(Larry MacDougal/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
This column originally appeared in The Globe and Mail on April 25, 2013.
His company is just the thing Alberta needs – a local sportswear designer and producer. In an economy dominated by the oil patch, his 50-person manufacturing business seems to bring some welcomed industrial diversity.
But when asked about his intentions for capital investment in the coming year, his answer caused my jaw to drop: “Well, that depends on where oil prices go.”
This column originally appeared in The Globe and Mail on April 10, 2013.
It has been said that the early bird gets the worm. While that may be true for birds, rodents know that the second mouse gets the cheese. Be it out of wisdom or simple laziness, sometimes it pays to be late to the game. Occasionally sitting back and letting the situation unfold is a better plan than immediate action.
It’s called playing it safe – and in 2013, a lot of companies are happy doing just that.
Anyone who has studied economic theory will recall the three factors of production – land, labour and capital. All commerce is based on some combination of these three, or so we have been taught.
Yet there exists a fourth factor of production: risk. Without it, the economy is not possible. Land, labour and capital will never spontaneously combine on their own without some brave entrepreneurs testing their ideas.
(Todd Korol For The Globe and Mail)
This column originally appeared in The Globe and Mail on March 27, 2013.
In this age of fiscal restraint, one of the easiest targets for spending cuts is the arts. While our politicians do all the dirty work, voters are largely to blame because most of us don’t make too much fuss about it. Given the choice between a cultural centre or more hip replacements, it’s usually not a contest.
But economically, we’re making a mistake. There are several reasons why investing in culture is an economic imperative.
The first is that culture – including both arts and amateur sports – can mitigate the ups and downs of other industries. More diversity is healthy for any economy. Artists and athletes pay taxes, and their spending causes a multiplier effect throughout the economy. This is the argument offered by culture advocates, especially when justifying tax-dollar support.