Government spending putting the economy at risk

Our ratio of net debt to GDP is almost as high as it was in 1995 when Canada was really in a fiscal crisis

Government spending putting the economy at riskThe Liberals made some big spending promises during last month’s election campaign, amounting to $78 billion in new spending over the next five years. These promises come on top of the existing baseline, which was already no model of austerity. The federal budget was bloated before the pandemic, and even after excluding some necessary public…

More capitalism leads to less discrimination

Discrimination is actually less pervasive in more competitive industries

More capitalism leads to less discriminationOne of the favourite myths peddled by proponents of government control is that under the free-market system discrimination is rife and leads to unfair outcomes for minorities, women, and other groups. Thus, they say, we need government regulation to correct this unfairness and equalize outcomes. The myth persists despite having been repeatedly debunked over decades,…

More federal labour regulations mean fewer jobs

Commitment to strengthening “labour protection” for workers in the gig economy will discourage hiring

More federal labour regulations mean fewer jobsMost of the headlines from the Liberal budget were about the big dollar expenditures: tens of billions in new spending on child care, corporate welfare handouts (even excluding pandemic-related supports), student debt relief, climate change programs, Indigenous services, and much more. All this spending will reduce economic growth by shifting economic control from the private…

The NDP’s flawed case for wealth taxes

The idea that we can easily tax rich people with impunity is not supported by the evidence

The NDP’s flawed case for wealth taxesSince the last federal election campaign, the NDP has been continually beating the drum for a wealth tax. The party’s latest push comes in its supplementary report to the 2021 budget consultations. Their case for the tax, however, is based on significant economic errors. First, the NDP claims that a wealth tax has been recommended…

Let charities care for the needy in society

Governments inevitably make a mess of social welfare programs, wasting money, discouraging work and encouraging dependence

Let charities care for the needy in societyLong before the COVID-19 recession, the generosity of Canadians, measured by charitable donations, was already steadily falling. From 2008 to 2018, the percentage of tax-filers donating to charity fell from 24.1 per cent to 19.4 per cent. And the percentage of aggregate income donated to charity fell from 0.62 per cent to 0.54 per cent.…

School choice key to improving education

Competition is always better than monopoly and the education system is no exception

School choice key to improving educationThe Ontario government recently announced a new elementary school math curriculum. It’s likely a positive step but more fundamental funding changes are necessary to truly improve the province’s education system. The province will return to a “back to basics” approach to math aimed at improving standardized test scores. It will also introduce lessons on financial…

Unions fail to measure up in a time of economic crisis

By reducing business profits, unionization ultimately makes workers worse off, diminishing employment and wages

Unions fail to measure up in a time of economic crisisA recent story in The Monitor – a magazine published by the left-wing, union-friendly think-tank Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – provides an important lesson in basic economics. The headline triumphantly proclaims: “Gig workers win the right to unionize.” The end result was unfortunate for the workers, however. An editor’s note at the top of…

Ontario should cut government jobs to end cycle of debt

The Ontario government must take decisive action to get the budget under control when the COVID-19 crisis has passed

Ontario should cut government jobs to end cycle of debtOntario is the most indebted sub-sovereign borrower in the world. Interim financial results for the 2019-20 fiscal year show that the Ontario government ran a $9.2-billion deficit. According to estimates from economists, the deficit is likely to more than triple, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdown, to around $29.3 billion…

Canadians get too little value for their taxes

Whether on corporate income, labour, international trade or anything else, taxes in Canada impose a huge economic cost

Canadians get too little value for their taxesAs Canadians prepare their tax returns, it’s fair to ask if we get good value for all the taxes we pay. We have a little extra time to ponder this, since the federal government has given Canadians another month to file tax returns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, to June. 1. So do…

Thank capitalism for your basic supplies in time of crisis

COVID-19 has meant some shortages at grocery stores. But overall, the supply chains developed over decades fill our needs

Thank capitalism for your basic supplies in time of crisisEven as COVID-19 has put much of the economy into shutdown and caused a run at grocery stores on some staples, most of us remain generally well-supplied with food. That’s something to be thankful for. It’s one of the significant wonders of the modern economic system that most people, very few of whom are directly…
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