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Ms Cuttle

Bubble Trouble | From the Print Edition | torontolife.com - 0 views

  • Demand was also driven by new arrivals. Everyone wanted to live here: almost half of the 250,000 people who immigrate to Canada each year settle in the GTA, and for many, the natural course of events is to plant roots by buying fairly inexpensive condos or suburban starter homes—affordable by international standards.
Ms Cuttle

Show cards on structural deficit, watchdog tells Tories - The Globe and Mail - 0 views

  • “Distinguishing between structural and cyclical components of a government’s budget balance is crucial because, while the cyclical component may be expected to dissipate over a medium-term horizon as the economy returns to its full potential, the structural component may necessitate policy measures,”
  • he PBO’s own analysis concludes that if the Conservative government succeeds at reigning in spending as planned over the coming years, the structural deficit will fall from $25-billion this year to only $1.6-billion in 2016-17.
Linda Lei

Canada's personal debt rises - Business - CBC News - 1 views

  • Canadians rang up five per cent more in personal debt in the first three months of 2011 compared with 2010, according to a report released Wednesday.
Linda Lei

The Progressive Economics Forum » Reduce Student Debt to Reduce Household Debt - 0 views

  • As Armine made clear in her presentation, household debt in Canada has steadily risen over the past two decades.  In 1990, the average Canadian household had debt representing just under 90% of its personal disposable income.  Today, that figure stands at roughly 150%.
Alejandro Enamorado

Income Inequality Around the World Is a Failure of Capitalism - Kentaro Toyama - Busine... - 0 views

  • But inequality is rising in most developed countries, literally upending the Kuznets curve
  • The Kuznets Curve, named after Nobel Laureate Simon Kuznets, predicts that as nations become wealthier, inequality initially rises and then declines, like a single squeeze of an accordion.
  • The OECD considers several reasons why this might be, including: increases in more people working part-time; increases in investment-based income among richer households; and even rich folks marrying each other and doubling up on wealth accumulated at the top.
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  • the dominant reason is that we're experiencing another labor revolution, a transition from low-skill industrial work to high-skill knowledge work. High-skilled workers with jobs that cannot be off-shored or automated are being paid more compared with low-skilled workers.
  • Policies that promote the up-skilling of the workforce are therefore key factors to reverse the trend to further growing inequality." The only way to achieve fairness in a meritocracy is to provide more equal opportunities for everyone to attain merit.


Alejandro Enamorado

ROHAC: Income inequality doesn't matter - Washington Times - 1 views

  • income inequality is not a useful measure. Measures of inequality tell us nothing about the living conditions of the poor, their health and their access to economic opportunity.
  • one should think primarily about lifting developing countries out of poverty rather than about reducing income disparities in wealthy countries.
  • Focusing on income inequality rather than drivers of poverty, obstacles to economic opportunity and systematic injustice obscures what really works and what does not in the realm of economic policy
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  • Putting in place restrictions on executive bonuses, taxing financial transactions and corporate profits does little to mitigate the flawed incentives that have led to exuberant financial booms. A genuine solution would consist of eliminating bailout guarantees to the banking sector, thus reducing the existing incentives for gambling with other people’s money.

  • the rise of cheap imports from countries such as China and new forms of large-scale retailing, epitomized by Wal-Mart and Sears, which have given the low-income groups access to goods that previously were enjoyed only by the rich. In terms of the actual material conditions of living, developed countries appear to be more equal than ever before.
  • growth of executive remuneration in the financial industry cannot be dissociated from a cozy relationship that has long existed between policymakers and bankers
Noah Schafer

Jobless rate, global uncertainty to test Tories' economic strategy - thestar.com - 0 views

  • The new Conservative government’s business-friendly economic strategy will be tested by uncertain global conditions and a stubbornly high jobless rate in Canada.

