• Commentary,  Fiscal Policy,  Inequality

    Self-Interest of Wealthy Investors Explains Over-the-Top Reaction to Capital Gains Reform

    The federal government’s 2024-25 budget included an important reform to the taxation of capital gains. Capital gains occur when an asset is sold for more than it cost to acquire. Capital gains are heavily concentrated among high-income Canadians – more so than any other form of income. And making matters worse, they receive lucrative tax preferences: until this year, recipients only had to declare half their gains on their income tax (for a so-called ‘inclusion rate’ of 50%). The other half was entirely tax-free. In contrast, other forms of income (like wages and salaries) must all be reported on a tax return: that is, their ‘inclusion rate’ is 100%!

  • Inflation,  Macroeconomics,  Research,  Wages

    New Data on Link Between Profits and Inflation

    Consumer price inflation has decelerated in Canada in the last year, as rapidly as it accelerated in the 2021-2022 period (sparking high interest rates which in turn caused a painful economic slowdown). At last reading (for April 2024), year-over-year CPI inflation had slowed to 2.7% (down from 8% less than two years earlier). That’s within the Bank of Canada’s target range (2% plus or minus a cushion of 1%). And low enough that the Bank cut its policy rate for the first time in this cycle in June. Many credit the Bank of Canada’s tough monetary medicine for this quick slowdown in inflation. But that assumes that the initial driving…