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Tag Archives: incomes and wages

An Employment Insurance system for the 21st century: Lesson 2, The future of work calls for better income insurance

The 2020 Speech from the Throne boldly claims that “This pandemic has shown that Canada needs an [Employment Insurance] system for the 21st century, including for the self-employed and those in the gig economy.” That is a tall order, a major overhaul of a complicated program in the span of the next couple of months, with little or virtually no consultation of stakeholders or engagement of experts outside of the government. Will Minister Qualtrough, her cabinet colleagues, and of...

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Employment Insurance reform that promotes agency

Benefits for employee initiated time away from work should be delivered through individual accounts, and a new program for maternity and parental benefits should be started outside of Employment Insurance. More than one out of every three dollars distributed through the Employment Insurance program are for so-called Special Benefits, those parts of the program associated with maternity and parental leave, with caregiving, and with sickness. The fact that the COVID19 pandemic...

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Social Policy, Now: Next steps for income support and income insurance in Canada

Three next steps for social policy involve: 1. Maximizing auto-enrollment and just-in-time program delivery; 2. Offering full income support with engagement; and 3. Offering broad income and earnings insurance with agency. In this post I introduce the detailed discussion of these proposals that you can also download. On March 24th, 2020 the Government of Canada Tabled Bill C-13, “An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19,” in the House of Commons, and the next day...

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A letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, with two suggestions for next steps in dealing with #COVID19

Prime Minister, I certainly hope you and yours are well. I was in New York City up until last weekend. Earlier in the previous week the university where I work announced that it was moving all courses online, and closing the campus. There was really no further need for me to stay in the City, but my initial thought was to wait it out, and decide later on when to return to Canada. I started to have second thoughts when a student emailed me for advice just after President Trump...

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My Mandate Letter for the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

The first step a newly elected Prime Minister takes on the road to governing is choosing the members of cabinet and giving them their marching orders. Prime Minister Trudeau set to this task with zeal when he was first elected in the autumn of 2015, and surprised many by making the mandate letters public. The CD Howe Institute asked a number of experts to draft their versions, and this post offers a slightly longer version of the mandate letter I wrote for the Minister of...

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How do the party platforms address the changing nature of work, pay, and poverty?

The world of work is changing and creating anxiety about jobs and incomes. There is some overlap on how the major parties contesting the Canadian federal election propose to deal with these challenges, but the Conservatives are definitely the outlier. The Greens score high on vision but low on feasibility,  both the New Democrats and Liberals put a list of reasonable proposals on the table, with the Liberals offering a bigger vision that is also feasible. The Conservatives don’t seem...

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The changing nature of work calls for enhancing the human and financial capital of children in less wealthy families

The Canadian federal government should enhance the human and financial capital of children in less wealthy families, enhance market incomes of lower paid workers, and enhance the security of working incomes by adapting three existing programs to new realities: widening their scope, making them more flexible, and making them easier to obtain. The changing world of work is also a changing world of pay, a world that will likely lean toward greater wage rate inequalities, lower or...

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Thinking about minimum wages, and thinking about them like an economist

There is a movement afoot, and there is an election in the offing. Always a great dance to watch, no matter what the issue. The latest show is taking place in Ontario, where “$15 & Fairness” is the rallying call for raising the minimum wage, and has found a willing partner in the province’s Premier who will go to the polls in the spring, but in the meantime has legislated significant increases in the minimum price for an hour of work. The same dance plays out in the United...

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Can you change your mind about inequality? Read my just published paper

The Pope has strong views about inequality because he has a theory, and doesn’t need data. One of Canada’s most prominent pundits has strong views about inequality because he has data, and doesn’t need theory. I’ll probably never convince either of them to change their views, but maybe I can convince you with both theory and data. Give me the chance by reading my just published paper, “Inequality is the root of social evil,’ or Maybe Not? Two Stories about Inequality and...

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How much social mobility for America? More, but it won’t happen without inclusive growth

Tags Amerian Enterprise Institute, American Dream, rags to riches, social mobility, The US Labor Market How much social mobility for America? More, but it won’t happen without inclusive growth October 24, 2016 Shania Twain, the legendary country-pop music star, personifies the “rags to riches” mobility at the core of the American Dream, and what’s so amazing she’s not even American. (Click image to read her bio.) A common way to think about...

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