NEWS + ANALYSIS
ADAM ALLOUBA

NEWS + ANALYSIS

THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE — A DISTINCTION WITHOUT A DIFFERENCE?

March 23, 2016 | by Adam Allouba

“Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together,” Rep. Barney Frank is reputed to have said. Magazines like Salon agree: “in a democracy the government is us.” Anyone who has ever nodded in agreement when hearing those kinds of statements might have difficulty wrapping their head around the March 6 edition of Last Week Tonight, in which host John Oliver targeted his blend of comedy and journalism at “special districts,” the existence of which was doubtless unknown to many — myself included — before the episode.

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LOOKING BEFORE WE LEAP: CANADA’S HARD LEFT RAISES ITS VOICE

September 25, 2015 | by Adam Allouba

Any ideological movement that trades purity for electability risks a backlash, and Canada’s left-wing New Democratic Party is no exception. The NDP’s repudiation of its socialist roots has given it its first-ever chance at forming a government after the Oct. 19 federal election. The party’s embrace of free trade and balanced budgets, however, has dismayed its true believers, some of whom recently published a declaration titled “The Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another,” which is firmly grounded in the NDP’s past socialist ideology that the party has since disowned.

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MINIMUM WAGE LAWS: RESTRICTIONS ON FREE SPEECH?

June 9, 2015 | by Adam Allouba

Across North America, the “living wage” movement has recently gained momentum as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Alberta have either fixed their minimum wage at $15 per hour or announced plans to do so. Elsewhere, in locations such as Oregon, British Columbia, Chicago, and New York City, elected officials and activists are pushing for similar legislation. As anti-poverty groups and business lobbyists square off over such measures, an appreciation of the information that prices convey is invariably missing from the debate. Where do they come from, and what is their critical socio-economic role? To understand the price mechanism is to understand why tinkering with prices through government policy is dangerous, and why controls like the minimum wage are a bad idea.

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ONTARIO’S LIBERALIZED BEER REGULATIONS ONLY A TINY STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION

May 8, 2015 | by Adam Allouba

Ontario’s beer drinkers have something to toast. For the first time since prohibition was repealed, the Canadian province’s government is liberalizing the market for suds. The changes are certainly a step in the right direction, but they do not go nearly far enough. Rather than applaud politicians for tweaking a deeply flawed system, proponents of real reform should instead question whether the sale of alcohol needs to be regulated in such a complex and intrusive manner.

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CANADA’S ECONOMIC POLICY INEVITABLY STIFLES REAL INNOVATION

March 25, 2015 | by Adam Allouba

Thanks in large part to its abundant supply of oil, Canada’s economy has spent much of the past seven years as the envy of the world. When the price of crude began to plunge in August 2014, though, so did Canada’s economic outlook. Growth forecasts were cut, the dollar plummeted, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper set aside his oft-repeated boast that Canada is an “emerging energy superpower.” Harper has hinted that the upcoming federal budget will focus on boosting the manufacturing sector instead, but Canadians should ask themselves whether it is proper for government to decide which industries will flourish and which should fade.

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