Navigating troubling economic waters

Down south, the Obama administration is in a dangerous game of chicken with Republican congressional leaders, who are cynically holding the US economy hostage in order to impose a radical agenda of spending cuts. Obama has seemingly bought into the rhetoric of cutting debt, rather than focusing on the real…
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The Riddle of the Middle

It’s like a bad riddle: almost everyone thinks they belong to it, but few can define what it is. Politicians claim to champion it, but it’s increasingly difficult to determine what it actually wants. And, often, when we talk about it, we’re really only referring to part of it—the part…
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The NDP and “Big Labour”

Rob Silver, a sharp guy I first met through university debate, has written a rather disappointing piece entitled, “Would NDP be neutral were it in power during a labour dispute?” This question is interesting and significant. On the one hand, the NDP’s political philosophy is strongly supportive of working people….
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Corporate Canada’s Cash Stash

Statistics Canada figures indicate that private non-financial corporations held $471 billion of cash in the first quarter of 2011 ($322 billion of Canadian currency plus $149 billion worth of foreign currency). Including short-term paper would bring this total to half a trillion dollars, enough to pay off the national debt…
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Omnibus Crime Bill an Injustice

This fall the Harper government will pass an omnibus crime bill that will imprison thousands more Canadians and cost billions of dollars. It will not do as advertised by the Conservatives and drive the crime rate down. It will simply incarcerate for longer the many citizens who fall afoul of…
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BC’s Regressive Tax Shift

With much of the talk on taxes in BC about the HST, we issued a new report today that looks at the bigger context for BC’s tax system (Vancouver Sun oped here, CTV News story here). Iglika Ivanova, Seth Klein and I compare and contrast BC’s tax system after a…
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Not allowed to talk about poverty

BC Stats put out a release yesterday with the headline “Low Income Cut-Offs (LICOs) are a Poor Measure of Poverty” and author Dan Schrier gets in a dirty hit right in first paragraph: Despite protestations from Statistics Canada that LICOs are not meant to be used as a measure of…
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