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DEMAND SIDE ECONOMICS

Today is the first day of argument in the court proceedings brought by the Ontario government challenging Ottawa’s constitutional authority to impose a carbon tax in this province.  The constitutional question is an interesting one, and it is certainly one upon which reasonable minds can differ.  Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the public policy arguments against the concept of the carbon tax itself. The court challenge will focus on the important but decidedly wonkish question of whether a carbon “tax” is within the taxing powers granted to the federal government under our Constitution.  On the actual substantive policy […]

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A SELF-INFLICTED WOUND (PART II)

A lifetime ago, in my late teens and early twenties, I was a very busy young man but somehow found time to indulge a fascination with conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of US President John Kennedy.  That obsession provided a platform for discovering the intricacies of many arcane and sinister concepts, including the murky relationship between Organized Crime and the CIA, the anomaly of the supposed Pro-Soviet and Anti-Castro inclinations of Lee Harvey Oswald and, most fundamentally, the difference between bullet entry and exit wounds.  It is this latter expertise that I find myself reflecting upon as I consider the […]

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A SELF-INFLICTED WOUND (PART I)

Sometimes political scandals that evolve into full blown crises are borne of true skullduggery – Machiavellian intrigues engineered out of sight that remain forever opaque, masked by plausible deniability with respect to actions dragged into public attention only by the heroic efforts of intrepid reporters or incorruptible truth-tellers.  But other times, governments stumble into eminently foreseeable peril as a natural consequence of public policy initiatives that are proposed, debated and enacted in the full view of the public.  I would argue that it is far more often the latter than the former that is the true root of political embarrassments, […]

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