Homies

That’s Winston. He’s a border collie, raised, bred-in-the-bone and trained to herd sheep. But, of course, now he works from home. Via Zoom. Full pay, plus an employer-matched RRSP. It’s all good. And, like most workers under the age of 34 (Winston is four) he’s in no hurry to get back to the pasture and have the boss whistle commands. It’s the new normal, he insists. Just text me.

WFH may be forever. Or it may be the Beanie Baby of our times. But it’s weird.

My corporate colleagues went home in mid-March when the soaring Bay Street tower where they toil shut down amid the first Covid onslaught. They’re still at home. (Meanwhile my immediate co-workers and employees have been at their desks in the wee-bank-by-the-sea since the end of April. Actually I had a few chains installed. Just for effect. There’s also a vault…)

The vaccine will rout the virus at some point, likely in the second half of 2021. Then WFH – which affected up to 40% of the workforce – will pose a serious dilemma for many whose overlords expect them to come back to the office – at least on a rotational basis to start. Lots of urban employees moved to the burbs and beyond as nesting and isolation became their goals. They never thought about commuting since, you know, WFH was forever. Soon they may have to spend hours on the road, move back to urbanity or ferret out another job.

The folks who believe the downtown spires will stay vacant are delusional. The same can be said of those who don’t see cascading condo values as a potential opportunity. Once restaurants, students, immigrants, business travelers, office serfs and tourists return, everything changes.

In the meantime, we’re at the end of 2020 and millions have been ‘working’ remotely without pants for up to nine months. They’ve logged on through their own Internet connections, bought their own highlighters and post-it notes and used their own laptops, printers, scanners and cells. And while many WFHers have saved a bundle not driving to work, not bothering to dryclean their clothes or maybe not paying a dog-walker or day care provider, they think these work-related expenses should bring compensation.

There are two ways of doing this.

First, Mr. Socks is no dummy. He won the adulation of the unemployed with tens of billions in direct CERB payments. Now he’s out to win WFH hearts as well, with an instant tax break. Called the Simplified Temporary Flat Rate Method, it lets you claim two bucks for each day worked remotely over at least a four week period. The allowable total is $400 for 2020, yielding a tax reduction of about $100 for most people. The best part – no receipts required.

The more serious and detailed way of dealing with expenses – and a lot more of them – is to get your employer to issue a T2200 form. It declares you were required to work in your jammies in the spare room in order to earn income. This is a normal thing for commissioned employees who usually incur a raft of personal expenses and whose compensation is variable and performance-oriented. It’s less common for salaried folks, but 2020 hasn’t been a common year.

Here’s part of my my 2019 T2200…

You might, like me, decide to buy a former Bank of Montreal branch and hire assistants – in which case building costs are legitimate expenses – or you can work from home and deduct residential costs from your taxable income. (The CRA has just published a new, short Covid version of the form. Here it is.) Allowable deductions include a pro-rated portion (usually based on square footage) of electricity charges, monthly rent, repairs plus office and computer supplies. Not included would be property tax, insurance, renos, mortgage payments or furniture.

And now a few words from a blog dog with decades of experience in the HR business.

“I’ve spent a career in human resources,” she says. “When someone starts working from home, their homeplace suddenly became a workplace, and unbeknown to many employees or employers, the employer must still accept the liability should the employee become injured while on the job.”

A lot of workplace comp claims are related to ergonomics.  Back pain from lousy chairs, carpel tunnel from keyboarding, tripping in the icy parking lot.  Little stuff, but costly stuff.

When we had an employee assigned to work from home, we used to send the Health and Safety Officer in to inspect where in the home they’d be working.  We’d often buy furniture to set up an ergonomically sound workstation.  We also told them they were not allowed to do laundry, cook, run errands or generally putter about the house during work hours, because if they tripped on the basement steps while hauling a load of laundry up from the basement, or slipped in their driveway while they were shovelling snow, or hurt themselves doing anything domestic, when instead they should have been working, then we as an employer would be liable for the accident if we couldn’t prove the employee was doing laundry, cleaning the driveway or baking a pie.

I’ll bet money that just about every employer that currently has employees working from home, has not conducted any due diligence when assigning those employees to WFH.  And I can assure you that if you’ve been working from home, hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table while sitting on a crappy stool from Home Depot for the last 10 months, then you’re a WSIB back or carpel tunnel or neck strain or chronic pain or fibromyalgia claim just waiting to be processed.

So there ya go, WFH dudes. Tell the boss to fork over that executed T2200 Covid form so you can deduct all expenses, or you might fall off your chair while Googling, ‘how to file a workers comp claim’.

Hey, is it 2021 yet?

119 comments ↓

#1 islander on 12.26.20 at 2:54 pm

Keepin’ us on our toes – as always!
Thanks Garth -stay safe and warm.