    One of the first items on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s agenda when Parliament re

  • The new Conservative government’s business-friendly economic strategy will be tested by uncertain global conditions and a stubbornly high jobless rate in Canada.
  • n February, Canada’s output sank by 0.2 per cent, the worst monthly performance since May 2009.
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  • One of the first items on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s agenda when Parliament returns will be reintroduction of a $278 billion budget that includes a sprinkling of social and economic spending and a plan to slay the budget deficit in several years. And the government will continue with a $6 billion corporate income tax cut.
  • Prospects for Canada are also complicated by expectations that spending by debt-burdened consumers could slow in 2011 and by the shut-off of the Conservatives’ two-year, $47 billion emergency stimulus program.
  • “We’re seeing continued uncertainty and concerns still with respect to the Eurozone and where it’s headed,” he said. Uncertainty on economic growth is also being fanned by volatile energy markets and the questionable U.S. business rebound, Wright said.
  • “The risks still lie outside the Canadian border, which as we’re well aware can have a spillover effect on Canada,” said Royal Bank chief economist Craig Wright.
  • With government spending slowing, the Conservatives have staked a great deal on their view that the business community will pick up the slack and stimulate the economy with expansion-minded investments.
  • Besides phasing in corporate income tax cuts worth $14 billion by 2012, the Conservatives in recent years have provided a wide range of investment incentives for business, including easing taxes on small business and manufacturers. In all, tax cuts for business by the Conservatives total an estimated $60 billion by 2013.
  • both Flaherty and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney have pointedly talked about the urgent need for more spending on machinery and equipment by companies.
  • But many are not convinced, with some Canadians saying the government would be smarter to tie tax incentives directly to company investments to ensure that corporations don’t just pocket the extra profits.
  • Speaking of corporate tax cuts, Canadian Association of Social Workers spokesperson Fred Phelps said it would be one thing “if corporations turned around and invested those funds into the economy.” But he said that hasn’t been happening in recent years. “What really has driven us out of the recession,” he said, “is spending by households and government, not business.”
Noah Schafer

Election sealed corporate tax cuts; Canada needs more - The Globe and Mail - 0 views

  • The election determined only that corporate tax rates won’t go up. It did not determine that they won’t go down – as, almost certainly, they will – through the next four years.
  • combined federal-provincial statutory tax rate of 25 per cent, won’t
  • In the campaign, the government asserted correctly that Canada’s corporate tax rate was the lowest in the G7. This, alas, wasn’t saying much. Four of the G7 countries have the four highest corporate tax rates in the world: U.S. (39.2 per cent); Japan (35.5 per cent); France (34.4 per cent); and Germany (30.2 per cent).
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  • Canada’s rate (at this moment, 27 per cent).
  • As Canada trimmed, the world trimmed, too: 75 countries aggressively cut corporate tax rates in the past decade. China’s corporate tax rate is 20 per cent – discounted to 15 per cent for companies that invest in strategically important industries.
  • The average rate in 28 of the member countries of the OECD is 20 per cent.
  • The “Bowles-Simpson Plan,” proposed by President Barack Obama’s commission on fiscal reform, suggests a federal rate of 28 per cent. The Wyden-Gregg Plan, proposed by Democratic and Republican legislators, suggests 24 per cent. The China-OECD Plan, advanced by the non-partisan U.S. Tax Foundation, suggests 20 per cent
  • These rates are federal rates and don’t include corporate rates levied by the states: nominally, on average, 6.6 per cent; in fact, on average, 4.2 per cent. Thus a U.S. federal rate of 20 per cent (the China-OECD Plan) would produce a comprehensive “America rate” of 24.2 per cent
  • Canada’s goal assumed an “America rate” of 39.3 per cent: a competitive advantage for Canada of 14.3 percentage points.
  • when you add the federal rate and the average provincial rate (19 plus 12.5), you have a “Canada rate” of 31.5 per cent – the fourth-highest rate in the world: and twice as high as China’s most competitive rate.
  • The Conservative government took a lot of heat for incrementally lowering Canada’s corporate tax rate.
Noah Schafer

Battle to slay the budget deficit continues to stall - The Globe and Mail - 0 views

  • The Department of Finance estimates that the budget balance for the fiscal year 2010-11 will come in below what had been forecasted, and well below the deficit of 2009-10.
  • he Department of Finance estimates that the budget balance for the fiscal year 2010-11 will come in below what had been forecasted, and well below the deficit of 2009-10. It was expected and hoped that the budget balance would improve as the econom
  • The steep decline in the 12-month moving sum that was produced by the recession finally turned around in early 2010, but the rebound lasted only a few months.
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  • The deficit has been stalled in the $35-billion a year range for the past 8-10 months.
  • The graph also makes it clear that the trend to deficit began in early 2008, several months before the recession began.
  • The federal government’s decision to cut the GST would have produced a deficit even if the economy had remained stable.
Noah Schafer

