Economic Note showing that a detailed examination of Canada’s costly and complicated tax system is needed
Taxpayers always meet the months of March and April with some apprehension, as they will have to devote precious hours of their time to completing their income tax returns, or pay someone else to do it for them. Is it possible to make life easier for taxpayers by simplifying the tax system?
Viewpoint explaining that an economic environment more favourable to productivity growth can raise living standards in the long term
Quebec Premier François Legault has often stated his desire to attract foreign investment into the province and to increase Quebecers’ standard of living. An essential precondition for this is to create an economic environment that is more favourable to productivity growth, considered by economists to be the main determinant of rising living standards in the long term. This can be achieved by reducing the amount of room taken up by the government in the economy, through a decrease in public spending.
Viewpoint examining the numerous reasons to question the effectiveness of a soda tax
Earlier this year, the Quebec government formed a committee whose stated goal was to propose a soda tax, for the purpose of reducing the prevalence of obesity. Yet there are numerous reasons to question the effectiveness of this measure. Indeed, when a tax modifies the price of a good, there is no guarantee that the replacement product will be better for one’s health than the taxed product.
Viewpoint detailing some of the effects of the minimum wage increase in the province, including the loss of more than 56,000 jobs in under a year
Many politicians and interest groups advocate a rapid increase in the minimum wage in the name of social justice. Yet this ignores the results of past experiments. Ontario’s new Minister of Labour, Laurie Scott, pushed back by cancelling the increase to $15 planned for January 2019, and by stating that the minimum wage should be determined “by economics, not politics.” Subsequent increases will be set based on the annual change in the cost of living. This is a reasonable compromise, which will avoid further harming workers at the bottom of the ladder, and more specifically the young.
Economic Note responding to some of the most common objections to a social and political system based on economic freedom
A useful and intuitive definition of “economic freedom” is the freedom (absence of coercion) to buy from, or sell to, a willing counterparty. A society based on economic freedom is a free-market society. But is economic freedom economically beneficial? Is it all about money? Is it moral? Aren’t there many exceptions where government intervention is warranted? This Economic Note addresses these questions.
Economic Note showing the need for and the benefits of a tax cut for Canadian businesses and workers
As the fall economic update approaches, the rumour is that Ottawa favours targeted measures to promote investment, rather than reducing the corporate income tax rate. This would be a mistake. The competitiveness of Canadian companies has been hurt by US tax cuts, and also by deregulation efforts south of the border. The federal government should use its update to lower corporate income taxes and restore the Canadian advantage; not acting would entail substantial costs not just for businesses, but for workers as well.
Research Paper examining how different fiscal measures influence the decision to start a business
Many try to divorce entrepreneurship from any fiscal questions, claiming that entrepreneurship is basically a passion, and that entrepreneurs start businesses out of love. Yet one of the fundamental aspects of economic analysis is that cost variations are a primary factor in accounting for human behaviour. This paper aims to provide a frank, open discussion of the fiscal measures that affect entrepreneurship.