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Israeli Data Demonstrates the Importance, and the Limits, of Vaccination

I recently saw a misleading presentation of COVID data pertaining to Israel. In this post I’m sharing several graphs that I made to counter this misleading image. Israel is currently a popular object of those committed to an anti-vax narrative because a high proportion of the population is fully vaccinated and cases there are currently […]

Remaking Our Economies with Wartime Analogies, Part 3

In Part 2, I looked at the shifts in U.S. household consumption that occurred during WWII. While aggregate consumption increased alongside massive government intervention, the qualitative mix of that consumption changed in some drastic ways. This analysis was intended to augment the analogy made by J.W. Mason and Mike Konczal between WWII and the prospects […]

Remaking Our Economies with Wartime Analogies, Part 2

In Part 1, I explained the motivation for this series. I want to use the analogy of WWII, as invoked by economists JW Mason and Mike Konczal in an NYT op-ed, to consider how we ought to manage a potential post-pandemic economic boom. In this post, I will look at the qualitative transformations that took […]

Remaking Our Economies with Wartime Analogies, Part 1

Economist JW Mason recently tweeted the following: Bloomberg writer Peter Coy was motived to perform this research by an NYT op-ed from Mason and Mike Konczal. Mason and Konczal’s primary argument is that we can have a post-pandemic economic boom, but that it needs to be properly managed. They are trying to pre-empt the hand-wringing […]

We MUST Spend and Tax to Achieve a Just Transition

Originally published at ricochet. “On the economic front we lack not material resources but lucidity and courage.” Those words are found in a 1940 pamphlet titled How to Pay for the War, written by pioneering economist John Maynard Keynes. Sadly, they apply to current discussions about the economics of the climate emergency. In fact, we are […]

Canada should follow Janet Yellen’s lead on corporate taxes

Originally published at Canadian Dimension. In Janet Yellen’s confirmation speech to United States Senators in January 2021, she said the government must “act big” to deal with the pandemic’s economic fallout. Three months into her role as the first woman treasury secretary, Yellen is going beyond big spending with an ambitious plan to rollback decades […]

Wet’suwet’en blockades: No more business as usual in Canada

Originally published at The Conversation. The recent RCMP incursion into Wet’suwet’en territory was aimed at enforcing an injunction. Coastal GasLink was awarded the injunction against Wet’suwet’en land defenders who were blocking construction of its pipeline. Injunctions have long been an important part of “business as usual” for corporations that operate on Indigenous lands. But are they still […]

Bankruptcy is the endpoint of an oil and gas business strategy

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has asked the Canadian government for financial assistance to clean-up abandoned oil and gas wells in the province. It has been estimated that cleaning up these wells could cost as much as $70 billion. The existence of 77,000 abandoned wells across Alberta is the result of a financial strategy by the […]

Material Constraints Matter, Money Does Not

The Canadian government is considering buying out homeowners in high-risk flood zones. Let’s take this opportunity to illustrate why the constraint on governments is material not fiscal. The buyouts are an alternative to repeated bailouts to assist homeowners recovering after a flood. A VP with the Insurance Bureau of Canada described the problem of repeated […]

Inequality Just Keeps Getting Worse

In 2017 the price-adjusted income of the bottom 70% of Canadians was lower than in the late-1970s. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 10% of Canadians were receiving over 50% more income. 

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