C. D. Howe Shills for Oil Companies

The C. D. Howe Institute is out this morning with a press release entitled, “Raising Oil and Gas Royalties Does Not Benefit Provincial Coffers.” A complete analysis of the accompanying 30-page paper – featuring many graphs, tables and regressions – will take time. But here is my initial take. Background…
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Lies, Damned Lies and Graphs

Further to Jim Stanford’s excellent critique of the Ontario Conservative platform’s graphs, I am similarly struck by the Liberal platform’s lone graph. “Cutting Ontario’s Taxes on New Business Investment in Half” (page 25) purports to show that corporate tax cuts are required to get the province’s “Marginal Effective Tax Rate”…
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What the Right’s Rage Reveals

Jack Layton’s life and untimely death fundamentally changed Canadian political discourse. But both the public outpouring and its hyperpartisan response speak to another interesting shift in Canadian politics. Hints of this shift appeared after the last federal election when the young, newly-elected NDP MPs were the sudden recipients of a…
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Hurricane Trichet Hits Jackson Hole

After watching Jack Layton’s state funeral, I noticed that Jean-Claude Trichet’s speech from Jackson Hole is online. The European Central Bank president does not seem to get it. Far from acknowledging that last month’s interest-rate hike was premature, he touts “price stability.” His main theme is that the economic divergence…
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Recession Ahead?

TD Economics yesterday released a rather gloomy report, putting the odds of a US recession at 40%, and arguing that that Canadian economy is more vulnerable to recession than it was in 2008.  It highlights reduced capacity for governments to respond given that interest rates are already very low, and…
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The New Cost of Criminal Pardons

The Conservative government, with the collaboration of opposition parties, hastily passed a piece of legislation (Bill C-23A) last year which makes it more difficult for offenders to obtain a pardon for their offences.  This was the government’s response to the news that notorious child-molester Graham James had received a pardon,…
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Stimulus vs Public Investment

A column by Nobel Prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz in the Financial Times makes what I think is an important point. The current debate over fiscal policy for the US, Europe and Canada is often characterized in the media as one between advocates of  higher deficits from Keynesian style stimulus…
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