Investing in human capital will pay huge dividends

Investing in human capital will pay huge dividendsHuman capital enables us to develop or make use of all other forms of capital. There are several kinds of capital. Mentioned most often are investments in buildings, machinery, equipment and infrastructure that enable us to be productive, and the financial assets that represent them. Natural capital is now getting more attention – that’s the…

Getting through a COVID-19 winter

A better future awaits if we use this period of uncertainty to work on our mental, physical and career well-being

Getting through a COVID-19 winterDread isn’t too strong a word to describe the feelings many have about the winter about to start. The COVID-19 virus is reason enough to worry. There’s not much individuals can do about that except follow all the good advice about staying safe. However, there are two other major depressing impacts of COVID-19 that we…

It’s time Canada stopped protecting its dairy industry

Governments tend to forget about consumers when managing supply. Open trade to more cheese and challenge our farmers

It’s time Canada stopped protecting its dairy industryCheese heads – it’s what Canadians are called in many of the United States border regions. It’s because when many Canadians visit their American neighbours, they head straight to the nearest supermarket and buy cheese – and milk and eggs. Dairy and eggs are much more expensive in Canada than in the U.S., even when…

Creation of a common market first step to economic recovery

If the European Union with 27 very diverse countries and several languages can do it, why can't Canada?

Creation of a common market first step to economic recoveryCOVID-19 is still running rampant in many countries, is accelerating in Quebec and Ontario and has recently hospitalized the president of the United States. But in British Columbia, we’re hoping we can avoid a second wave this winter. We’re starting to turn our attention from immediate medical issues to the longer term challenge that the…

We don’t need elections now, we need leadership

Elections will turn us away from dealing with the real issues. And we don't seem to have the means to conduct safe voting

We don’t need elections now, we need leadershipWe would really like to have many things right now, even though the prospect of getting them any time soon is rather low. A vaccine against COVID-19 is likely at the top of the list. A bit more certainty about our work and social prospects is probably a close second. Instead of dealing with the…

Spotting and tackling prejudice

Move away from false statements and over-generalizations and recognize everyone as individuals

Spotting and tackling prejudiceRacism exists in Vancouver. How much, how bad and how widespread it is we can debate. That there are other places where the situation is much worse we can agree. But we still have room to improve here. In case there’s any doubt, Fairchild TV has produced two videos (here and here) documenting expressions of…

Finding work in a pandemic

Offer to do what needs to be done on a contract basis. Since there’s no long-term commitment, it’s easier for the employer to agree

Finding work in a pandemicSummer ends, September approaches. Schools may be opening or closing or something in between – even though the ads for back-to-school sales have been conspicuously fewer than usual. As the days shorten, our thoughts reluctantly turn from beaches, picnics and holidays to getting back to work. Perhaps you, like so many others, are out of…

We can’t dodge deficits and debt forever

A government deficit is sometimes necessary but we need plans in place to eliminate it and reduce the debt

We can’t dodge deficits and debt foreverDeficits have become emotive hot buttons. A deficit arises when governments spend more than their income, which consists mainly of taxes. If the deficiency is not immediately covered, current deficits turn into long-term government debt. No one seems to be neutral about deficits and the resulting debt. Traditional economists argue against them, saying that spending…

Canada’s future brighter with broader trade

We are too dependent on two of our top three customers: the U.S. and China. And both of these are increasingly hostile

Canada’s future brighter with broader tradeCanada relies on exports. In any given year, about 45 per cent of our economy is in foreign trade. For much of the past, our exports have been mainly in the agriculture and resources sectors. These are still important, but services (think international education), manufactured goods (e.g. Lululemon clothing) and technology (e.g. the Canadarm robotic…

Loss of international students a blow to Canadian schools

Foreign students spent about $23.6 billion in Canada last year and much of that income will be lost as a result of COVID-19

Loss of international students a blow to Canadian schoolsSome industries are obvious victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. Everybody knows that businesses in the travel and hospitality sector, especially at the international level, have taken a serious if not lethal blow. Even with government aid, airlines, cruise ships, hotels and tourist attractions will have great difficulty rebuilding and even…
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