A government's claims of economic competence must surely depend upon a sound record in certain crucial areas -- such as economic growth, debt reduction, balanced budgets and management of the tax burden. On all four counts, the Harper regime is a serious disappointment. As for taxes, that's where Mr. Harper brags the most. But check reality! While claiming they never raise taxes, the Harper Conservatives have in fact increased the net tax burden on Canadians in each of their last four budgets. It happens in dozens of nefarious ways which they hope you won't notice.
The bottom line? Fiscal policy is already a drag on growth, and will be, but perhaps not for as long as many now believe, given the speed with which fiscal dynamics can flip around. Monetary policy is generally expected to tighten, but in a way that does not undermine, but rather lend support to nascent economic growth.
Unfortunately, extreme weather events are becoming all too common, as they turn out to be more frequent and furious than ever before. Environmental advocates are quick to point out the "teachable moments" by linking the drastic weather patterns to climate change. However, they need to walk the fine line to ensure that they don't come across as overzealous or self-righteous in their attempts to spur public engagement, as this could turn people off and thwart even their most sincere and genuine efforts.
When we talk about natural resources that can drive economic benefit the conversation usually turns to gas and minerals, or sun and wind. What if I were to tell you that the world's most underutilized and highest potential resource is all around us? She may be standing next to you, she may be in a village far away, she may even be you.
As it turns out, countries with low GDP ranked high in the HPI and had smaller eco-footprints compared with nations with high GDP that ranked low in the HPI and had larger eco-footprints per capita. Evidently material wealth does not equate with happiness, but instead creates more waste and pollution.
Today the UK chancellor announced that the head role at the Bank of England would go to none other than the current Bank of Canada Governor, Mark Carney. The bet is that Carney can wave the same magic wand for the UK, though it's going to take more than a doctorate from Oxford to overcome the relatively larger challenges facing that country versus Canada, with its proximity to a troubled Eurozone.
The failure of world leaders to act on the critical issue of global warming is often blamed on economic considerations. But let's take a look at the economic reality. A new scientific report concludes that climate change is already costing the world $1.2 trillion a year. It's also killing at least 400,000 people every year.