Economy

REGULATORS VS. MARKETS
Solving Canada’s housing crisis shouldn’t require more than a single lesson in economics. When prices are high, a free market always responds and supplies more. Yet amidst Canada’s severe problems of housing affordability, this foolproof mechanism is continually frustrated by governments that are either ignorant of how markets work, fixated on preserving the status quo or display naked contempt for the profit motive. Peter Shawn Taylor looks at the scorn heaped on land developers, landlords and the rest of the housing supply industry and wonders how they became the villains of this story.
THE INNER CONSERVATIVE
How should the conservative mind respond to the coronavirus pandemic? Panic and despair are in ample supply, and the urge to succumb appears widespread. Others have steered, via deliberate ignorance, to fatalism, though the walls are closing in on such rebels. Both extremes are beneath thoughtful conservatives. C2C Editor-in-Chief George Koch counsels that however dark today might appear, the eternal search for objective truth – the foundation for all conservative thought – is the first necessary step along the path to seeing humankind through to brighter days.
Climate and Economy
Pursuing grandiose visions tends to cloud judgment, and when the vision is saving our very planet from an apprehended climate crisis, it’s little surprise that numbers are fudged, logic is twisted, the hardest-hit are ignored and entire social classes are cast into the trash. Matthew Lau, however, refuses to be dazzled by dreams. In this article, Lau remains rooted in reality and fixed on crunching the numbers to come up with some arresting conclusions about the huge costs of government climate policies to working people here and now, set against marginal if not ephemeral benefits to come over the next 80 years.
Climate Change
If climate catastrophe doesn’t get us in the long run, it seems our own prime minister is fixin’ to do so right now. Gone are even lip service to jobs and development; now it’s all about getting Canada to “net-zero emissions” at literally any cost. Thousands of jobs going up in smoke is just a typical day’s work. Grant A. Brown sifts through the 17 “top priorities” in Justin Trudeau’s grandiloquent “mandate letter” to his new environment minister and unearths the utopian scheme shrouded under the unfocused haze. Brown also shows that the “gender-based” employment impacts our woke prime minister is so eager for are already happening – and the results ain’t pretty.
Alberta Taxes
It’s not as if the Jason Kenney government’s taxation and spending decisions will escape scrutiny. The NDP, public-sector unions, left-wing activists and much of the news media have plenty to say. So what is added by an officious federal appointee from Quebec sniping that the Government of Alberta’s chosen fiscal direction is – wait for it – “unsustainable”. Matthew Lau takes on this tired cliché, applies a combination of mainstream economics, the historical record and common sense and finds that the Liberal-appointed Parliamentary Budget Officer has it nearly all wrong.
Debt
History, as they say, repeats – first as tragedy, then farce. Justin Trudeau’s insistence on replicating just about every wrong-headed policy of his father’s, and then some, seems to roll both into one. It’s farcical as spectacle, but tragic for the victims – us. After just four years with junior at the wheel, Canada’s formerly robust public finances, a bequest of Conservative predecessor Stephen Harper and ironically of an earlier Liberal, are already circling the drain. Gwyn Morgan tracks the sad descent of Canada’s financial position and the burden to be borne by “Generation Screwed”.
Agriculture
Gwyn Morgan spent his working life in the oil and natural gas sector, much of it devoted to nurturing and growing what became Encana Corp. – for a time the nation’s number-one natural gas producer – but he never lost his connection to the family farm in rural Alberta. In this deeply personal retrospective, Morgan writes with empathy about the existential challenges faced by today’s farmers, along with a lengthy look back at the hope and heartbreak, the joy and sorrow of a vanishing way of life.
First Nations
Connecting remote northern communities to the outside world at a bearable cost and in a way that’s acceptable to northern residents has bedeviled generations. In recent years, especially, politics has often gotten in the way of and diverted attention from practical solutions. Something needs to be done, however. Josh Dehaas reports on a new way of using older technology that could, if it works, revolutionize northern transportation, doing for 21st century Indigenous residents what the canoe, kayak and bush plane did for their forebears.
The Wealthy & Taxes
It’s easy and almost risk-free to beat up on the rich. So, nearly everybody does it while our cultural institutions crank out a never-ending supply of calumnies against the wealthy. Yet it has been rich people or people trying hard to get rich who have showered inventions, improvements and innovations upon the rest of us, from affordable motor cars to smartphones. They’re the reason today’s “poor” have more at their fingertips than many wealthy of yore. Matthew Lau explains why the new wealth taxes being bandied about on both sides of the border are a bad idea for all.
Common Sense Climate Action
Raising Canada’s carbon emissions could be a good thing – if it drove far bigger cuts to emissions elsewhere in the world. Rather than fixating on forcing domestic emissions reductions and thereby beggaring Canadian industries, Michael Binnion wants Canadian climate change policy to look at the big picture. Doing so, he explains, could not only generate jobs and wealth at home but maximize the worldwide environmental benefits.

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