May 2014

Race and the wilful ignorance of Margaret Wente

Truth, progress and science.

The relationship between these concepts is unwieldy and complex. As media scholars, we read Margaret Wente’s column heralding journalist Nicholas Wade’s new book and cringed, recognizing the ease with which these concepts were used to tell a misleading story about race....

Thomas Piketty's body blow to conventional economic wisdom

During the ordinary working of capitalism – absent the extraordinary Great Wars and Great Depression of the first half of the twentieth century – inequality, as manifested in the distribution of wealth, rose over time and promises to continue to do so.

Call that distressing result Piketty’s law. 

Elucidated in his magisterial Capital in the Twenty First Century, it hearkens back to the “laws” of classical economics from the late eighteenth century (a.k.a. the political economy of Malthus, Ricardo, Marx) to the rise of neo-classical economics in the latter part of the...

Quebec a sign that federalism works

The run up to the recent Quebec election prompted a revival of the argument that only federal transfers keep that fiscally-challenged province afloat. For example, Mark Milke of the Fraser Institute argued in the National Post that Quebec is “massively subsidized by the rest of Canada.”

This argument is hugely over-done. And it contradicts a more effective and positive argument for federalism, namely that it has been no barrier to the construction of a...