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.
In its last Fall Economic Statement, the federal government included a chapter on regulation. It intends to review and remove outdated or duplicative regulatory requirements, keep an eye on our regulatory burden’s effect on our competitiveness, and innovate when it comes to rule-making. While this is a welcome admission that the Canadian regulatory burden is weighing down our competitiveness, with the United States as an easy alternative destination for investment, it still leaves open the question of how exactly to proceed with effectively reducing the regulatory burden.
This booklet contains short write-ups on the lives and ideas of eighteen classical liberal thinkers from the past century and a half. Together, these short biographical essays tell the story of the evolution of classical liberal thought as the benefits of freedom have spread, though haltingly and unevenly, around the world. And they point the way forward to a future of greater and more widespread wealth and well-being for all.
The Quebec government has on many occasions signalled its commitment to fighting climate change. The province has set several targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, aiming to have them disappear almost completely by 2050. Yet Quebec’s share of global GHG emissions is so tiny that achieving the provincial objectives would have an insignificant impact on the evolution of the temperature of the planet.
With Christmas around the corner, stories about consumption and purchasing power tend to make headlines. Often, we’re told that “everything is more expensive” or that “our purchasing power is stagnating.” What are the facts of the matter?
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.
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.
Although we take supermarkets for granted, our access to such a quantity and variety of food products on demand and at any time of year is absolutely remarkable. This “miracle” is all the more impressive given that it is the result of spontaneous and voluntary collaboration between millions of people, most of whom will never meet. This paper will examine the historical evolution and the current operation of supermarkets and the numerous intermediaries that supply them, using the analytical framework of the Austrian School of Economics.
The media often convey the impression that First Nations wish to earn a living from traditional activities alone and have little interest in the development of their communities. Yet while some oppose mining and forestry or the building of energy infrastructure, others favour such development and wish to take advantage of the resulting wealth and jobs. This paper focuses on cases where First Nations decided to become involved in the development of resources on their territory, and on the benefits they derived from this involvement.
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.