Every year, women around the world celebrate (angrily) the day their average full-time, full-year earnings have caught up to men’s average full-time full-year earnings from the year before.Read more
The idea of a basic income guarantee for all Canadians has again moved to the front burner with the House of Commons Finance Committee and the Ontario government supporting further study and experimentation. This could be an important step forward, but incremental reform towards an income tested guarantee for working age Canadians delivered through the tax system will be the best path forward as opposed to more visionary “big bang” solutions.
The concept of a basic income has won support from both the political right and left. For the former, it promises to simplify complex income security programs and to replace most if not all welfare state programs with a single cash payment which would allow individuals to meet their needs in the market. For the latter, it is a means to free people from dependence upon the job market, a tool for social solidarity amidst a rapidly changing world of work, and a means to abolish poverty.Read more
Seldom does a social policy idea make headlines for weeks.Read more
Developments in the Canadian economy have forced an important re-thinking of the respective roles of monetary and fiscal policy in supporting stable growth and job creation. But mainstream thinking about monetary policy has evolved much further than that on fiscal policy.
Before the great recession of 2008, fiscal policy had fallen greatly out of favour as a tool for macro economic stabilization. The conventional wisdom was that central banks could adjust short term interest rates to keep the economy growing more less at potential with low inflation, and indeed there was no recession from the early 1990s until the financial crisis of 2008.Read more
The so-called “middle class” tax cut promised by the newly elected Liberal government in the name of promoting greater fairness seems set to be quickly implemented for the 2016 tax year. Yet the distributional and revenue consequences of this measure are often misunderstood, and the proposed change merits reconsideration.
Currently there are four federal tax brackets: 15% on taxable incomes of less than $44,701; 22% on further income up to $89,401; 26% on further income up to $138,586; and 29% on income above that amount.Read more
MONTREAL— Quebecers greatly underestimate the wealth gap in Quebec and would prefer a much more balanced distribution of wealth. These findings are the key takeaways from the first nationwide survey that asked Canadians from all provinces how they think wealth is distributed and what they think would be the ideal distribution.Read more
The current federal election is being fought against a backdrop of deepening inequality and the social problems that accompany it. Promises to “make things better” will no doubt be uttered throughout the campaign.
As we mark another labour day, it is important to remain discerning of the policies on offer.Read more
Few Canadian economic debates are as long-standing and as predictable as that over the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage. Progressives call for a higher wage floor to combat inequality, low pay and poverty. But employers and the political right generally argue that a decent minimum wage comes at the cost of jobs, and harms those it is intended to protect.Read more
“You can do anything you put your mind to” is a message that has been instilled in the minds of North Americans.
People are taught that if they work hard enough, anyone can succeed. This is why many people believe in equality and fairness as forces that shape our economic system and tend to overlook the power of systemic factors like racial discrimination or class barriers in economic inequality.Read more
OTTAWA—The 2015-16 federal budget contains costly measures that will exacerbate economic inequality and see billions flow to Canada’s wealthiest families while leaving the majority of Canadians with no benefit at all, says the Broadbent Institute.Read more