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Showing posts from July, 2014

Deficit? Public spending ain't the cause. Revenue, however...

With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it.

Another option -- increasing revenue from corporations and the wealthy is not mentioned.  However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces.

Instead, it indicates Ontario has very low revenue. 
Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below).  So there is little reason to suspect that we have an over-spending problem.  If anything, this suggests we have an under-spending problem.







The Ontario government has also now reported in the 2014 Budget that Ontario has the lowest revenue per capita of any province.  This is particularly notable as other provinces are quite a bit poorer than Ontario and therefore have a much more limited ability to pay for public spending.  (Also notable in this…

Ontario job creation falls well short of plan

If Ontario tries to cut its way to a balanced budget, weak employment figures suggest the cuts may have to get a whole lot worse.  Here's why.  

In the Budget, the government projected 100,000 job growth in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. That's an annual increase of about 1.4%. 

But the government is having a problem meeting its jobs target in 2014.  

Comparing the average of the first six months of 2013 with the first six of 2014 shows an increase from 6.861 million jobs to only 6.904 million.  That's only 43,000 new jobs over the year, an increase 0.65% -- less than half of the government's target.  

The Public Sector: Given sharp public sector austerity, the main brake on job creation has been public sector employment. 

Even without Tim Hudak, public sector employment has decreased between the first six months of 2013 and the first six months of 2014 by some 40,000 jobs.  

The good news is that the decline may be easing.  For the most recent month reported, June 2014,…

Ontario hospital capacity falls short of other provinces

Ontario has far fewer hospital beds than other provinces.  Compared to other countries, we are even further behind. 
For the club of the 33 richest nations (the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development), the average is 4.8 hospital beds per 1000 population in 2012 (or the reported year closest to that).  The OECD reports just 2.74 beds per 1000 population for Canada for 2011.(The OECD data can be downloaded here)
Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) data suggests a very similar average for Canada -- 2.79 beds per 1000 population in 2012. Ontario beds however only come out at 2.34 hospital beds per 1000 population.  For the rest of Canada, it is 3.24 beds, closer to the norm. (The CIHI data can be downloaded here)

In other words,  the rest of Canada has 38% more hospital beds per 1,000 persons than Ontario.   The average of the 33 OECD nations is more than two times higher than Ontario. 

In 1990, according to OECD data, the OECD countries had on average 10% more b…