Tuesday , October 27 2020
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Social assistance: Do higher benefit levels lead to higher caseloads?

As part of my PhD thesis, I did some statistical analysis in which I asked the question: “Do higher social assistance benefit levels lead to higher caseloads?” I have recently updated the data and had it published in a journal. Here’s a short summary of the journal article’s main findings. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve University, and is...

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Cutting Taxes in a Depression is Like Pushing on a String

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson today announced a plan to completely eliminate the provincial sales tax (currently 7%) for 1 year, and then cut it by 4 points (or 57%) after that. Conservatives are prone to make expensive tax cut promises during elections, a tendency which contradicts their other touch-stone of perpetually promising to get tough on deficits and debt. Like other governments, BC is already facing enormous deficits for years to come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic...

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Homelessness in canada could rise due to recession

I am currently writing a report for Employment and Social Development Canada looking at the long-term impact of the current recession on homelessness. It should be ready by early November. In the meantime, a teaser blog post I’ve just written on the same topic is available here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve University, and is Section...

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Remembering John Loxley

The progressive economics community, in Canada and around the world, lost a wonderful colleague, comrade and friend with the passing of John Loxley on July 28, 2020. Here I would like to share some personal reflections on John’s impact on my life as a progressive economist, and the very rich legacy he has left our shared community. (I also commend the many other tributes that have been posted, including here here here here here and here.) John embodied a combination of innovative,...

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Trudeau government should spend more on affordable housing and homelessness

On July 21, the Alternative Federal Budget Recovery Plan was released. The document aims to provide public policy direction to Canada’s federal government, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. I was author of the Recovery Plan’s chapter on affordable housing and homelessness, which can be accessed here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve...

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The Fiscal Deficit, Modern Monetary Theory and Progressive Economic Policy

Modern Monetary Theory or MMT has crept in from the academic margins to become an influential doctrine in progressive policy circles in the United States. Both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders drew on the ideas of MMT to shape their ambitious public spending platforms. MMT has been cited as one way to fund a Green New Deal, in combination with progressive tax reform. It is safe to say that most Canadian progressives are not debating the finer points of monetary and...

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David Hulchanski class discussion

I recently participated in a panel discussion in David Hulchanski’s graduate-level social housing and homelessness course at the University of Toronto. Points raised in the blog post include the fact that all English-speaking countries of the OECD have relatively low levels of public social spending, relatively low levels of taxation, and serious affordable housing challenges. The link to the full blog post is here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research...

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Ten things to know about CMHC’s Insured Mortgage Purchase Program

In March 2020, the Trudeau government launched a new version of the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP). According to CMHC’s website: “Under this program, the government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC.” Here are 10 things to know: 1. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a federally-owned crown corporation. Many of us know CMHC as the federal agency that works with provincial and territorial governments to assist some low and...

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Guest Blog: Prof. Harry Glasbeek on Coronavirus and capitalism

The legendary Prof. Harry Glasbeek of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University has penned the following commentary on how the COVID-19 pandemic is revealing and reinforcing the deep flaws in our economic and social order. It ends on a hopeful note: the people will demand better, when the immediate health crisis has passed. Prof. Glasbeek is the author of Capitalism: A Crime Story. An edited version of this commentary was originally published by Canadian Dimension. Statements of...

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