Archive for the ‘Economy/Employment’ Category

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Unemployment in the 21st Century

Monday, October 12th, 2020

An overriding concern here is that an expansion of EI to insure earnings in a more flexible way may result in moving further away from a program that insures workers against job loss, towards an income-smoothing program that provides a predictable share of some individuals’ income. Overall, while an EI system that covers multiple job holders, gig workers, and the self-employed may be desirable in the 21st century, it is not clear how to build that system.

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COVID pandemic offers glimpse of upheaval climate crisis will cause

Monday, October 12th, 2020

The fiscal infusions must be directed to address both the impacts of COVID and to kickstart the changes needed to address the climate crisis. For example, the transition of CERB to a basic guaranteed income to eliminate poverty and its health impacts. Or a just and equitable transition from fossil fuel-based economy to a sustainable “green” economy… we need a Team Canada — all levels of government, all political groups working together. And we need action.

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Ontario needs to step in and protect workers

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Too many companies have built business models that maximize profit by exploiting workers, largely by finding ways to avoid treating them as employees… Business exploiting lax labour laws to the detriment of workers is a concern in the world of temp agencies and their increasingly unscrupulous money-making tactics, the misclassification of workers as independent contractors to strip them of basic employment rights, and the expansion of temporary and part-time work that comes with few benefits.

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Forget a guaranteed basic income. There’s a better way to make sure Canadians have enough money after COVID-19

Saturday, September 19th, 2020

We already have many well-entrenched programs serving many parts of the population quite well… To replace many of them with a single cheque would not only be legally difficult, but would also give the federal government a blunt instrument to deal with the complex and ever-changing problems of poverty, low income and inequality… It’s become painfully obvious that ensuring that there are enough affordable, high-quality child-care spaces is essential for a recovery.

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Liberals are considering a universal basic income, but economists have tough questions for its proponents

Thursday, September 17th, 2020

“What we’re really talking about is not ensuring everyone receives a cheque but ensuring there’s a minimum floor below which no Canadian ought to fall. So it really is a conversation about rethinking and reinventing our social safety net”… But the program won’t be popular with everyone… Problem 1: The Cost… Problem 2: The Incentives… Problem 3: The Cuts…

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The ‘supply crisis’ in Canada’s housing market isn’t backed up by the evidence

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

… Common complaints include a lack of new housing, burdensome regulation and flawed zoning… The vested interests behind the narrative are relentless, since there are billions in profit to be had. Why let pesky facts get in the way? … housing affordability will suffer to the extent that policy makers either buy into the misdirection, or use the narrative to deflect public pressure to take substantive action.

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This Labour Day, resolve to make life better for underpaid, undervalued ‘heroes’

Monday, September 7th, 2020

If the mantra of “build back better” means anything, we must revalue low-paid but essential work and tackle the scourge of precarious work, gig economy jobs and temp agencies that leave workers scrambling just to earn minimum wage. We need to legislate paid sick days for all workers… and dramatically expand affordable childcare so that women aren’t held back.

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The pandemic can spur long overdue change for Canada’s workers

Monday, September 7th, 2020

… it’s time to reinforce our social safety nets to ensure affordable housing, accessible child care and support for the unemployed. We didn’t need a pandemic to show us that too many workers in Canada are often living paycheque to paycheque and worried about the future of their families; that women and racialized workers often make up the majority of those doing precarious, low-paid – but essential – front-line work.

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Our recovery must be just and equitable for all

Monday, September 7th, 2020

… six principles for a just recovery: Put people’s health and well-being first, with no exceptions; Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people; Prioritize the needs of workers and communities; Build resilience to prevent future crises; Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations and borders; Uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous peoples

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The Liberals seem to think they have abolished scarcity. Let’s hope they’re right

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

There was widespread public consent earlier this year to the proposal that the economy should be put into a coma, to prevent the spread of a deadly disease… Spending hundreds of billions of dollars in borrowed money to keep the lights on in the midst of a once-a-century pandemic made sense. Borrowing billions more to fulfill every Liberal dream, political or ideological, does not.

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