Some thoughts on ecology, evolution and economics

Posts filed under Economics

An election primer on Canadian health care

This blog has long  been concerned about sustainable health care , in particular, Canadian health care. In the 2019 election, health care has taken a back seat to climate change and economic issues.  Still, the scope of public health care and the federal government’s role in assuring it is being discussed. Here, I offer a summary… (read more)

Wallets and whitecoats

Doctors provide an essential service: they make us well. Shouldn’t they be paid for this? More specifically, shouldn’t those who have wealth or foresight have better access to care than those who can’t or won’t prepare for injury or disease? These are the questions that challenge the concept of universal health care. Yet, except in… (read more)

Plastics: the problem or the solution?

My wife and I wrap cheese when we put it into our lunchbags.  I use plastic and she uses waxpaper. As the waxpaper is at least twice as thick as the low density polyethylene in my lunch bag, I initially create a smaller waste burden in our local landfill.  Of course, over time, the waxpaper… (read more)

What’s shaking in world trade?

A couple of years ago, I offered a synopsis of world trade patterns on the basis of the Economist’s Pocket World in Figures.  Here is an update of that post for 2018 with a bit of a forecast of how the trade deals (or lack thereof) we keep hearing about might shake things up in… (read more)

Caring for Americans

Shortly before leaving office in 1974, Richard Nixon proposed a universal healthcare bill that would have assured all Americans of health insurance coverage. Developed countries around the world were passing similar legislation at the time, using some mix of private and public insurance. It was also at this time that the American healthcare system began… (read more)

Caring for Canadians

Four years ago, I highlighted Jeffrey Simpson’s five recommendations for improving the value of  medical care in Canada.  These addressed some of the natural weaknesses of a single payer system, which frequently lead to long wait times.  One of these recommendations, investment in home care, has been seized upon by the Trudeau government as a… (read more)

The greener side of trade

In October 1992, shortly before his victory over George H. Bush, Bill Clinton declared that trade deals should “require each country to enforce its own environmental and worker standards”. Clinton was trying to distance himself from the NAFTA trade deal that the Republicans had negotiated with Canada and Mexico without denying its expected economic benefits…. (read more)

Our Common Home

This blog has, from the beginning, focused on ecology and economics.  These topics are taken up in a recent encyclical by Pope Francis with the extra dimension of how faith informs our decisions in these areas.  Like Al Gore in his book, “The Future” , the pope summarizes some trends in the world around us and… (read more)

Deeper patterns in foreign trade

When I started this blog, I referred to the similarities between ecosystems and economies.  Here, I will make an ecologist’s observations on the patterns of world trade.  Foodwebs are an important tool in understandng ecosystems.  They are a list of species from which each species draws energy. That is to say, who eats whom. Economists… (read more)

The Future

My last blog post was about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.  The scientists shared that award with an individual who won an Oscar  in the same year.  That has to be some kind of record, inspiring peace and artistic acclaim in one effort. This same individual,… (read more)