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Showing posts from August 5, 2016

Does Anyone Ever Remember all of Trump's Backtracks?

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‘I’ve never been this hopeless’: B.C. man blindsided by foreign buyer tax

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[Election 2017. B.C.'s new property transfer tax was supposed to crack down on rich foreign speculators, but some middle-class workers are being punished. Mounting evidence that Christy Clark leaped to a politically expedient policy solution before knowing what was needed. See also: Incomplete government study on foreign buyers now a waste of money, and Metro Vancouver home sales dropped 75% after foreign buyer tax announced: realtor. Now compare this with out posting from two days ago: Canada’s economy is growing at the slowest pace in 60 years and the only thing holding us up is housing. *RON*]
Andrew Weichel, CTV Vancouver, 3 August 2016

Buying a condo in Coquitlam, B.C. was supposed to be the next chapter in Hamed Ahmadi’s Canadian story.

He moved here from Iran in 2012 to earn his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of British Columbia, and landed a job at BC Hydro immediately after graduating.

From there, Ahmadi…

Income Inequality: Why So Many Households Are Not Advancing

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[Incomes from wages and capital were flat or fell for two-thirds of households in 25 advanced economies between 2005 and 2014—an explosive increase from less than 2 percent in the previous decade. *RON*]
By Richard Dobbs, McKinsey & Company, Value Walk, 3 August 2016

While it’s broadly assumed that children will grow up to be better off than their parents, the reality is that a new generation of young people in advanced economies risks ending up poorer. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, McKinsey senior partner Richard Dobbs and McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) partner Anu Madgavkar talk with Peter Gumbel about the increase in the number of households that experienced flat or falling incomes in the past decade—and the implications for future growth and economic advancement.

Podcast transcript

Peter Gumbel: Hello, I’m Peter Gumbel, senior editor, based in Paris, at the McKinsey Global Institute. Today I’m delighted to be speaking with Ri…

"Staggering": Toronto's super-rich are 103,140 times wealthier than the average person in Toronto

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[This level of disparity puts Canada's biggest city in the top 20 internationally. *RON*]
By Press Progress, 4 August 2016

The biggest city in Canada has a big gap between the super-rich and everybody else.

According to a new study from the University of Toronto's Martin Prosperity Institute, Toronto's super-rich are among the wealthiest in the world.

Examining data on the wealth of billionaires from around the world, the study finds Toronto's super-rich are over one hundred thousand times wealthier than the average person in Toronto.

Are soaring levels of income inequality making us a more polarized nation?

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[Argues that the way to decrease polarization is to increase the size of the economic pie, rather than trying to jigger how the current pie gets cut up. In contrast, see also: With Clinton at Helm, Democratic Party Again a 'Plaything of the Super-Rich'*RON*]

Christos Makridis, The Conversation, 4 August 2016
Christos Makridis receives funding from the National Science Foundation, the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, Columbia SIPA. Political polarization today is greater than it’s been in recent history – at least since the 1970s. To see that, one need only look at the current U.S. presidential election.

And whatever your political leanings, an overly divided country can hamper its progress, such as the ability to innovate or adapt to geopolitical risk.

Another trend that has emerged over the same period is the widening gap between the richest and poorest Americans. By some estimates, it’s the widest it’s ever been.

These …

Big Spending Makes a Comeback While Austerity Starts to Fade

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[The world appears to be wriggling free of austerity's grip. Canada is held up as an example, Abe seems to want to signal stimulus but in a weak way and, of course, George Osborne (poster boy for European austerity) has been told his services are no longer required. *RON*]

Enda CurranJeff Black & Rich Miller, Bloomberg, 2 August 2016
Growth struggle in age of stagnation prompts global rethinkFiscal stance among G-20 members looser this year and next Was Larry Summers right after all?

Around the world, governments are planning fresh spending to boost growth and support wages, heeding the advice of the Harvard University economist and others who have argued that economies need the jolt as society ages and productivity sags. That’s signaling the ascendancy of energizers like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and the firing of austerity advocates such as former U.K. Chancellor George Osborne.

The shift away from budget rigor and reliance o…

Southern EU countries in push for anti-austerity alliance

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[The meeting will discuss "the possibility of setting up an Alliance of Europe's South to push for a pro-growth agenda... 'Austerity policies are keeping economies depressed and societies divided,' Tsipiras and Costas stressed." *RON*]

By Sarantis MichalopoulosEurActiv.com, 4 August 2016

The Greek government has invited the leaders of five southern EU countries, including France, Italy and Spain, to Athens in a bid to forge an anti-austerity alliance.

Athens news agency yesterday (4 August) reported that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras invited the leaders to a conference in Athens on 9 September.

It will focus on the “common” challenges facing the EU on an economic, political and institutional level and particularly on austerity, fiscal discipline and migration.

France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, and Malta are expected to participate in the conference. The discussions will continue during a visit of Alexis Tsipras in…