The unsteady foundation of basic income proposals

Many people, especially seniors, could see a drop in their incomes under a guaranteed annual income

The unsteady foundation of basic income proposalsDo the politicians seeking British Columbians’ votes on May 9 think we’re all under five-years-old and believe in Santa Claus? The public conversation about providing basic income in the province would suggest so. As the B.C. election approaches, we’re being regaled with all the enticing indulgences a new government might deliver. Ten-dollar-a-day child care for every…

Beware of politicians bearing (election) gifts

Candidates tie themselves in knots dangling a return to the good old days. Unfortunately, the past doesn't offer any solutions to our problems

Beware of politicians bearing (election) giftsIt’s election season in B.C. Parties and candidates are tying themselves in knots to dangle before us pleasing and promising prospects in hope of our vote. It all looks so enticing. But before we exercise our democratic right at the polling station, we need to look beyond the sizzle. The future is always uncertain and often…

When a degree isn’t enough to get you a job

An entry-level job teaches many things you don’t learn in school: getting to work on time; getting along; dealing with deadlines and customers

When a degree isn’t enough to get you a jobCareer prospects become so discouraging for many educated young people that the British weekly magazine The Economist writes about young people who have given up looking for work and live in their parents' basement playing video games. Similarly, Canadian newspapers are publishing articles telling parents how to kick their grown children out of the house. We’re not talking…

B.C. tech sector held back by skills shortage

There is a growing mismatch between those still out of work and the vacancies that many employers desperately seek to fill

B.C. tech sector held back by skills shortageThe B.C. job market is booming. Just ask any of the 11,200 additional people who were employed in January over the month before. But there is still untapped potential for greater job growth. Year over year, employment in British Columbia has been growing at an impressive 3.5 per cent. Canada as a whole saw a respectable but…

The post-truth world of the U.S. lumber industry

American duties on Canadian softwood may increase the profits of U.S. lumber producers, but they also increase housing prices and reduce construction jobs

The post-truth world of the U.S. lumber industryConstructing an industry without all the necessary supplies can lead to fiscal imbalance. Welcome to the post-truth world of economics. Facts are hard and certain, true and real – as opposed to opinions, beliefs or stories. Alternative facts, contradicting old-fashioned facts, are what we used to call lies. And in the midst of this new post-truth reality,…

The not-so-hidden message in Hidden Figures

Hopefully the movie Hidden Figures will inspire British Columbians to improve their technical skills, leading to a happy ending

The not-so-hidden message in Hidden FiguresTechnological advances challenge economies, eliminating jobs and creating significant social problems for those displaced workers. How can we turn these negatives into positives? The first step is easy: watch the recently-released movie Hidden Figures. It has no sex, no violence, no special effects and no chase scenes. But it's entertaining and informative. It's the story of “coloured…

Hats off to Canada’s education system

Our students and their teachers deserve praise for exceptional PISA test results, but Canadians need to make continued education a priority

Hats off to Canada’s education systemThe report card has arrived and the results are exceptional. In a world seemingly shrouded in gloom, such positive news should be celebrated, even as we ponder how to carry on the good work of students and educators. As 2016 closed, the British Columbia education system was being honoured. That's good news for the province and the children who will…

Thank corporations for driving job growth

And where else do citizens turn for financial support for the local football team or the children’s hospital when the governments turn them down?

Thank corporations for driving job growthIs ‘corporation’ a swear word? The way some people use it, one might think that corporations are the epitome of evil and a symbol of all that is wrong in our social and economic lives. There have been some careless corporations (think Volkswagen) and some genuinely bad corporate leaders – not all of whom are…

Finding new markets will ease impact of U.S. protectionism

As Canada integrates more and more into the global economy, it will matter to us less and less that the United States withdraws

Finding new markets will ease impact of U.S. protectionismOne of the reasons the new president-elect in the United States is generating so much nervousness around the globe is the fear that he is not connected to the realities of how the global economic system works. For example, there is no such thing as a truly American car. Sure, there are cars with traditional…

When economic reality bites a civil society

Passing laws we don't have the economic resources to fulfil is fruitless: Canadians must craft a legal reality we can actually afford

When economic reality bites a civil societyDealing with difficult fiscal constraints and respecting our laws requires more than just the rule of law. It takes negotiation and a keen sense of economic reality. Our democracy is thankfully governed by the rule of law. To deal with things we really don't want, like murder or robbery, we can pass laws. Laws don't eliminate evil,…
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