Federal deficit could be lower than expected - CTV News - 0 views

  • The federal deficit for the year just finished will come in lower than the $40.5 billion predicted in March's budget, Ottawa says.
  • The assessment about the deficit is contained in the Finance Department's monthly update of the government's books, which sets the preliminary standing on the deficit at $34.4 billion for the fiscal year 2010-11.
  • the department is careful to caution that the figure is preliminary and will likely rise after end-of-year adjustments on tax returns and valuation adjustments for assets and liabilities are done in the fall.
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  • Ottawa set a record $55.6 billion deficit in 2009-10, when the recession hit hardest, but has improved that position by between $15 and $20 billion in one year.
  • History has shown those adjustments can amount to billions of dollars in additional expenditures.
  • "However, based on the results to date, the final 2010-11 deficit is expected to be lower than the $40.5 billion as projected in the March 22 budget."
  • During the election campaign, the Conservatives pledged they would balance the budget in four years -- one year earlier than planned -- by finding an additional $4 billion in savings from operations.
  • The department said $17 billion, or about half, of last year's deficit was due the stimulus package.
  • In April, the International Monetary Fund pegged Canada's combined federal-provincial fiscal deficit at 4.1 per cent of gross domestic product, lower than the U.S. (10.5 per cent) and the United Kingdom (8.1 per cent).
Noah Schafer

CTV Toronto - Harper plan would eliminate deficit by 2014 - CTV News - 2 views

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled his party's election platform Friday, promising a Conservative government would eliminate the deficit by 2014-2015
  • Harper said there were no plans to cut major programs and said the billions in cost savings required to balance the books would come from slashing government's operating cost
  • Conservatives understand you cannot tax your way to prosperity, you cannot create jobs by raising taxes," Harper said.
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  • It also features a bundle of crime bills that would be passed in the first 100 days of Parliament
  • The five main priorities of the campaign platform are jobs creation, supporting families, eliminating the deficit, getting tough on crime, and investing in the North.
Kiruban Mahadeva

Canada 2011 Budget: Flaherty Budget Speech (Text) - Bloomberg - 1 views

  • The global economy is still fragile. The U.S. and our other trading partners are facing challenges. Compared to other countries, Canada's economy is performing very well-but our continued recovery is by no means assured. Many threats remain.
  • Securing our recovery from the global recession The Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan is critically important
  • Now is not the time for instability. It would make it harder for Canadian businesses to plan and to expand. It would drive investment away to other countries. It would jeopardize the gains we have made.
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  • We will keep taxes low. We will undertake additional targeted investments to support jobs and growth
  • massive tax increases
  • We will not give in to Opposition demands to impose
  • This reckless policy would lead to continuing deficits and higher taxes on all Canadians. It would stall our recovery, kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and set families back.
  • Sustained growth comes from the private sector. We will help businesses to create jobs. We will not raise taxes on growth.
  • Since July 2009, the Canadian economy has created more than 480,000 new jobs-more than were lost during the recession
  • we remain concerned about the number of Canadians looking for work
  • We need to keep protecting and creating jobs now
  • Keeping taxes low A key part of that foundation is low taxes.
  • Our government has delivered tax relief for all Canadians
  • Our tax cuts are also helping employers to invest, grow and create jobs.
  • Our commitment to low taxes is supported by a strong consensus: that protecting Canada's tax advantage is key to securing our recovery.
  • Canadian industries Even so, in the current global economic climate, many businesses remain hesitant to invest and to hire.
  • Our government will take further action to encourage them to expand and create jobs.
  • The Hiring Credit for Small Business will provide a one-year EI break for some 525,000 Canadian small businesses
  • Expanding international trade Beyond this, we will promote new export opportunities for all Canadian businesses
  • We need to keep expanding our access to foreign markets, to create new jobs here at home.
  • We will provide greater financial security for Canadians, and practical help to make ends meet.
ngodup yaklha

Netflix proves need to deregulate - 0 views

  •  
    Peladeau explained that services like Netflix and Apple TV are new models to deliver television and movie content online, and therefore do not fall within the regulations outlined by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for television broadcasters. Netflix is American owned, whereas television companies must be majority owned by Canadians. 
    But rather than regulate Netflix, as television operators suggested in a letter to the CRTC last month, Peladeau said all existing regulations should be eliminated to make the playing field more fair.

