Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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We’re losing workers, not jobs

Saturday, September 17th, 2022

It turns out that inflationary pressures are caused by pent-up retirements as well as pent-up spending. And those inflation-causing labour shortages are set to worsen before they improve… The worker shortages hold back economic growth and keep Canada’s productivity growth rates at notoriously low levels.  Solutions include fast-tracking immigrants into jobs; experimenting with four-day work weeks and other hybrids; luring retirees back into the workforce; and closing the gender pay gap. 

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A self-inflicted recession and a pointless sacrifice to a mystical two per cent god

Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

With unemployment low, we now face a devil’s choice between continued inflation and deliberate recession. We need other strategies for motivating growth when needed, and slowing it when it’s not. Other tools could be invoked right now to control inflation, such as strategic price controls, targeted taxes on corporations and high-income earners, and low-cost or free public services. But the dominant orthodoxy demands monetary austerity, and nothing else.

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CERB is done, and it’s not coming back. Staring down the barrel of a recession gun, how are we going to fix this?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

… why not just bring back CERB when recession hits next time? Because it was too generous to be fiscally sustainable over the long run and not politically sustainable due to sectoral labour shortages. But today’s EI is not fit for purpose either. With less than four in 10 jobless workers able to access it, it’s too stingy. However, there is a lot of consensus on how to fix EI…

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Too many dangers in promised privatization of care economy

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

People with complications are too costly… They’ll end up in an underfunded public not-for-profit system.  More access to care through for-profit providers does nothing to address the shortage of health care and eldercare workers and early childhood educators. Cheaper, more equitable, high-quality care that creates good jobs won’t happen by expanding for-profit care. Here are 10 advantages of investing more in public and not-for-profit care. 

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Ontario’s new gig-work bill might as well be written on DoorDash letterhead

Monday, March 7th, 2022

The Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act may look as if it’s intended to bring app-based employers in line — but it’s not the change we need… Changing the law to define these workers as employees would obviate the need for any of these proposed changes. It would enshrine the rights of these workers along with those of everyone else.  

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Don’t be fooled by Ontario’s ‘minimum wage’ for gig workers

Friday, March 4th, 2022

Ontario’s manipulative ‘minimum wage’ is an attempt to forestall genuine legislative and regulatory changes… workers at gig platforms already have the right to unionize through normal channels, and achieve genuine collective bargaining rights—they don’t need any special ‘law’, just clarification that they are indeed workers (whether employees or dependent contractors) not independent businesses.

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Ottawa can strike a blow against precarity with stronger protections for gig workers

Monday, February 28th, 2022

What is really needed to stop the spread of misclassification is to start with the presumption that a worker is an employee, unless a case can be made that they are a bona fide independent contractor. A clear and relatively simple test can be established to determine whether someone is a legitimate contractor — i.e., do they set their own prices, perform work that is not the company’s “core” business, and have their own business doing the same work that they market independently? — or a misclassified employee. 

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Why Not 75 Years Old?

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

… since the creation of the RRSP in 1957, the age limit of 71 has never been raised… Given the sharp increase in life expectancy, the age limit of 71 years for converting an RRSP into a RRIF needs to be lifted… this type of change would optimize the mechanics of pension plans, and also encourage Canadians to remain in the workforce, which improves health and also helps with Canada’s looming labour shortage.

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Countries reach agreement on corporate tax

Saturday, October 9th, 2021

More than 130 countries have agreed on sweeping changes to how big global companies are taxed, including a 15 per cent minimum corporate rate designed to deter multinationals from stashing profits in low-tax countries… The OECD said that the minimum tax would reap some $150 billion (U.S.) for governments… it would end a “race to the bottom” in which countries outbid each other with lower tax rates.

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Ontario’s 10-cent hike in the minimum wage is bad for workers, bad for businesses and bad for the economy

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Some minimum wage workers work full-time and full year, but most work part-time. At 20 hours a week, a typical minimum wage worker would be earning $29 more a week if the minimum wage was 60 per cent of the average wage. Instead, on Friday, the government of Ontario legislated $2 more a week for them. That’s bad for workers, bad for businesses and bad for the economy… it isn’t business that creates jobs. It’s customers.

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