Canada, allies must unite to stop China’s economic domination

Opposition to the Communist Party of China’s aggression needs to be multilateral

Canada, allies must unite to stop China’s economic dominationThe Chinese economy is growing and surpassing the United States economy in size. That stature, with its consequent soft and hard power, means opposition to the Communist Party of China’s regime needs to be multilateral. No matter how much unipolarity the U.S. has enjoyed in recent decades, it can’t go it alone and would benefit…

Canada’s capital markets are struggling to invest in the economy

Canada's investment growth rate has dropped below that of the United States and many other developed countries

Canada’s capital markets are struggling to invest in the economyAlarm bells ought to be ringing in Canada. Business, industrial and foreign direct investment have performed pitifully over the past decade, with no reason to believe there will be a turnaround any time soon. As noted by fellow Troy Media contributor Steven Globerman of Western Washington University, “from 2010 to 2019, Canada’s investment growth rate…

Cash is still king in Switzerland and it’s paying off

The continued reliance on cash is a symbol of good governance

Cash is still king in Switzerland and it’s paying offWhen I audited an economics class in the Rice University School of Business, the lecturer compared inflation to slow-growing cancer and deflation to a heart attack. The implication was that deflation – declining prices – is fatal and worse than inflation. This Keynesian fearmongering, which empowers central banks to water down currencies, is common but…

Higher mortgage hurdles beat up on working class

The Trudeau government is papering over its policy failures by rationing housing to the working class

Higher mortgage hurdles beat up on working classThere’s no mystery as to why Canada has seen a record-setting housing spike in the past year: negative real interest rates and monetary debasement from federal deficits. Rather than considering fiscal austerity and getting inflation under control, the federal government has opted to ration home buying and exclude those on the margins. Officials have raised,…

Pandemic gives government perfect excuse to monitor us

Fear often trumps any proportionality or civil-liberties concern. After the virus passes, surveillance tools will remain

Pandemic gives government perfect excuse to monitor usCrises are the perfect breeding ground for authoritarians and social engineers. The extreme measures governments have rolled out to contain the COVID-19 pandemic remind us that fear often trumps any proportionality or civil-liberties concern. Since it originated in Wuhan, the crisis has exposed the spread and depth of the Communist Party of China’s mass-surveillance apparatus.…

How Canada can face down Chinese tyranny

China is trying to bend Canadian culture to its will. This will only get worse as Chinese economic clout grows in Canada

How Canada can face down Chinese tyrannyA Vancouver court is the battleground for two visions of Canada’s future. The United States wants the extradition of Meng Wanzhou, a top Huawei executive, while China wants Canada to let her go. As a matter of principle and strategy, Canada must stand up to Chinese imperialism by siding with the U.S.  The Huawei faceoff…

Canadian capital markets thrive without national regulator

Centralization undermines bottom-up co-ordination already underway between the provinces and territories

Canadian capital markets thrive without national regulatorAdvocates for centralized financial regulation have met their match in Canada. The nation is proof that competition between intranational jurisdictions can foster diverse, prosperous capital markets. In the research paper, The Federal Takeover of Canada’s Capital Markets, we argue the decades-long push for a national securities regulator is a solution in search of a problem.…

Internal trade barriers cripple Canada

The good news is the Constitution guarantees free trade among provinces. But do federal officials have the political will?

Internal trade barriers cripple CanadaIf there’s one near unanimous consensus among economists, it’s that free trade increases productivity and boosts growth. The flip side is that tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers generally reduce welfare. A recent study by the International Monetary Fund suggests Canada – on account of trade impediments between the provinces – is forgoing a four…

Canada missing out on shale revolution

Shale-gas policy changes, followed by investments across the country, would turn Canada into an international leader in the transition towards clean energy

Canada missing out on shale revolution“It takes real skill to derail an industry where Canada has so many competitive advantages,” writes Rick Rule regarding energy markets. The chief executive of Sprott US Holdings, a natural-resource brokerage, says the barrier is politics, while Canadian firms, technology and geology are top tier. Fortunately, policy can change and Canada can lead clean-energy production.…

Canada’s higher education system is in disarray

Mounting student debt and irrelevant fields of study have left us with a frustrated and unproductive young population

Canada’s higher education system is in disarrayLast summer, the federal government paid employers more than $200 million and up to 100 per cent of compensation to get them to hire students. If these young adults are Canada’s best and brightest – enjoying taxpayer-funded education – why are they so unappealing to employers that they have to be discounted to half price…

