Archive for the ‘Economy/Employment’ Category

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Guaranteed basic income in a time of need

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

Milton Friedman, that leading apostle of small government and swaggering free markets, had something to say about new ideas. He succeeded in making his ideas seem like common sense. “Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around,” he said. The COVID-19 crisis offers the opportunity for Canada to stop merely discussing basic income. It’s time to get going with this common sense.

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Hitting Home: Hours And Wages Lost To Covid-19 By Location, Age, Income And Education

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Across the country, about 44 percent of households have experienced lost hours or layoffs due to COVID-19, with only one-fifth of the affected workers in those households fully compensated by their employer, and two-thirds receiving no coverage or compensation… While the CERB will provide financial support for those who fully lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the wage subsidy will help reduce further lost hours and layoffs.

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Ottawa steps forward as COVID-19 crisis puts provinces in desperate straits

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

… temporary programs have a way of turning into permanent entitlements. Through the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, which pays suddenly unemployed workers $2,000 a month, “we might have backed ourselves into some sort of universal basic income,” … We may have accidentally federalized welfare… The problem with creating a basic income more or less by accident is that no one knows how to pay for it, or how it would adapt to regional realities.

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They’re World War deficit levels, but not the biggest or the baddest yet

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

The deficits being projected now look to be roughly 5 to 8 per cent of GDP… The 1984 deficit was 8.1 per cent of GDP, when the economy was recovering from the 1982 recession and interest rates paid on the national debt were high. But in those terms, the deficits are not on the scale of the Second World War, when military production and defence spending pushed the annual deficit to 23 per cent of GDP in 1943. A comparable deficit in 2020 would be nearly $500-billion… Canada has seen worse.

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Their work is keeping Canada safe. But they earn a fraction of the national average

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

From food processing to warehouses to delivery services, the workers deemed essential to maintaining the country’s vital supply chain are significantly more likely to be low-wage and racialized compared to the rest of the labour market… “We have to really look at governments to respond in a longer term manner by increasing minimum wages, easing access to unionization, and increasing both protections and enforcement under minimum employment standards”

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Coronavirus has shown us we were living in an economic fairy tale

Monday, March 30th, 2020

… in late 2008, something extraordinary happens. Instead of allowing the system to fail as capitalism calls for, governments bail out the system. By doing so, they save the same people that created the crisis in the first place, effectively guaranteeing their wins and socializing their losses.
The “real” value of your cash is destroyed as new money is created out of thin air and the system is bailed out… Everyone once again believes in the fairy tale.

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Trudeau says businesses, non-profits, charities all eligible for wage subsidy

Monday, March 30th, 2020

The federal government has vastly expanded the 75-per-cent wage subsidy for small businesses to include large companies as well as charities and non-profits to encourage them to keep workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told his daily news conference Monday that the generous subsidy will be open to any business or organization that has suffered a 30-per-cent drop in revenue as a result of the coronavirus.

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Ottawa Delivers 1-2 Punch To Prevent Layoffs And Mitigate Economic Harm

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Across the economy, businesses and not-for-profits are losing revenue and laying workers off. A chain reaction from job loss would be a major reason why people anticipate a deep recession and double-digit unemployment. In this edition of Graphic Intelligence, we show how Ottawa’s announcement to cover wage costs alters the chain reaction and mitigates the economic impacts of COVID-19.

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Keep it quiet, but universal basic income is coming

Friday, March 27th, 2020

The rise of fascism and the Second World War required the creation of the full welfare state (which was previously restricted to meagre old age pensions) to avoid a replay the next time the economy tanked. The current emergency may be fostering the rise of ideas previously seen as too radical to contemplate, but nobody is saying “universal basic income” yet.

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There is no perfect economic response for Canada’s coronavirus shutdown

Friday, March 27th, 2020

There’s been a flurry of debate about the best method to get help to individuals in this crisis. Should it be delivered by way of targeted income-support programs, such as the CERB? Should the money instead go to employers, in the form of a wage subsidy, enabling them to keep paying their employees, even if they aren’t doing anything? Or should the government just mail everyone a cheque… the amount depending on their income – a universal, if temporary, basic income?

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