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Premier needs primer in the value of universal basic income to the economy

Saturday, February 9th, 2019

It might be news to the premier that most poor people in Ontario have jobs — and quite a few put in longer hours than he does. UBI is not a novel concept. Thomas More championed it in Utopia(1516). Canada saw positive outcomes from a 1970s “mincome” experiment in Manitoba, but the project was of insufficient duration to be deemed conclusive.

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Don’t fear the education revolution

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

September 21, 2012
A return to three-year undergrads would move students more quickly to two-year masters and three-year PhD programs, or the workforce. It would free up teachers and class and lab space. It would reduce students’ tuition expenses… Online study doesn’t have to mean home study… The latter would be more enriched than before, since the fundamentals would have been imparted online.

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Why economically troubled nations should emulate Germany

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Apr 19 2012
German industry is no less productive and innovative than its top peers, including Korea, Japan and the U.S. Yet organized labour in Germany has long had a significant role in corporate governance, as members of corporate supervisory boards. And Germany has long required employers to provide mandatory five-week vacations to workers… Germany… has not attempted, simplistically and foolishly, to slash its way back to robust health. Indeed, that Germany remains in robust economic health is a vindication of the social-welfare state.

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OAS not in crisis, no need to soak the seniors plan

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Feb 10 2012
The affordability of a higher-quality health care system does merit debate. Also affordable housing, the cornerstone of poverty reduction. Also education reform that better matches students with a workplace that, as a business think tank complained last week, is suffering a “desperate shortage” of skilled workers despite 1.42 million Canadians out of work. The PM is wrong about the sustainability of Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, paid to the poorest Canadians. And Canadians have let him know it.

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The Occupy movement isn’t going away, it’s going online

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Nov 18 2011
It’s a worldwide movement… And it’s not going away… the current, gross disparity in wealth matches that of gilded ages past. Progressive movements arose in each case to restore balance and a measure of economic fairness… starting with “A revival of crucial public services, especially education, training, public investment and environment protection… Getting in the way of overdue change is a fool’s errand.

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Occupy Toronto is not the real threat to civil society

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Nov 10 2011
Certainly this is the hour of our discontent. That discontent is income inequality. The spectacular disparity between the super-affluent and the rest of us is a leading, if not root, cause of widespread ill health, stunted education opportunity, and intolerably high rates of crime and racial discrimination in our communities… Economic injustice is not an act of God, but of man. The now-tattered social safety net we built we can repair. The wealth of nations is jeopardized by allowing the middle-class backbone of our communities to corrode, a process already too far along.

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Small business, the romance is over

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Oct 20 2011
Fact is, the dismal failure rate of small businesses is such that they kill about as many new jobs as they create. About 40 per cent of new businesses fail in their first two years… Our misplaced romanticizing of small business is lousy public policy. We chronically misallocate taxpayer resources to subsidize with tax breaks and other largesse the lifestyle choice of folks who prefer to be their own boss… doctors, accountants, travel and real estate agents, beauticians, the trusts of wealthy families, and recipients of rental income on vacation homes and commercial real estate. None of those are risk-taking job creators.

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99 Percenters are literally sick of being left out

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Oct 05 2011
The social protest launched so recently as Occupy Wall Street that soon evolved into the “We Are the 99 Percent” movement is not a repudiation of capitalism. The aggrieved 99 Percenters, already with chapters in more than 160 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, including Toronto and seven other Canadian cities, simply want the system to work for everyone… we can act on the warning of these progressive demonstrators. Or we can respond with riot police. But a change is gonna come.

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Why scrapping stimulus was a bad move

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Sep 23 2011
With the Great Recession consigned to the history books, austerity became the mantra among the advanced economies that had suffered most from the epic downturn… What a difference a year makes… the “Arab Spring” has been led not by religious ideologues or ethnic nationalists. It has been spearheaded by university-trained youth who’ve known only joblessness and underemployment since graduation… Earlier this month, Harper appeared to abruptly switch his focus to job creation after the latest employment report showed Canadian job creation has gone into reverse, with the country losing a net 5,000 jobs in August.

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Should we raise taxes on the rich?

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Sep 09 2011
Not since the Gilded Age plutocracy of a century ago has there been such a near-consensus… on the need to raise taxes on the rich… But the real story here is the scarcity of objections to Buffett’s call for a level playing field, in which all income groups are able to participate fully in society… Saving the world economy from that explosion of reckless greed has so far cost the U.S. alone about $2 trillion in taxpayer funded Wall Street bailouts… We can have that discussion peaceably in school auditoriums… Or we can have it in the streets. But there will be a reckoning, because the status quo is untenable.

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