Added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in March 2018; cryptocurrency is the buzzword of the day; in fact cryptocurrencies have become a global phenomenon known to most people but very little; including banks, governments and companies really understand what they are and certainly not how they work. This article is part one of a series of articles that will attempt to demystify cryptocurrencies by providing a historical context of their invention, how they work and the impact they have had and will continue to have on Canadian businesses and overall economy.
Over the past recent decades South Korea has transformed itself from a developing country with an authoritarian regime to a centralized democracy. This transformation has been rapid and resulted in wide-ranging changes that have cemented South Korea’s partnerships with a number of allies in order to ensure its’ security and grow its’ economy. Ultimately, Koreans embraced globalization and aggressively pursued Free Trade agreements (FTAs). One such free trade agreement is the Canada Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA).
The history of electricity reveals a series of discoveries with the simplest discoveries being made first and more complex discoveries being made later. At first, American households discovered that they were able to have electric lighting, heating and innovative kitchen appliances such as microwave ovens. Later, we discover that the diffusion of electricity into American homes in the twentieth century has a multitude of economic affects on the household sector. As such, a simple appliance commonly known as the vacuum cleaner, for instance, can later be utilized to exemplify the modernization of household labour and how exogenous economic forces prior to electrification affect decision making in the home. During the diffusion of electricity into American homes, the household revolution introduced labour-saving consumer durables, such as washing machines, as well as timesaving products, such as frozen foods. At the turn of the nineteenth century, women mostly laboured at home, however technological progress in the household has arguably liberated women from the home allowing them to enter the labour market. As such, this article will assume the neoclassical model of family in which there is a mother, father and children. By the end of the twentieth century, the majority of women have arguable decided to join the labour market, which begs the question, how has electrification of the twentieth century affected the decision making of households? As a result, this article will attempt to explain the effects of electricity on the household sector through discussing the implicit variables that impact family decision-making when faced with technological change in the household. Further, using papers from Carl Kitchens, Jeremy Greenwood and other notable sources, this article will discuss the ambiguity of changes that households face when deciding to modernize. For example, deciding to have children, deciding to enter, or re-enter, the workforce or deciding whether or not to invest more time and money into health and childcare, or starting a family. Furthermore, this article will discuss the household influences of accessibility to electrical resources by examining the Rural Electrification Administration establishment in the early twentieth century. Finally, using works from Joel Mokyr and Joshua Lewis, this article will examine the relevance in allocation of time between leisure and income producing activity of a household.
In order to better explain the “Dissonant View”, the technical aspect of Barro’s findings should be explained. To explain his findings I will be referring to Table 1 (in Appendix 1). He lists a series of variables he looked at and the correlation between those variables and growth (Barro, 1996: pg. 5-6). For this paper only the “black-market premium,” “rule of law index” and “democracy” variables will be relevant. These variables best serve as proxies for measuring economic and political freedoms. The “black-market premium” indicates the level of economic freedom within a country. The logic is that if there is more economic freedom then there will be less of a need for a black market. The “rule of law index” helps to indicate the level of political freedoms by highlighting the extent to which institutions keep strong government in check and allow for individual political expression. The strength of “rule of law” may also highlight the strength of private property laws as well by showing how much individuals have control over their personal property relative to the government. The stronger the rule of law, the higher the political and economic freedoms will be because it can be assumed that more people will be part of the government’s decision making and more in control of their collective outcomes. Lastly, the “democracy” variable indicates the level of political freedoms by showing how much control people have over the government and vice versa. If democracy is stronger then it is assumed that people control the government; if it is weaker then it is assumed government has more control over the people.
Over the twentieth century economists laboured over trying to determine what were the fundamentals of economic growth and development. There were many competing schools of thought and the debate settled down into a fight between capitalism being espoused by the West and communism being championed by the Soviets. However, this battle between the ideologies offers a shallow assessment on development, in the sense that the debate only focused on the aspect of economic freedom. What was missing from the analysis was the role of political freedoms, which appears to be a common mistake throughout modern economics. Economists can gain a holistic understanding of development by looking at it through an economic and political lens. This paper will examine the relationship between economic and political freedoms, and how economic freedoms are needed to attain greater political freedoms.
It has been three years since the Canada-Korea Free Trade agreement came into affect. Part two of this series will attempt to analyze the impact the CKFTA had on the Canadian economy, both on goods imported and goods exported to South Korea. It was clearly outlined in part one of this series that like other trade agreements, CKFTA eliminates most tariffs, with non-sensitive sectors having had tariffs eliminated immediately and the more sensitive sectors put into a process of having tariffs reduced or eliminated more gradually. It’s important to also note that while Canada as a whole has gained and stands to gain in the future from the CKFTA; different provinces have been impacted differently.
The big question then, of course, is how to attract new, innovative companies to Canada while offering incentives to established enterprises to begin focusing research on environmentally-friendly technologies. For any R&D-focused company to thrive they need certain factors specific to the innovative industry in which they exist. While there are a multitude of factors, we can focus on some of the biggest to get started.
The optimal way for Canada to tackle the problem of climate change, while also protecting its national interests, is to look at this as a profit-opportunity. For example, 50 years from now few people will be driving gas-powered cars, as exemplified by the announcement that they will be banned in France by 2040. The emergence of electric vehicles is therefore a massive opening for businesses that have the capital and competency to invest in the research and development (R&D) required to create the new technologies that are needed. This is where Elon Musk and Tesla have exceled and, as a result, they are on the brink of having an electric vehicle that is sufficiently affordable to the general population, with the new Model 3 costing only about $30,000 USD. Canada’s goal should be to merge the interests of the environment and our economy by recruiting these types of companies to our country.
