We fail to accurately measure the digital economy’s impact

GDP also ignores work without pay, the underground economy and plenty of other factors that contribute to our well-being

We fail to accurately measure the digital economy’s impactThe ubiquitous use of gross domestic product (GDP), along with its per capita derivative, means we often get away with writing the abbreviation alone. Yet this widespread social proof offers a false sense of accuracy for a fragile measurement overdue for an update. Economists have long been aware of the vulnerabilities to GDP and other…

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…

Why simplifying Canada’s tax system is so crucial

Tax compliance is onerous. Foreign investment is leaving. Canadians are losing confidence in their economy

Why simplifying Canada’s tax system is so crucialCanada's edge as a locale for foreign investment is slipping fast, but there is a way to turn the ship around without lowering tax rates. The nation can curb capital flight by lowering the cost of tax compliance. As recently as 2010-2015, Canada bettered the United States and almost doubled the Organization for Economic Co-operation…

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?

The key is to find digital mediums of exchange that preserve the distinct attributes of cash

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?Canada leads the world in the transition to digitized commerce. With more than two credit cards per capita, the cashless economy is approaching swiftly. The move has been largely voluntary, driven by convenience, and half of Canadians favour dispensing with notes and coins altogether. With cash-only businesses declining to near non-existence, what’s the problem? As…

How cryptocurrency is changing basic economics

For survival, central banks have little choice but to enter the digital-currency race. But it’s a race they will eventually lose

How cryptocurrency is changing basic economicsCentral bankers increasingly sense their obsolescence – and rightly so. The more people turn to private currencies and conduct transactions without intermediaries, the less bureaucrats control the economy. In February 2019, a 33-page Bank of Canada discussion paper unwittingly admitted the vulnerability. The authors, James Chapman and Carolyn Wilkins, noted widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies as…

B.C. money-laundering crackdown carries hidden costs

The province needs to get its house in order. That means, among other things, good old-fashioned police work

B.C. money-laundering crackdown carries hidden costsBritish Columbia is hardly a tax haven in the mould of Panama, yet organized crime has still established a foothold for laundering,– according to some estimates, $1 billion or more a year. Until last year, despite mounting activity, the problem flew under the radar. Now several reports have made their way to the media and…

Canada’s trade deal should proceed despite China’s wrongdoings

Trade sanctions are blunt, costly instruments. They should only be used as a last resort

Canada’s trade deal should proceed despite China’s wrongdoingsThe first free-trade agreement between China and Canada appears all but dead, derailed by a diplomatic dispute. Canadian consumers and entrepreneurs will suffer as gains from trade fail to materialize. Despite the gravity of Beijing’s many wrongdoings, trade should still proceed between innocent private parties. The opposite tack – broad impediments to trade, even if…

Real-time wage apps helping revolutionize currency exchange

Cryptocurrencies may still be experimental but they’re already driving competitive pressure on established institutions

Real-time wage apps helping revolutionize currency exchangeYour money is worth more to you today than tomorrow. This financial truth – the time value of money – backs the case for real-time pay, a nifty tool for the benefit of workers. Although Canadian unemployment is at a four-decade low, wage growth has stagnated and bankruptcies have spiked. This is where real-time pay delivers,…

Classifying Uber drivers as employees stalls innovation

Uber emerged precisely to tackle transportation monopolies in need of disruption. The courts need to get on board

Classifying Uber drivers as employees stalls innovationUber has brought accessible income and affordable transport to tens of millions worldwide. Its disruptive presence, however, has ruffled Luddites and the self-entitled who prefer antiquated supervision to innovative enterprise. This standoff is playing out in Canada's legal system and has grave implications for the entire gig economy. Ontario's top court recently deemed invalid a clause…

Municipalities must protect against cyber attacks

Canadian towns and cities hold valuable data yet are poorly prepared to detect and fend off attacks

Municipalities must protect against cyber attacksCybercriminals have caught Canadian municipalities flat-footed. Our cities must get with the times or send more taxpayer money and private data out the door. Cybercrime costs Canada $3.12 billion a year. A portion of that involves ransom payments to cybercriminals who digitally hold computers hostage. Ransomware, which involves remotely encrypting hard drives and demanding money…