Category Archives: Videos

Temporary Foreign Workers: Explanations and Solutions

Temporary foreign workers (TFW).  Love them or hate them, they are here to stay. The program has been around since 2006 and continues to gain strength.  We will not go over the entire system  because there are thousands of sites that do it in very fine detail.  Wikipedia is always a good source.  What we will do is look at the effect TFWs have on a labour market.  You can see it in the latest Youtube video here.

As in the video, it seems that for most part this program is being used to keep wages down which was not its goal.  The entire system is under review at the moment and one of the current suggestions is to make the program be accessible only to firms in regions that have extremely low unemployment rates.  This is a very good idea. A low unemployment rate is a good indicator that maybe a company legitimately cannot find a Canadian to fill the position. If the region has an unemployment rate of 8% then there is little reason to bring in foreigners to do the work.  That single change would make a large difference.  Although, there have been reports this week that workers are being hired to work in one city and then being moved to another as soon as their application is approved and they move to Canada. This type of behavior cannot be allowed to continue

All cases of worker exploitation must be eliminated.  These workers should have regular check-ins by mail, email, a website or in person by someone from the labour ministry to ensure that they are not being abused or exploited.  They should not be afraid to lose their job if they report abuse of the system.  If abuse is reported and confirmed then they get put on top of a list for the next available position.  Most of the jobs are low skill and if one company in a low unemployment region is having problems finding enough workers there are likely more in that same region willing to take a worker that has already passed through the application process for a discounted or no fee.

There is a lot of red tape in these proposed changes. The costs for the administration should be covered by the fees that firms pay when they apply to hire a TFW.

The next few months will reveal how the government is going to deal with all the recent negativity.  I would like to see them implement the changes listed above and discuss making the TFW process a path to citizenship.

Benefits of Trade.Comparative and Absolute Advantage. (Video)

We will soon see the content of the Canada-EU trade deal that Harper has been negotiating for years.  From the few details that have been released so far it seems like a very good deal for everyone involved.  While we wait for the complete text of the agreement you can watch my latest video.  The video explains how even though one country might be extremely large compared to the other the concept of comparative advantage allows both countries to benefit from trade.   Enjoy.

Economics, Now in HD

Today launches a new feature. Videos!  Yes, that is correct. I am going to be posting HD videos of me in front of a whiteboard explaining economic topics.  This is all part of the social media upgrade that I have in progress.  Twitter, Google+, YouTube and this site will now all be linked together.  I am sure you are very excited.

The goal of the videos is to present economic topics quickly and clearly so you don’t have to spend an hour watching a lecture if you just want a single concept.

I started with the Prisoner’s Dilemma because it is fairly easy to explain and lends itself well to being demonstrated on my awesome new whiteboard.

As always, I take requests.  If you have a question about economics, send it in.  I will either make a video reply, do a short write up on this site, or both.

Here is the video. Enjoy.