A guaranteed annual income is complicated

Richard Nixon and Pat Moynihan had a plan to end poverty. In the end, it was far too complicated, and languished and died

A guaranteed annual income is complicatedWhether it’s called a guaranteed annual income or a universal basic income, this currently fashionable idea isn’t new. And the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is a tipoff to the associated complexities. One of the earliest proponents was an American right-winger. In 1962’s Capitalism and Freedom, libertarian economist Milton Friedman proposed what he called…

Your grocery bill is rising and Covid-19 will make it worse

It’s high time to evaluate the possibility of a guaranteed minimum income, for greater financial equity for all

Your grocery bill is rising and Covid-19 will make it worseEvery month, Statistics Canada reminds us that life is getting more expensive. But for food, the situation has been unique over the last few decades. Based on numbers released recently, the price of a typical grocery basket has increased by about 240 per cent since 2000. Some will think such a percentage is expected, given…

Feds should learn from Ontario’s green energy failure

But Ontario’s experience is being ignored and could lead to billions more spent and higher energy costs for Canadians

Feds should learn from Ontario’s green energy failureBy Elmira Aliakbari and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute Gerry Butts, former principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is at the heart of a new group, the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery, which recently released a series of recommendations for massive investment in green projects. The recommendations seems to be influencing the prime…

New research reveals what makes condos sell

Construction and design features matter more to buyers than price or age of properties, engineering researchers find

New research reveals what makes condos sellPhysical features such as construction materials, interior finishes and air conditioning are better determinants of how well a condo sells than price or building age, according to a University of Alberta study looking to pinpoint design-related features that increase the probability of a condo’s sale. “We’re trying to provide a framework through which builders can evaluate…

An argument for a tax-cut led recovery

An argument for a tax-cut led recoveryThe focus on the federal deficit has rightly been on the staggering scope of emergency spending, but there has been much less talk about the other big part of the equation: government revenues have plunged due to the economic shutdown. Indeed, the federal government’s July fiscal snapshot revealed that the government expects a steep drop…

Sooner or later, we will pay for federal spending

Trudeau isn’t saying no new taxes; he’s saying we should continue to spend today and pay for it with taxes tomorrow

Sooner or later, we will pay for federal spendingBy Tegan Hill and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute Despite promising significant increases to already historically high spending, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently pledged there will be no new taxes. This rhetoric is simply false. To pay for today’s spending, the Liberal government must either tax today or defer tax increases to the future by…

Not using cash during COVID-19 could make you overspend

U of A experts offer tips on how to handle your money during the pandemic – including decontaminating bills and coins

Not using cash during COVID-19 could make you overspendMany businesses worried about COVID-19 contamination are touchy about taking cash, but the greater risk may be in overusing our plastic. Shoppers using credit or debit cards for every purchase instead of cash and coins will have to watch their spending habits, said Mike Maier, a financial expert with the Alberta School of Business at the University…

Here’s why things will never be the same at the grocery store

From online grocery shopping to home delivery to cooking with fresh ingredients to higher prices to fewer choices in stores

Here’s why things will never be the same at the grocery storeMore than five months into the pandemic, we can start to see how life will look on the other side. At the grocery store, some changes will disappear while others will stay with us for the foreseeable future. Food is getting more expensive everywhere, including Canada. We expect prices to increase by four per cent.…

Equalization rebate should go to Albertans, not the Alberta government

If the feds send the larger equalization rebate to Alberta, then it should be made out to the taxpayers who have been paying the bills

Equalization rebate should go to Albertans, not the Alberta governmentHere’s a fundamental point about equalization: the provincial government doesn’t pay for equalization, taxpayers do. Premier Jason Kenney is calling on the feds to increase the equalization rebate to the Alberta government to offset some of the impacts of the downturn. But any equalization rebate should go back to the Albertans who have been paying…

Reduce income taxes to spur Nova Scotia’s recovery

Attempting to fight high deficits while maintaining high tax rates will reduce the province’s economic growth prospects

Reduce income taxes to spur Nova Scotia’s recoveryBy Alex Whalen and Tegan Hill The Fraser Institute Due largely to COVID-19, the big banks project negative growth for Nova Scotia’s economy in 2020, ranging from -5.5 per cent to -7.4 per cent. Without a strong rebound, such a steep recession could have a lasting impact on living standards in the province and Maritime…

No-fault insurance runs counter to free-market ideals

No-fault insurance runs counter to free-market idealsWith everyone’s attention riveted on COVID-19, it’s important to remember there are still unrelated bad policy ideas that could become legislation. The Alberta government recently convened an expert panel to examine what’s widely being called Alberta’s car insurance problem. As is usually the case in these types of matters, the problem seems to be largely…

Federal tax hikes would do more harm than good

Our high income tax rates discourage productive economic activity and put Canada at a competitive disadvantage

Federal tax hikes would do more harm than goodBy Jake Fuss and Tegan Hill The Fraser Institute On July 8, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will release a “snapshot” of federal finances, the first such update since the COVID-19 crisis began. The government may also soon look to raise taxes to try to increase government revenue, either to finance new spending…

Better get used to higher food prices

The food sector has never been recession-proof. But COVID-19 may show us that it’s immune to deflationary pressures

Better get used to higher food pricesDespite a negative inflation rate overall, recent Statistics Canada numbers tell us we’re in for a wild ride at the grocery store. While the general inflation rate sits at -0.2 per cent, the food inflation rate is at 3.4 per cent. In December, Canada’s Food Price Report predicted a food inflation rate of about 4.0…

No, the government spending spree can’t go on for ever

The notion that we can pile on debt ad infinitum is at the very least counterintuitive. In fact, it just seems reckless

No, the government spending spree can’t go on for everCanada’s federal and provincial governments have rightfully focused on doing all they can to support people and businesses idled by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to keep people working where possible. But most advocates of aggressive spending always knew there would come a day of fiscal reckoning, in which we’d have to figure out how to…

How to manage your finances in the time of COVID-19

An accounting expert offers a wealth of advice – starting with not letting your net worth define your self-worth

How to manage your finances in the time of COVID-19People struggling to pay their debts in a crippled COVID-19 economy can’t avoid tough choices but shouldn’t let it crush them, says a University of Alberta financial expert. Feelings of fear, frustration or shame can overwhelm the clear-headed thinking needed to tackle tough times, but try not to internalize it, advised Mike Maier, an accounting…
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