Alex's Blog: Basic Income

The Ontario government has committed to test the idea of a basic income. Over the next week or so Hugh Segal will release a discussion paper intended to guide the experiment and that will be followed by public consultations. The idea of unconditional income has a long history with supporters and detractors from both the ...

Alex's Blog: Saying no to the conjuror’s trick of tax cuts

Tax is Not a Four Letter Word is a collection of essays, published by WLU Press, I co-edited with my son, Jordan, Opinion Editor of The Toronto Star.  The CCPA Ontario’s Jennifer Story recently interviewed me about the book, and our desire to get Canadians thinking differently about taxes.  (The interview first appeared on the ...

Alex's Blog: Why we have no time for politics

Samara recently published yet another study showing that Canadians, especially young Canadians, are profoundly disengaged from formal politics.  Not only are citizens voting less and participating less in political parties, they are not writing, reading or even talking with friends about party politics. While many are still donating money and time to causes, they don’t have much ...

Alex's Blog: Why we have no time for politics

Edward Hicks, c. 1824, “Peaceable Kingdom”, National Gallery of Art, Wikipedia Commons. Samara recently published yet another study showing that Canadians, especially young Canadians, are profoundly disengaged from formal politics.  Not only are citizens voting less and participating less in political parties, they are not writing, reading or even talking with friends about party politics. While many ...

Alex's Blog: The Trouble With Austerity: Economics as Ideology

A somewhat abridged version of this post first appeared in The Toronto Star here Governments here and elsewhere are increasingly preoccupied with cutting even as evidence piles up of its harmful consequences on people and the economy. Austerity is not even delivering the balanced budgets its advocates promise. Even the IMF is now preaching balance ...

Alex's Blog: The Trouble With Austerity: Economics as Ideology

A somewhat abridged version of this post first appeared in The Toronto Star here Governments here and elsewhere are increasingly preoccupied with cutting even as evidence piles up of its harmful consequences on people and the economy. Austerity is not even delivering the balanced budgets its advocates promise. Even the IMF is now preaching balance ...

Alex's Blog: The Age of Austerity

Notes: Keynote talk, CCPA Post-Austerity session, Toronto, January 9, 2013 We are living in the “Age of Austerity” or at least so says David Cameron, the UK’s Prime Minister. He made this announcement in 2009 at the Conservative convention just before becoming prime minister. This meant, he explained, that he would have to fix the ...

Alex's Blog: The Age of Austerity

Notes: Keynote talk, CCPA Post-Austerity session, Toronto, January 9, 2013 We are living in the “Age of Austerity” or at least so says David Cameron, the UK’s Prime Minister. He made this announcement in 2009 at the Conservative convention just before becoming prime minister. This meant, he explained, that he would have to fix the ...

Alex's Blog: The mean test: how we measure success

Chief Theresa Spence (by Regina Southwind, Rabble, December 17) As we enter 2013, how is Canada doing? How do we stack up against other rich countries? Emerging from the year of the 50th anniversary of medicare, the 30th anniversary of the Charter, are we making progress? Do we even have any shared notion of what ...

Alex's Blog: The mean test: how we measure success

Chief Theresa Spence (by Regina Southwind, Rabble, December 17) As we enter 2013, how is Canada doing? How do we stack up against other rich countries? Emerging from the year of the 50th anniversary of medicare, the 30th anniversary of the Charter, are we making progress? Do we even have any shared notion of what ...

Alex's Blog: Going, Going, Gone: Dismantling the Progressive State

“An Auction”. William Pyne and William Combe (1808). Now that some time has passed since the federal budget it might be useful to step back and assess what it says about where the government is taking us. Reaction has been pretty muted. The “centrist punditry” generally see this as an incremental budget, business as usual, ...