Throwing government money at all the wrong things

The Ontario government continually makes corporate welfare payments that fly in the face of social policy

Throwing government money at all the wrong thingsThe Ontario government’s public accounts should be a source of despair to any taxpayer. They provide the latest reminder that politicians are addicted to spending other people’s money and will spend it on just about anything. That a government program is without public demand or is unsupported by sound economic reasoning doesn’t deter governments from…

Corporate welfare doesn’t create jobs

Corporate welfare causes an economic loss, exacerbated by the fact that it encourages businesses to devote resources seeking government funds

Corporate welfare doesn’t create jobsCorporate welfare handouts are a policy staple of politicians of all stripes – and they’re all wasting public money. Liberals who mistakenly think government spending is the driver of economic growth love handing out free cash to claim they’re “creating jobs.” Conservatives say they’re against corporate welfare – but only sometimes, and only if it’s…

Unionizing the gig economy would be a disaster for workers

Unionization would mean fewer jobs and fewer hours of work. The workers might be unsatisfied with their current position, but it’s certainly better than unemployment

Unionizing the gig economy would be a disaster for workersThe push for unionization among some food couriers at Foodora Canada and among hundreds of Uber drivers in Canada will ultimately do more harm than good for workers in the gig economy. The drive for unionization will actually result in increased unemployment and underemployment. Unionization defies the law of demand, a central economic concept. Unionizing…

On Labour Day, celebrate labour, not unions

Unions harm workers more than they help. And they seek a bigger slice of the economic pie, even while shrinking the pie through productivity loss

On Labour Day, celebrate labour, not unionsLabour Day is a day, as its name suggests, to celebrate labour. This is entirely appropriate – labour is a necessary input for the production of goods and services on which our standards of living rely. We make a mistake, however, when the celebration is of labour unions instead of the workers who supply the…

Why Milton Friedman’s ideas still resonate

Why Milton Friedman’s ideas still resonateWere he still alive, Milton Friedman would have celebrated his 107th birthday on July 31. An intellectual giant, his ideas played a significant role in making the world a freer and more prosperous place. Those ideas remain vital. From driving the elimination of military conscription in the United States to influencing the economic transformations that…

Alberta workplace legislation actually harming workers

Labour regulations granting mandatory benefits simply make workers pay, through reduced wages, for those benefits

Alberta workplace legislation actually harming workersA main priority of Alberta’s United Conservative Party government, given the province’s relatively high unemployment rate over the past few years, is job creation. It’s right there in Jason Kenney’s two-line Twitter biography: “Premier of Alberta. Focused on getting Alberta back to work.” The proposed corporate tax cuts will certainly help attract business investment and…

Markets, lower taxes will ease health-care queues

The fundamental problem causing Canada’s health-care scarcity is a lack of private spending

Markets, lower taxes will ease health-care queuesWithout serious government course correction, Canada is headed for a health-care squeeze. The senior dependency ratio in Canada – the ratio of people 65 years and older relative to the working-age population (15 to 64 years old) – is projected to rise from 25 per cent today to around 40 per cent by 2042. And…

Alberta’s minimum wage cut for teens should just be the start

As workers get older and become eligible for more pay, they often lose their jobs. That means the overall wage floor is too high

Alberta’s minimum wage cut for teens should just be the startDuring the recent Alberta election campaign, with the province’s unemployment rate remaining stubbornly high, the now-governing United Conservative Party proposed reducing the minimum wage from $15 to $13 for workers below the age of 18. And now the government has introduced legislation to make that change, along with changes to overtime pay requirements. The benefits…

How high taxes create crime and hurt society

Excessive taxes that encourage smuggling and black market activity are a significant policy issue in Canada

How high taxes create crime and hurt societyIn The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith described a smuggler as “a person who, though no doubt highly blameable for violating the laws of his country, is frequently incapable of violating those of natural justice, and would have been, in every respect, an excellent citizen, had not the laws of his country made that a…

Minimum wage hikes just push up need for government spending

Government intervention becomes necessary when goods and services are made too expensive as a result of wage hikes

Minimum wage hikes just push up need for government spendingMinimum wage hikes by provincial governments across Canada last year were sold as policy intended to make life easier for workers. However, advocates overlooked some of the negative of the policy. Now they’re prescribing yet more government interventions to remedy the problems caused by the wage hike. When the Ontario government hiked the minimum wage…