enforcement of those regulations and negligible labour rights. The concept of stakeholders does not exist in its strategic decision-making. What Vale chooses to do, Vale does… In contrast, Canada’s institutions, regulations and laws were built on an approach that seeks to balance rights and responsibilities, from the most powerful to the most vulnerable… The Vale example is a wake-up call: We can let globalization shape us, or we can shape globalization.

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Posted in Policy Context | No Comments »

Middle class in decline is the electoral elephant in the room

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

April 7, 2011
Fewer people in the public service means fewer people earning middle-class pay with decent benefits and pensions. Unless the private sector stops urging downward pressure on wages, benefits and pensions, this purchasing power will not be replaced. Fewer people working in the public service also means poorer public services, or less of them. Less income, less service — this is not a recipe for growing the middle class, or a solid platform for future economic growth.

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Posted in Debates | 2 Comments »

How to wipe out seniors’ poverty, no extra charge

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

April 2, 2011
In 2007, the Harper government introduced income splitting of pensions… About three quarters (74 per cent) went to households making more than $60,000… less than a quarter of all seniors’ households had incomes above $60,000… If we took that money and targeted it to Canada’s 634,000 poorest seniors, they would each get $1,450 more a year. Enough to make a huge difference in their daily lives. Enough to get rid of poverty.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Canada’s immigration policy: Who is on the guest list?

Monday, February 21st, 2011

February 18, 2011
In 2010, there were 283,096 temporary foreign workers in Canada, doing work that employers asserted there was no Canadian available to do… In 2000, 11 per cent of temporary foreign workers performed basic labour or unspecified skills; now 34 per cent of them do. They used to primarily fall into the categories of nannies and caregivers, or seasonal agricultural workers. Employers are now using the temporary work permit program to bring in workers for hotels, fast food outlets, janitorial services and factories — typical Canadian jobs, albeit low-paying.

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Posted in Debates | 1 Comment »

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