Although South Korea was commonly referred to as “Asia’s next giant” back in the early 90s, it took another decade for negotiations of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) to commence. Launched during the summer of 2005, on the 15th of July, the goal of CKFTA was said to enhance crucial bilateral economic relationship with Korea, strengthen Canada’s presence in the vigorous northeast Asia region and ultimately generate economic benefits across the Canadian economy.
Psychology 101 tells us that there are two ways to motivate modifications in the behaviour of others; positive and negative reinforcement, the carrot and the stick. Up to this point, governments seem to be approaching the fight against climate change with the stick. Cap-and-trade, limits on emissions, carbon taxes, and just about every other major tool used by officials to protect the environment is coercive and punitive. Any progress being made towards curbing emissions is coming slowly and painfully, with debates raging across the globe that pit the benefits of environmentalism against the economic pains of these measures. This presents Canada with a chance to set itself apart. It gives the nation an opportunity to step back and look at the issue of climate change not so much as a problem, but as a prospect. While other nations struggle to find the right balance between the economy and the environment with negative-reinforcement style policies, Canada should instead bring out the carrot. We should make the environment a centerpiece of our economy.
It’s September, and depending on how old you are and what your ambitions are, this month means different things. For some, it’s the season of school re-entry. All across the world, students are returning to their universities with grand plans. Some have plans to master their classes by attending every office hour the instructor offers. Others have plans to make the social moves to advance their extracurricular interests.
Ever buy something expensive with good packaging? Packaging is a great marketing tool. It doesn’t matter if you are selling t-shirts or the most expensive laptop, you should always have aesthetically pleasing packaging for your product. Although many people including myself give more time to the product and not really think about packaging, here are a few reasons why you should take some time and careful thought when it comes to packaging.
The fourth core principle of Neo-Liberalism deals with privatization. Martinez and Garcia go in great deal explaining that this involves selling state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This isn’t just limited to key industries and banks but also areas that are typically reserved for government administration; including railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals, even fresh water. While it is often argued that efficiency would be gained, in reality, what happens is that privatization leads to the concentration of wealth in a few hands and the public pays even more for its needs.
With Ontario’s next provincial election to be held within a year, the governing Liberals, led by Kathleen Wynne, are polling in third place, trailing the frontrunner Progressive Conservatives by a margin of 21% (Bozinoff, 2017). In their efforts to gain political traction heading into the election campaign, they have made a very dangerous promise: a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2019. This promise, while presented as an attempt to reduce inequality and lower poverty levels, is little more than a reckless attempt to buy votes while doing little to help those with wages at or near the current minimum wage.
Published in 1776, Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of The Wealth of Nations is cited as being one of the most important and influential works in economic theory ever crafted. This hefty book definitively stakes out the key concepts of classical macroeconomics, including collective supply and demand, general equilibrium based on market forces, and even ventures into making strong statements on the role of government in monetary and fiscal policy. The book is mentioned in economics classes the world over, and the concepts Smith puts forth are at the root of the teachings in these courses. That being said, it is striking that the work is not on the reading list of these courses as much as the book’s widespread popularity would imply. As such, I chose to read and study the work to see if its lessons hold true today.
The second core principle in neoliberal economic globalization is focused on reducing public expenditure for social services by the government. This cut ultimately means the social safety net is reduced. If you think this core principle is a practice of the distant past, sadly you would be wrong. In fact, in the United States, President Trump and the Republicans have made a platform on their position to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). More popularly known as Obama Care, the ACA is US healthcare reform law that expands and improves access to health care while curbing spending through regulations and taxes. Some of the important functions of the ACA include the following:
The 2008 Financial Crisis changed the landscape of the financial world. Cornerstone institutions like Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers were either paired up with commercial banks to maintain solvency or simply defaulted, leaving shareholders and clients alike to absorb most of the consequences. Even the banks who weathered the storm well, following the collapse of US Housing prices and the default of many mortgage borrowers wiping out the value of an entire market of Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs). The widespread impact of the event earned it the name “The Global Financial Crisis”.
Nostalgia has always been known to be a powerful influence on people. Whether it’s the song that reminds you of an old high school flame or some old wedding pictures, things from our past have the power to evoke a melancholy contemplation. This is a power that has not gone missed by marketers in Canada. Perhaps you’ve noticed that beer comes in “stubby” bottles again. Or maybe you’ve picked up on how the Ottawa Senators regularly wear their “throwback” alternate sweaters that recall the uniforms introduced in 1929. All over Canada, consumers see brands, designs, and items that were retired decades ago.
To this day, the most commonly cited example of a monopoly in the history of the United States is John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. A natural monopoly, Standard Oil depended on the connections of its executives and its capture of key technologies to seize its market share rather than on regulatory intervention like modern utility or public transport companies. Its vertical and horizontal integrations combined with its technological superiorities allowed Standard Oil to grow to dominate the market to the degree that the firm was eventually broken apart into many smaller companies under the famed Sherman Antitrust Act. Today, natural monopolies like this don’t seem to exist. In most industries, many players appear to jockey for the attention of consumers. However, one industry stands out as an exception: technology.