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Alex Himelfarb

THE PRICE OF AUSTERITY

By Alex Himelfarb on March 12, 2012

harpagon_01.jpgAusterity, we have been told repeatedly by pundits and political leaders, is the defining issue in these uncertain times, the solution to our economic challenges.
We have been given fair warning that the next federal budget will be first about cuts – cuts to government even as we continue to cut taxes. We can expect the same from most provincial budgets.
This, we are told, is what must be done. Austerity is not simply the best way, the argument goes, but the only way, and not just for us but for our friends and allies. Canada has become the champion of austerity.

 

A BAD DAY: WHAT NOW?

By Alex Himelfarb on December 16, 2011

c10.jpgC10, the omnibus crime bill, passed third reading and is now over to the Senate for what is supposed to be sober second thought.  The vote could only have been a depressing anticlimax for the many Canadians who were fighting to stop or amend this legislation.  And the implacable inevitability of its passage must surely lead many to ask, ‘why bother, what’s the point?’



Tax is not a four letter word

By Alex Himelfarb on October 26, 2011

tax.jpgIronically it is in the anti-tax U.S. that a conversation has erupted on taxes. Warren Buffett and a few other billionaires helped open the door, if only a crack, and President Obama has, finally, made taxing the rich a key means of funding his jobs plan. In the context of all that is happening now on Wall Street and beyond, these now seem like small and belated steps. Bigger things are in the air. But the conversation is now engaged and, judging from the reaction — accusations of class warfare, “no tax” pledges — tax is a proxy for these bigger things.

A meaner Canada: junk politics and the omnibus crime bill

By Alex Himelfarb on June 10, 2011

himelfarb_alex.jpgCanada’s new Parliament is poised to reshape Canada’s criminal justice system and, in significant ways, Canada itself.   Within 100 sitting days of its resumption Parliament will pass an omnibus “tough on criminals” bill that represents the biggest change to our justice system in recent memory.  But these changes are coming with disturbingly little controversy or opposition.  They are not part of some so-called hidden agenda.  This is what most or at least many Canadians voted for and, among those who did not, few seem much worried.  Political opposition has been muted.  Who wants to be seen as soft on crime, soft on criminals, concerned about inmates?  


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