The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten things to know about the CPP debate

This fall, Canada’s Parliament will debate a proposal to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).  And over at the Behind the Numbers web site, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “Ten things to know about the CPP debate.” The blog post’s other co-authors are Allan Moscovitch and Richard Lochead. Points raised in the blog ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Larry Elliott writes that the OECD is calling on its member states – including Canada – to stop pushing destructive austerity and instead focus on needed public investments. – Ian Welsh points out the problems with monetary policy aimed solely at inflation rather than growth (and designed to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Tom Bawden notes that inequality is as much a problem in our relative contribution to climate change as it is in so many other areas of life. And Steven Rosenfeld lists some of the ways in which the increasingly-wealthy few are making life worse for everybody else in ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP government moves too cautiously, but in the right direction, on raising the minimum wage

PHOTOS: The government of Alberta’s spin on an increase in the minimum wage – what a contrast to the grim excuse-making of a few months ago! Below: Jobs Minister Lori Sigurdson (from the Premier of Alberta’s Flickr account), Premier Rachel Notley (photo by Dave Cournoyer) and Alberta Chambers of Commerce President Ken Kobly. They may ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Daria Ukhova summarizes the OECD’s findings on the links between inequality, poverty and the economy: Inequality, economic growth, and poverty. In the new report, the OECD has tried to establish the links between these three phenomena, which so far have been mostly explored in pairs, as the ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the OECD’s working paper showing that stronger environmental policies are entirely consistent with a more productive economy. For further reading…– Obviously, the area where the need for more stringent regulation is most obvious lies in our CO2 emissions. On that front, CBC reports on Christopher McGlade and Paul Elkins’ study showing how many ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Sam Pizzigati interviews Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett about the fight against inequality and the next piece of the puzzle to be put in place: [Pickett:]…In The Spirit Level, we have all these correlations between inequality and social problems, and we have theories and hypotheses about what ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – The OECD reports on the relationship between equality and growth, and concludes that rising inequality is as toxic for economic development as it is for our social fabric. And David Rider discusses how increasing inequality is manifesting itself in several Toronto neighbourhoods. – Meanwhile, Daniel Tancer finds ...

Parchment in the Fire: Revealed: how the wealth gap holds back economic growth | Business | The Guardian

Revealed: how the wealth gap holds back economic growth | Business | The Guardian. The west’s leading economic thinktank on Tuesday dismissed the concept of trickle-down economics as it found that the UK economy would have been more than 20% bigger had the gap between rich and poor not widened since the 1980s. Publishing its ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Andrew Jackson reviews the OECD’s economic recommendations for Canada – featuring a much-needed call for fair taxes on stock options: Special tax breaks for stock options primarily benefit senior corporate executives, especially CEOs of large public companies who are commonly given the right to buy shares in the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Flaherty’s Legacy: Ideological, reckless and just plain lucky

This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab.   There are two reasons why it is difficult to comment on the legacy of a finance minister. 1) It is a tremendously challenging job, anywhere, any time. Stewarding one of the largest economies in the world through a ...

The Disaffected Lib: OECD – We Need a "Big, Fat Price on Carbon"

The organization representing the industrialized, First World, isn’t pulling any punches on climate change.  OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurria, maintains we need to decarbonize by mid-century. “We need to achieve zero emissions from fossil-fuel sources by the second half of the century,” Gurria told reporters at a briefing in London. “That doesn’t mean by 2050 exactly ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your Family Day. – Gerald Caplan comments that it’s long past time to put the Senate out of its misery: Who knew that when well-known Canadians in 2011 begged old acquaintances now turned Conservative Senators to back a bill for cheap generic AIDS drugs for Africa, the senators would follow party ...

Politics and its Discontents: On Corporate Propaganda and Tax Avoidance

It is the fashion among our corporate overlords and their rabid right-wing courtesans to utter a trite phrase that, because it is repeated so frequently, is taken as truth by many: We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Like the magician who relies upon misdirection to perform the seemingly miraculous, the ...

The Scott Ross: Canada Is R&D-ing A Decline, With Graphs

In 2006 Canada was spending 2% of its Gross Domestic Product on R&D. In 2012 it will spend just 1.69%. While a large portion of the decline is due to the business sector spending less on R&D, the current Conservative government has responded by cutting its own share of spending while also reducing incentives for ...

The Scott Ross: A Conservative Canada Is An Uncompetitive One

It’s odd that Conservatives advocate competition in the economy when under this Conservative government our economy has only become less competitive. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has recently lowered Canada’s ranking in global economic competitiveness from 12th last year to 14th place in 2012. This has been part of a steady decline since 2009 when ...

The Scott Ross: Conservative Fiscal Deficits & Ignorant Surpluses

Though many would say that fiscal deficits from this Conservative government are the most worrying, their lack of economic knowledge is far more dangerous. Before showing the economic ignorance of Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre a quick introduction to terminology is needed. When speaking of our debt there is a basic yet important distinction, gross debt ...

The Scott Ross: The Conservative Economic Record

Sept 2012: Unemployment is up at 7.4%; it has been increasing since June while American unemployment has only gone down. July 2012: Worst trade deficit ever in Canadian history at $2.3 billion. 2012: GDP growth rate is declining (PDF pg 22). Canada is no longer the fastest growing economy in the G7; it is now ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Broadening the Bank of Canada’s Mandate

Yesterday, Mike Moffatt took to The Globe and Mail’s “Economy Lab” in response to my suggestion that the Bank of Canada should moderate the exchange rate. (Perhaps his motive for encouraging me to seek the Saskatchewan NDP leadership was to get me as far as possible from the levers of monetary policy.) My rebuttal of ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Labour Losing to Capital

The just-released OECD Employment Outlook – full text not available on line – has an interesting chapter on the sharp decline of labour’s share of national income in virtually all OECD countries over the past 30 years, and especially the last twenty years. The median labour share in the OECD fell from 66.1% in the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Randy Hoback’s Pulp Fiction

Last week, Conservative MP Randy Hoback had another letter in The Prince Albert Daily Herald blaming the NDP for the pulp-mill closure in 2006. He still has not addressed my main point about resource royalties. I have the following response on page 4 of today’s Herald: Pulp mill saga proves Mulcair’s point Notwithstanding MP Randy ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: More on the OECD and Dutch Disease

Further to my earlier post on the OECD and “Dutch Disease”, I have received a heavily redacted response to an access to information request (A-2012-00073/CN.)  submitted to the Department of Finance, seeking any comments on the draft assessment and recommendations of the OECD delegation to Canada in 2012. This arrives just as Conservative ads attack ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: CPI Deflates Case for Rate Hike

Today’s report that the national inflation rate fell to 1.2% in May deflates calls for higher interest rates to reduce inflation. The central bank’s core rate was 1.8%, also below the 2% target. The other argument for an interest-rate hike was to moderate mortgage lending and the housing market. However, the federal government’s move to ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: OECD Agrees We Suffer From Dutch Disease

OECD economist Peter Jarrett – lead on the just released Economic Survey of Canada – agrees with the Mulcair diagnosis.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – The OECD is the latest independent observer to confirm Thomas Mulcair’s point that dutch disease is a real problem for Canadian manufacturing. And Marc Lee calls for a green industrial revolution as a better path toward economic development and environmental responsibility than the Cons’ focus on resource ...