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Tag Archives: poverty

“We don’t have a chance in hell …”, Canada’s poverty reduction strategy needs real voice

Source: https://twitter.com/ESDC_GC/status/1364596131590791171The Minister of Employment and Social Development in the Canadian federal government, Ahmed Hussen, recently tabled an annual report taking stock of the country’s poverty reduction strategy. The advisory council responsible for the reported dedicated it “to all those courageous people who shared their stories, successes and struggles with the Council in the hope that we would in turn share them across Canada. You are at the...

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Too Much Choice Is Hurting America

Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas, is clearly what my father would have called a piece of work.Early in the pandemic he made headlines by saying that older Americans should be willing to risk death so that younger people could “get back to work.” More recently, he suggested that Texans who found themselves with $17,000 electricity bills after the February freeze had only themselves to blame, because they didn’t “read the fine print.”Funny, isn’t it, how politicians who denounce...

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The Plot to Help America’s Children

SectionsSkip to contentSkip to site indexDemocrats seem ready to enact major economic relief legislation. The package will be big, with a price tag probably close to the Biden administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion. But the bulk of this spending will clearly be temporary. Americans won’t be getting $1,400 checks every year, unemployment benefits won’t always be this generous, we won’t constantly be mobilizing for emergency vaccination programs (or at least we hope not).There is, however, one...

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Helping Kids Is a Very Good Idea

Some things about American politics are completely predictable, even in a time of insurrection and QAnon craziness. Anyone who has been paying attention over the past decade knew that as soon as a Democrat took the White House, Republicans would instantly do another 180-degree turn on budget deficits.Remember, the G.O.P. went from hyperventilating about debt as an existential threat during the Obama years to complete indifference about deficits under Donald Trump. Surely nobody is surprised...

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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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Afternoon roundup

This afternoon's worthies:Vic Uni's James Kierstead and Michael Johnston in defence of free speech.  Liberalism and democracy, as Karl Popper recognised, rest on substantive values, values that have to be defended if liberal democracy is to survive and flourish. And it’s up to all of us to do the work of defending these values. If we say nothing while governments, corporations and ideologues threaten and quash the free expression of ideas, we are, at least tacitly, voting democracy out of...

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Poverty and equality of opportunity: three pictures to motivate policy for social mobility

Read my comments presented to the Public Economics Forum on “Intergenerationally Disadvantaged: Newest Evidence and What it Means for Policy,” organized by the Melbourne Institute for Applied Economic and Social Research, on November 26th, 2019 in Canberra, Australia. Social mobility varies across countries, but it varies in a particular way, a way that I argue is relevant for the conduct of public policy. Inequality begets inequality. Up to 50% of income inequality is passed on to...

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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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Equality of opportunity is a choice

Tony Atkinson, the great British economist, encourages us to think of inequality as a choice, something that can be influenced by public policy. If this is the case for equality of outcomes, then it is surely also so for equality of opportunity; the significant differences in social mobility between the rich countries hinting at the role governments play in determining the degree to which family background is destiny, the rich raising the next generation of rich adults, the poor...

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Poverty in the UK: radical social re-engineering

There was a revealing exchange between Krishnan Guru-Murthy and a Treasury minister after Channel 4 led with the UN Special Rapporteur’s report on UK poverty. After the minister trotted out various statistics about trends in poverty and inequality, Guru-Murthy said something like you have just proved the report right when it says the government is in denial. The Treasury minister was right about some of the things he said: the poverty statistics are not getting noticeably worse and might even...

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