Peter S. Spiro is a lawyer and public policy consultant. He has graduate degrees in economics from the University of Toronto and University of Chicago, and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He practices general civil litigation with the Friedman Law Firm in Toronto, and is an Executive Fellow of the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation at the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy and Governance.
Leading up to the Federal government's 2017 budget, there was speculation about an increase in the tax on capital gains. The current tax exemption is disproportionately beneficial to the wealthy, and it has little in the way of general economic benefits. Only half the value of capital gains is currently taxed.
Everybody is likely aware that you can buy things used as an alternative to new and save a few bucks. But until now, few of us realized that the second-hand economy significantly contributes to Canada's GDP, creates jobs and reduces the environmental harm of rampant consumerism -- and the potential for further contributions is as easy as it is vast.
The deceased Mr. Spence left his entire estate of $400,000 to his daughter Donna. He cut his daughter Verolin out of his will, reputedly because of racial bias. Madam Justice Gilmore ruled that this offended public policy, and was therefore rendered void. Once there is no will, the law decrees that each child of the deceased receives an equal share of the estate.
The class action lawsuit is an important legal innovation. It allows many small players to get together and seek justice if they have been injured due to the negligence of a large company. It lets many individual consumers or small investors who have suffered a loss make a claim.
Metrolinx argues that congestion has led to overly long commute times, imposing a large burden of cost on people and businesses in the GTA. It proposes a variety of transit infrastructure plans over the coming decades. For a variety of reasons, these plans simply will not work.
The tumultuous events in Bangladesh are not as far away as you might think, and their effects on your well-being go far beyond cheap chic clothing. What we have on a global scale is a massive amount of lending by the poor to the rich. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? To his credit, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was one of the first economists to identify this problem, way back in 2005. He called it a global savings glut. It has only gotten worse since then. It is responsible for your low mortgage rate, and also large deficits and high unemployment in the industrialized countries.
The public has some say in whether to build that casino, but nobody asks Canadians if they want to participate in the much larger casino of the global currency market. If you are unemployed, you are likely one of the losers from this giant virtual casino of international currency trading.