    Quebecor reported flat firstquarter earnings Thursday of $34.3 million, or 53 cents a share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with $34.9-million, or 54 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.
    Quebecor is channelling much of its available cash flow into a new wireless business at Videotron central to the parent company's growth strategy over the coming years.
    The company said Videotron added more than 28,000 new mobile customers in the quarter, lifting its subscriber base to 143,600 in total

ngodup yaklha

Greece readies for asset fire sale - 0 views

  •  
    Mass privatizations have emerged as one of the main conditions for the next instalment of Greece's €110-billion bailout package, received a year ago, when the country hit the debt wall and was unable to fund itself. If the privatizations proceed, the EU might also agree to some other goodies, such as trimming the interest rates on Greece's bailout loans, or extending their maturities.

    Greece's first privatization effort was launched in the early 1990s under Stefanos Manos, who was minister of economy and finance at the time. Before he lost his job in 1993, the telecom industry deregulation was well under way and public-private partnerships were put in place. Later, banking was deregulated to some degree. But then the political will to keep going evaporated and the deregulation and privatization processes pretty much stopped.
ngodup yaklha

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/eu-grapples-with-greek-crisis... - 0 views

  •  
    The second was failure to deal with its huge structural costs, the result of excessive government hiring and lack of deregulation. Stefanos Manos, the retired politician who was minister of economy and finance in the early 1990s, launched Greece's deregulation and privatization process. Before he lost his job in 1993, the telecom industry deregulation was well under way and public-private partnerships were put in place. Later, banking was deregulated to some degree. But then the political will to keep going evaporated and the deregulation process pretty much stopped.

    By last year, Greece's debt as a percentage of GDP was about 112 per cent, more than double that of Spain (another ailing euro zone country) while its budget deficit reached 12.7 per cent of GDP, the EU's highest. The spectre of Greece going bust sent Greek bond yields soaring last week, sending the euro in the opposite direction.
Carolyne Wang

To end poverty, guarantee everyone in Canada $20,000 a year. But are you willing to tru... - 2 views

  • The wage gap continues to grow, and one in 10 Canadians still struggles below the low-income line.
  • The idea of giving money to the poor without strings is not new. It melds altruism and libertarianism, saying both that the best way to fight poverty is to put cash in poor people's pockets and that people can make their own choices better than bureaucrats can. As a result, it can find support in theory from both left and right.
  • It has been tested with success in other countries, and now it has re-entered the Canadian political conversation.
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  • House of Commons committee on poverty released a report proposing a guaranteed basic income for Canadians with disabilities, on the model already available to seniors. The Senate released a similar report this spring calling for a study of how it would work for all low-income Canadians.
  • Within a year, working with counsellors who helped them with their plans and purchases, nine of the 15 participants were moving to some form of housing.

    The results were not perfect: A couple of people moved back out of housing again, and at least one was imprisoned. But most spent far less than the money available to them, mostly on clothing, food and rent. On the other hand, one person who chose to remain on the street asked for music lessons, and that was all right too.

  • Economists continue to bounce the idea around. Two years ago, Canadian researchers started their own chapter of the Basic Income Earth Network (a group founded in Belgium in 1986) to co-ordinate an ongoing discussion. Some say it might actually accomplish what political rhetoric has been promising for years: the eradication of poverty.
  • In Britain, an experiment was recently conducted with a small group of people who had been living on the streets for more than five years. They were given a budget that they could spend however they wished. The idea was to see whether the “personalized budgets” Britain gives to seniors and people with disabilities to pay for care (which include some conditions) would work for the very poor as well.
  • In Quebec, a government task force went further, recommending a minimum guaranteed income starting at $12,000 for everyone in the province.
  • The idea of a guaranteed annual income has been tested before in Canada – in the mid-1970s, in Dauphin, Man., a farming town with then about 10,000 residents.

    In the only experiment of its kind in North America, every household in Dauphin was given access to a guaranteed annual budget, subject to their income level. For a family of five, payments equalled about $18,000 a year in today's dollars.

    Politicians primarily wanted to see if people would stop working. While the project was pre-empted by a change in government, a second look by researchers has found that there was only a slight decline in work – mostly among mothers, who chose to stay home with their children, and teenaged boys, who stayed in school longer.

