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Category Archive: economics

Feb 05 2013

A truffle rooted out from the heap of… bad news

There was one more bit from one of this morning’s stories that I thought was an interesting development, and deserved its own post: The proportion of women among the ranks of Canada’s wealthy elite has almost doubled over the past 30 years, new data released by Statistics Canada Monday shows. The data agency published its analysis …

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Jan 14 2013

Taxes ARE Theft (but so what?)

One of the oft-made claims by self-styled Libertarians is that ‘taxes are theft’ (and are therefore ‘bad’). This kind of assertion underpins most of the Libertarian position, and also the bulk of any anti-tax/pro-small-government arguments by folks of any political stripe. Unfortunately, it’s rare to hear this position defended as the self-styled Libertarians don’t seem …

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Jul 31 2012

Got to find the reason, reason things went wrong…

I once attended a forum for black students held at York University, where there were a number of seminars and sessions to try to broaden the discussion and (I guess) impart some life skills. One of these forums was about developing and harnessing economic power, moderated by two women who had a successful business consulting …

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Jul 17 2012

Is this racist? You can bank on it.

Part of the challenge of incorporating anti-racism into mainstream skepticism is that skepticism has been primarily focused on developing techniques of inquiry honed in material sciences (by which I mean the study of physical systems like cosmology, biology, and physics – not materials science which is an entirely different thing). Ask most mainstream skeptics, and …

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Jun 28 2012

Racism, elections, and how we measure up

A while back, a writer I like got in trouble with a lot of people who would otherwise be fans over something she wrote: In it, Dr. Harris-Perry (who I follow on Twitter) lays out an argument for why white voters, who supported Barack Obama in the first election, may be abandoning him now at a …

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Jun 14 2012

We’ve got a job to do

Figure 1

I remember my first job interview. I had applied for a position as a stock boy at a bulk food store, and the owner called me on the phone the day after I dropped off my resume. My interview was one question, three words: “are you big?” I replied that I was, indeed, big. “Come …

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Mar 08 2012

Show her the money!

Happy International Women’s Day! In every field, at every level of education, men earn more than women. That’s the grim takeaway of this new report [PDF] from the U.S. Census Bureau, which assesses the value of a higher education in the United States—and illustrates the persistent pay gap between male and female employees who hold comparable degrees. In …

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Feb 27 2012

Black Canadians: outcomes, attitudes, and evidence

This morning I walked you through a crude statistical analysis of labour participation in black Canadians, showing that while the experiences of black Canadians runs parallel to that of African-Americans, it is not directly comparable. However, a more detailed look at the evidence suggests a slightly different picture – black men face a 22% wage gap …

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Feb 27 2012

Black Canadians: Making it work

Education attained by ethnic group

This is the fourth and final instalment in a series of posts I am writing in my annual commemoration of Black History Month. My inspiration, and source of historical material, is a book by Joseph Mensah called Black Canadians: history, experiences, social conditions. As I work my way through the book, I will be blogging my reactions and things that …

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Feb 09 2012

The bankruptcy of racism

Table 1 - click to enlarge

Many of the topics we discuss here are personal, at least insofar as race is concerned. We talk about the effect race has on colouring people’s experiences, on how they may perceive identical treatment quite differently. I’ve occasionally shared some anecdotes from my own life to underscore some point or another. This is no accident – …

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