Alberta’s repeal of carbon tax makes economic, environmental sense

Over the course of a single year, the carbon tax cost each Albertan $286, couples $388 and couples with two children $508

Alberta’s repeal of carbon tax makes economic, environmental senseUtopian legislators in the United States often look with rose-tinted glasses upon the Canadian approach to everything, from higher education and medical care to global warming and international affairs. Since Canadians are the ones who live with such policies, they’re more inclined to recognize their mistakes and reverse the course, as exhibited by Alberta’s carbon…

There’s no free lunch when it comes to government spending

Modern monetary theory advocates argue the government should have a magic wand to conjure up money out of thin air.

Left to their own devices, politicos every now and then come up with a theory that allows them to promise free lunches. Modern monetary theory (MMT) is all the rage in the United States and Canada among starry-eyed social engineers who see no limits to their intervention. Rather than arising from academic inquiry, debates concerning…

Canadian drugs can’t cure deadly U.S. shortages

Canada can’t even keep itself stocked with necessary medication and falls far short when it comes to research spending

Canadian drugs can’t cure deadly U.S. shortagesCrippling drug prices in the United States have brought even Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump together: they both favour drug imports from Canada to ease the pain. Vermont, Sanders’ home state, has approved this for state programs and 16 states are queuing up to follow suit. The proposal is seductive, a…

Mortgage restrictions force millennials to abandon home ownership

The result has significantly dampened the Canadian economy. Banks, not legislated stress tests, know best who can pay for houses

Mortgage restrictions force millennials to abandon home ownershipAn uproar is brewing over real estate in Canada, fuelled by a misguided attempt to protect willing homebuyers from themselves. Owners see prices declining, while prospective first-time owners find themselves locked out by mandated stress tests. The federal regulator should ease stress-test requirements – if not eliminate them altogether – before they cause further harm…

Federal digital charter just a new weapon in the censorship arsenal

Politicians and tech firms can co-opt legitimate concerns to restrict speech, stifle criticism and tilt public debates

Federal digital charter just a new weapon in the censorship arsenalOn May 21, the federal government unveiled a lengthy “digital charter” with the noble goals of expanded Internet access and more trust online. If you peel back the feel-good 10 principles and stated justifications, however, you find a new weapon in the censor arsenal. “The platforms are failing their users, and they’re failing our citizens.…

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…

Why Canadians are suffering a bankruptcy spike

Interest rate hikes, housing costs, rising taxes and stagnating wages are all crucial. We need to address these problems

Why Canadians are suffering a bankruptcy spikeWhat can't happen won't happen. If incomes are stagnant while taxes, prices and interest rates rise, people will fail to pay their debts – as is the case for 120,000 Canadians every year. The long-term buildup of urban house prices had already made people financially vulnerable and consumer insolvencies in Canada increased by 9.2 per…

Four things Canada’s top spy didn’t say

David Vigneault’s recent speech was a slick deflection and thinly-veiled push for broader surveillance

Four things Canada’s top spy didn’t sayWhen David Vigneault addressed the Economic Club, the nation's intelligence chief acknowledged his agency's first rule: “Don't talk.” True to form, he said little in his tightly-scripted remarks on Dec. 4. What the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) director left out, though, amounted to glaring omissions. His remarks were misleading at best, dishonest at worst.…

Cryptocurrency innovation on the chopping block in Canada

Regulations against nonexistent threats fuel unwarranted fears and impede sector development

Cryptocurrency innovation on the chopping block in CanadaAfter the United States and the U.K., Canada has the highest number of blockchain-related projects – thanks to a relatively hands-off approach. Paranoid authorities, however, are set to suffocate innovation with poorly targeted regulations. On Nov. 8, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance presented its report, Confronting Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. It urges…

Ottawa’s venture-capital handouts offer no positive economic value

When organizations are heavily regulated, funded by taxpayers and unlikely to shoulder losses, they’re private in name only

Ottawa’s venture-capital handouts offer no positive economic valueIf buzzwords were the path to prosperity, Canada would be growing like gangbusters. But it’s not. And the federal government’s Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) – with an expansion announced in Ottawa’s recent economic statement – is a case of lofty words anathema to efficient and healthy capital markets. Once we peel off the feel-good wrapper of innovation…