  • “Very often, services are about getting people off the streets, come what may,” says Joe Batty, who managed the program. “This is about normalizing people.” The program was considered so successful, he says, that the city of London is now providing financial support to expand it.
  • Evelyn Forget, a researcher in medicine at the University of Manitoba, reports that Dauphin also experienced a 10-per-cent drop in hospital admissions and fewer doctor visits, especially for mental-health issues.
  • But a guaranteed-annual-income program would be expensive. In developing nations, a small amount of money can bring about big changes. In a country like Canada, the basic income needed to pull everyone out of poverty would have to be larger, balanced against higher taxes.
  • cost analysis of the Quebec proposal estimated it could run the province as much as $2-billion, including the cost in lost taxes if minimum-wage workers did the math and left those jobs.
  • Other experts argue that poverty reduction needs to be tailored to individual circumstances, especially in cases involving mental health and addiction.
  • Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, one of the more vocal proponents of no-strings-attached aid for the poor, points out that the guaranteed-income program for seniors has greatly reduced poverty, especially among women.

    “There's a bias that when given the chance people will be lazy,” he says. “That's not my sense of reality.”

    Mr. Segal argues that giving money with no conditions removes the stigma and shame around poverty, allowing people to focus instead on how to improve their lot.

  • Requiring the poor to prove continually that they are deserving of assistance or threatening to pull help away without notice only discourages the risk-taking and confidence required to get out of poverty.
  • “If you think of the core premise of charity, it is not to treat people as lesser,” Mr. Segal says. “[It] is to give people a leg-up so they can have some measure of independence and can make some of their own choices.”
  • To do that effectively, he argues, we need to let them decide the steps they take to get there. Or – as Ms. Gray in Victoria puts it, saying she would go back to school for more training if she could count on covering rent and daycare – give some autonomy back to “people who are trying to be somebody in this world.”
Lok-Hin Yuen

National defence union fights government plan to outsource security jobs | iPolitics - 1 views

  • online campaign urging the government to reconsider outsourcing
    91 national security jobs, a transfer current employees say would put the
    country’s safety at risk.
  • plan to
    outsource dozens of jobs at Communications Security Establishment Canada, the
    low-key federal agency responsible for monitoring foreign signals and military
    intelligence
  • potential consequences of
    allocating the low-level jobs to Plenary Group, a private company that is also
    working on the construction of the department’s new multimillion-dollar
    headquarters
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  • Allowing a private organization into national security .
    . . is going to make the country – and other countries Canada does business
    with – vulnerable
  • Simpson said government jobs will not be lost in the transition and that
    about 20 new public-service positions will be created to manage the
    department’s relationship with private contractors.
  • Simpson said he could not comment how effective the union tactic was
Lok-Hin Yuen

Corporate taxes being cut, Canadian jobs being lost - 0 views

  • The layoff of 100 Bell Canada workers is appalling, and a clear sign the next federal government needs to do much more to protect Canadian workers
  • BCE has eliminated close to 700 clerical jobs in Ottawa, many of the positions being outsourced outside of Canada.
  • The layoff of these workers is a far too common example of how the 'trickle-down' thinking of the Harper Conservatives is failing Canadian workers
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  • corporate tax cuts are not creating jobs or investments, and they are not helping Canadians recover from the global recession
ngodup yaklha

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/greece-prepares-for-asset-fire-sale/a... - 0 views

  •  
    Greece's first privatization effort was launched in the early 1990s under Stefanos Manos, who was minister of economy and finance at the time. Before he lost his job in 1993, the telecom industry deregulation was well under way and public-private partnerships were put in place. Later, banking was deregulated to some degree. But then the political will to keep going evaporated and the deregulation and privatization processes pretty much stopped.

    Mr. Mitsopoulos says the biggest potential obstacle to the success of the privatization program is a dragged-out process. Fast sales would do two things, he said. It would collect a lot of money quickly, which could be used to pay down debt, and it would deliver the message that Greece is finally serious about making its economy competitive. "All these state investments are burdens on the government," he said. "Privatizations will deliver productivity gains and they can be transformed into tax-paying entities."

    Privatizations are expected to pick up pace across the EU, as countries with budgets deficits above the 3-per-cent EU limit look for quick debt fixes in the absence of strong GDP growth. The Loterias privatization in Spain is expected to raise about €10-billion, valuing the company at as much as €25-billion, making it the second-largest gaming company in the world, behind casino manager Las Vegas Sands.
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