Economy

Climate policy: contradiction #2

Feb 4, 2009
Speaking of BC climate policy contradictions that desperately need to be addressed (like I was doing here), wrap your head around this: our current policy framework is supposed to simultaneously reduce consumers’ dependence on fossil fuels and increase our dependence on fossil fuel production in the province. What? It’s true. It works like this. If… View Article

This is gonna hurt

Housing has been one of the major drivers of the BC economy in recent years. Low interest rates led to rising home prices and a psychology of “must get in before being locked out forever”; leading a housing bubble that had everyone in town swapping jaw dropping stories of bidding wars and outrageous prices paid…. View Article

Poverty reduction plan: can we afford it?

Jan 26, 2009
Perhaps the more appropriate question is: can we afford not to have one? Public policy is always about choices, and there is no excuse for poverty in a society as wealthy as ours. Consider this: the total cost of getting everyone in British Columbia currently below the poverty line (the after-tax Low Income Cut Off)… View Article

Breaking free of the “balanced budget” chains

Jan 25, 2009
As the next provincial budget is prepared (and election platforms are written), a core reality is this: we face huge economic uncertainty, which makes forecasting very difficult. With each passing month, economists are downgrading their GDP growth forecasts, and GDP growth (or decline) is what drives provincial revenues. In the face of this uncertainty, we… View Article

Fiscal tipping points

Budget making is an art. An underlying reality of BC budgeting is that it takes very little to tip provincial finances from surplus to deficit and back again, mainly due to factors outside the province’s control. Recall, for example, that during the Liberal’s first mandate, they inherited a surplus, then brought down two of the… View Article

Poverty reduction: the time is now

There is a growing chorus calling for a BC poverty reduction plan, calling for commitments to this from all political parties ahead of the May election. But some say, given the economic downturn, we can no longer afford to commit to a bold plan now. On the contrary, now is precisely when such a plan… View Article