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…

Alberta no longer respects its taxpayers

Two decades of aggressive tax increases and wrongheaded system reforms have left the province's finances in a shambles

Alberta no longer respects its taxpayersRespect for taxpayers in Alberta has been eroding for more than 20 years. Albertans don’t just see it on their tax bills – they can hear it when politicians talk. The budget speeches delivered annually by finance ministers provide some of the best evidence that politicians have steadily drifted from respecting taxpayers in the mid-1990s…

Gender pay gap has little to do with discrimination

Discrepancies are more often the result of different choices men and women make, on and off the job

Gender pay gap has little to do with discriminationFor decades, politicians, pundits and activists have clamoured about a gender pay gap and have cited statistics purporting to show that the economy is unfair to women. Women, after all, get paid only around 70 to 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. However, for just as long, studies have shown that this discrepancy…

Why economists can’t endorse minimum wage hikes

Economists believe that raising the price of low-skilled labour just eliminates many of those jobs

Why economists can’t endorse minimum wage hikesRaising the minimum wage is a popular policy among voters. But economists dispute the value of such a raise. Why the discrepancy? Recent polls from Ontario found strong support for the province’s minimum wage hike. And in the United States, a Pew Research poll in 2016 showed that by a margin of 52 per cent…

What Ontario should cut to balance its budget

It’s time to end business subsidies, further cut post-secondary spending and freeze government workers’ wages

What Ontario should cut to balance its budgetThe Ontario government’s budget deficit of $15 billion this year will rise even higher next year unless swift corrective action is taken. With the province’s net debt already at $325 billion, eliminating the deficit should be a priority – especially since this enormous deficit is being incurred outside of a recession. Given that Premier Doug…

CPP contribution hikes penalize workers, dampen the economy

When the government makes employment more expensive, the sure result is fewer jobs

CPP contribution hikes penalize workers, dampen the economyThe federal government began 2019 by taking a bigger bite out of workers’ paycheques: the combined employer and employee Canada Pension Plan payroll tax rose from 9.9 per cent of earnings to 10.2 per cent. It’s the first of five annual payroll tax hikes. By the time the CPP tax hike is fully phased in, a…

B.C.’s ride-sharing red tape hurts consumers

The government is trampling on the rights of ride-sharing businesses and their potential customers

B.C.’s ride-sharing red tape hurts consumersMany British Columbians want rides from Point A to Point B and will pay somebody to drive them. Others have access to cars and want to earn money giving people rides. But the provincial government is preventing these mutually beneficial exchanges. The governing New Democrats promised during the 2017 election campaign that British Columbians would…

There is no compelling conservative case for carbon taxes

Carbon taxes discourage productive economic activity while rebate cheques do nothing to counteract this negative effect

There is no compelling conservative case for carbon taxesConservatives should oppose carbon taxes, despite arguments to the contrary. Last month, a pair of headlines questioned how conservatives could possibly oppose a carbon tax. One column, by political scientist Jim Farney, ran in the Calgary Herald under the headline: “Is there a conservative case against the carbon tax? Not really.” Then it was economist…

Economic growth and innovation crucial to fighting poverty

Raising taxes to fund spending on the poor discourages wealth creation and productive work effort, shrinking the economic pie

Economic growth and innovation crucial to fighting povertyInstead of having government take more from the rich in hopes that it will go to the poor, a far better poverty reduction strategy is to encourage economic growth and innovation. Yale University economist William Nordhaus was one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in economics this year for his work on analyzing the…