Category: The Polyvalent Economist

My blog

Has COVID-19 mandated a Basic Income

The rapid fraying of the economy due to COVID-19, with unemployment rates projected to reach 25 percent and higher, has prompted heightened interest in universal basic income (UBI). Prior to the pandemic, despite a decline in poverty and a slight reduction in measures of inequality, the drum beats for a basic income were growing stronger. […]

We need a Covid DEW Line

Public health experts and politicians are suggesting that we can see a point when restrictions could relax. But any relaxation must be careful and measured, quickly reversible if COVID reappears.  Everyone maintains that wide scale testing is a key to controlling the reopening of the economy. Most of the proposed approaches, such advocated by Harvard […]

The moral hazards of our economic response to COVID-19

Little doubt exists that COVID-19 represents an existential challenge. But could our economic policy responses complicate the return to “normalcy” whatever that may mean? Governments everywhere are introducing massive subsidies to individuals and business, replicating the standard response in previous recessions. But what if government did much less, or even nothing?  What might that look […]

Does the volatility of the Labour Force Survey render it useless as a leading indicator? (September 19)

The recent sharp decline of 52,000 jobs in the Canadian Economy (Labour Force Survey of Canada, August 2018, raises questions about how to interpret such changes. Some commentators see the LFS as volatile and advise against reading too much into month-to-month changes. This is conventional counsel, but does this variability render it less useful as […]

Canada’s Climate Change Cacophany

Politicians are wrapping themselves in green for 2016. The Paris Conference concluded with self-congratulation and widespread resolve to reverse the failures of the Kyoto and Copenhagen agreements to achieve meaningful results. Debate on climate change appears to have concluded and wide acceptance exists on the need to stabilize and then reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) the […]