A Cure for Deficit and Tax Phobia

It started as a FB post, morphed into this CCPA blog, and who knows what’s next: the case for an approach to public finance that enables the level of ambition these times require: The upcoming federal budget is likely to set the terms of the next federal election.  The deficit hawks who had been quiet … Continue reading

Don’t Panic: Debt Can Build a Better World

This is an updated version of an article that first appeared in Alberta Views (December issue). COVID-19, this microscopic bug, seems to have upended just about everything. History provides no perfect analogy for what has turned out to be a global health, social and economic catastrophe. Not since the Depression have we experienced such a … Continue reading

Review of Hugh Segal’s Bootstraps Need Boots

Hugh Segal has written an engaging personal and political memoir and plea for basic income. Here’s my review in Alberta Views.

How to Pay for a Just and Green Recovery

Some colleagues and I published this piece on how to pay for “building back better”. The Broadbent Institute published this longer version here.

After the Pandemic

First Policy Response has brought together diverse views (including my own) on how the pandemic recession differs from previous recessions and what we need to do to get through this and come out better at the other end. Key points – from my admittedly biased perspective: Recovery will be slow and bumpy and will depend … Continue reading

We Need an Antidote to Complacency and Resentment

When life becomes a zero sum game, when competition is seen as the sole basis for organizing society, when targeting social benefits that should be universal shows folk that some gain and some don’t but everybody pays, when austerity tells us that there’s less in the pot so what one gets the other loses, when … Continue reading


The other day, CNN ran a focus group on what some American voters were now thinking about their president. The comments were almost universally critical including among Trump voters. But even some of the most critical, it seems, may still be Trump supporters. It was, for me, a valuable reminder that pointing out Trump’s flaws, … Continue reading