Barriers to competition hurt Canadians

Government-erected barriers mean firms have few incentives to improve efficiency, cut costs and satisfy consumers

Barriers to competition hurt CanadiansEconomists love competition. They tell students how competition between firms leads to lower prices and greater quality. Beyond the classroom, few dispute the benefits of competition. So why are so many Canadians unaware that governments across Canada shield close to one-third of the economy from competition? When economists speak of competition, they don’t refer only…

Disruptive platforms create fair market conditions

Peer-to-peer platforms such as Airbnb bring more resources to the market, increasing supply and lowering prices

Disruptive platforms create fair market conditionsUber drivers in Buenos Aires ask passengers to ride up front to avoid vigilante attacks, since an Argentine judge has ruled Uber illegal and the country’s banks have cut off Uber’s access. The city’s taxi cartel has shut down roads and brought violence and arson upon Uber drivers and vehicles. Yet Uber’s popularity has exploded…

Cellphone industry continues to control the safety message

In the U.S., the industry has influenced science, regulators, public perception and government policy

Cellphone industry continues to control the safety messageWhen industry wants science to say something, how does it do it? Last year, The Nation showed us how in its special investigation, How Big Wireless Made Us Think That Cell Phones Are Safe. In 1993, a lawsuit alleged that cellphones caused a woman’s terminal brain cancer. As wireless stocks headed downward, the industry unleashed…

Broader store hours ultimately benefit consumers

In Quebec, the debate rages again – even though the case for deregulation is overwhelming, according to economists

Broader store hours ultimately benefit consumersEvery few years, Quebec discusses store opening hours in the province. There are ebbs and flows to the discussion and we now seem to be at a flow point. The discussion pits smaller stores that want shorter hours versus larger stores that want fewer restrictions on opening hours. Rarely are consumers and workers brought into…

The eBay car lot offers plenty of vehicles, but beware shipping costs

A few things you should know before you start shopping for your next car through the online giant

The eBay car lot offers plenty of vehicles, but beware shipping costsBy now, eBay has become almost as much a part of the public consciousness as Google or Microsoft. Founded almost 25 years ago, it’s far and away the world’s most popular online auction house and, on any given day, millions of visitors peruse its listings. It’s estimated that at least 200 million consumers use it…

The best and the worst cars of 2015 (and some other years)

According to Consumer Reports, there are plenty of good used cars out there from the last decade – and some models to avoid

The best and the worst cars of 2015 (and some other years)Thinking of buying a used car that’s four years old? Well, every year, Consumer Reports publishes its “Best And Worst” automobile issue. This is arguably the most comprehensive and thorough automobile guide and takes a hard, cold look at new and used cars and SUVs. Consumer Reports accepts no advertising, so they have no axes…

A lonely Canada can pay off for the food industry

The number of households in Canada with just one person has never been higher. And the food industry is taking notice

A lonely Canada can pay off for the food industryThe number of households in Canada with just one person has never been higher. And the food industry is taking notice. More than 28 per cent of Canadian households have just one person. That’s almost four million households. That number could reach five million in few years – a little less than the combined population…

The 2010 Acura TSX is still a pretty good bet

Buying used: In virtually every area, this generation of the TSX receives top or near-the-top grades

The 2010 Acura TSX is still a pretty good betOriginally based on the European Honda Accord, the Acura TSX has always been an intriguing blend of performance and luxury. Not a hard-and-fast sport sedan along the lines of the Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series, it still holds its own under most circumstances. The 2010 version is powered by either a 3.5-litre V6 or…