- Abdul Abiad, David Furceri and Petia Topalova highlight the IMF's research confirming that well-planned infrastructure spending offers an economic boost in both the short and long term:
(I)ncreased public infrastructure investment raises output in the short term by boosting demand and in the long term by raising the economy’s productive capacity.- And the Montreal Gazette offers one example of an area where public investment is sorely lacking by pointing out the importance of making homes available as part of the fight against homelessness.
In a sample of advanced economies, an increase of 1 percentage point of GDP in investment spending raises the level of output by about 0.4 percent in the same year and by 1.5 percent four years after the increase (see chart, upper panel).
In addition, the boost to GDP a country gets from increasing public infrastructure investment offsets the rise in debt, so that the public debt-to-GDP ratio does not rise...
In other words, public infrastructure investment could pay for itself if done correctly.
- Trish Hennessy's latest Index examines Canada's weak job market - including the continued shift away from secure full-time employment toward self-employment and other precarious, low-paying work. And the Huffington Post notes that even by the top-heavy metric that is GDP, Canada's economy is looking rather anemic.
- Which of course means that it's time for...more attacks on workers! There, Stephen Kimber notes, this time it's Nova Scotia's Liberal government breaking an election promise not to gratuitously attack health care workers - and rightly facing a backlash as a result. And Bryce Covert writes that the U.S.' already-woeful system of paid leave is getting worse by the year.
- Finally, Scott Stelmaschuk challenges Andrew Scheer's rationale for allowing irrelevant answers in Question Period by wondering why a tradition of unaccounable government would be worth preserving. And Ole Hendrickson laments the fact that we're governed by political operatives rather than representatives.