#2 TurnerNation on 12.26.20 at 2:57 pm

For my handful (~6? lol) fans:

All fun and joy is banned in the New System Comrade. Work only and buying essential items locally (else: Amazon). For your health! (They want us at home and afraid. NEW DOUBLE MUTANT strain coming, any day now.)

No fun, no arts, no lights. Still think this is about a virus? All those shuttered theatres and performance venues and stages will be bulldozed for UN-approved “Micro apartments” I am betting. Evidence is that ON never halted new kando construction all this time. The show must go on.

– Ontario bans Christmas lights drive thrus- News Links (toronto.ctvnews.ca)

– A ‘Great Cultural Depression’ Looms for Legions of Unemployed Performers (nytimes.com)


— By the way Instagram’s new terms of service (owned by FB so consider these as same-same) gives them access your devices entire collection of contacts, text messages & history; all photos and real-time camera and mic stream; all internet site activity; and more. You will be prevented from the posting of “innaccurate information too”
Actually from my personal experiences this is not new behavior; only now, they are stating it. Facebook has employed facial rec for almost a decade now.

Social credit score anyone? I’ve stated on there for years now that these global tech companies were created to rule our lives and via A.I. No human will be banning your IG post; all via the Algos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhSX7IzHkrE&feature=emb_title

#3 Flop... on 12.26.20 at 3:03 pm

My wife works for the school board.

During her time working from home she was told not to leave the house during the work day and one of the reasons the board wanted them back in the classroom as soon as possible was because of injury liability.

I heard reports of employees walking dogs during lunch breaks, which they obviously didn’t want.

I vaguely remember one lady burning or scolding herself at home.

Multitasking?

Dunno, same result.

2020 was too hot to handle…

M46BC

#4 Dr. Bob on 12.26.20 at 3:04 pm

WFH……Definitely the Beanie Baby of 2020. Back to the grind for you……..

#5 Habitt on 12.26.20 at 3:07 pm

Will respect sir. It’s what you want fezywinkle. Not likely what will happen. Just saying eh.

#6 Dolce Vita on 12.26.20 at 3:15 pm

Dear Overlord:

If you manage like you write, well, it would be WELL worth coming in to work in the physical to see you as opposed to my current and preferred metaphysical.

-WFH’er

——————

What a BIG SOFTIE you are Garth.

So he outlines all the perils and pitfalls of WFH, waxes and pines about the good old days, gets a WFH epitaph from a LAWYER/HR person to frighten the starch out of any budding WFH’er AND so then what does he do after?

He gives them tax advice about how to do it properly.

You’re a good man My Liege. You really are.

#7 mitzerboyakaQueencitykidd on 12.26.20 at 3:20 pm

Dogs are great
beers r good
people have become covid-crazies

#8 MF on 12.26.20 at 3:22 pm

#4 Dr. Bob on 12.26.20 at 3:04 pm
WFH……Definitely the Beanie Baby of 2020. Back to the grind for you

-WFH has been around for decades already. The pandemic just accelerated it.

Did Beanie Babies stay around for 20 years? Did they accelerate after 20 years? Nope.

And btw, many people who WFH get more done, not less. If someone doesnt work hard at home that is their problem, not the fact they are home.

MF

#9 Carolin on 12.26.20 at 3:23 pm

I worked from home for a large corporation for many years. Claimed based on square footage for my home office. Keep records. I was audited and had to provide photocopies of all the expenses that I claimed. That is if you go the T2200 route. The worry was if something was caught would I have to go through an audit for other years. It was alot of work just dealing with the one audit.

#10 Howard on 12.26.20 at 3:25 pm

Topical to today’s post:

Inventory Soars As Companies Dump Record Volume Of Office Space

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/companies-dump-office-space-inventory-swells

#11 Prince Polo on 12.26.20 at 3:36 pm

My employer refused to sign the T2200S, while at the same time, pointing me to the $400 deduction. I asked them to reconsider because itemizing all of the allowable costs is more lucrative (like 1 or 2 more bottles of scotch in my pantry if Garth ever comes-a-calling). Is there anything in the tax code that requires an employer to sign the T2200S form for WFH’ers that request it?

No. Employer’s discretion. Give him the scotch. – Garth

#12 JimW on 12.26.20 at 3:43 pm

How will all this WFH play out in taxes when the home is sold? I recall you wrote sometime ago home office space is no longer part of tax free capital gains on a home sale.

Zero impact. – Garth

#13 Dolce Vita on 12.26.20 at 3:43 pm

One thing for sure is if the WFH phenom catches on DRESS attire manufacturers (from the navel down) are going to take a big hit in revenue, save pajama and comfy womfy sock and footwear manufacturers (the latter is where I would put my money).

I think employers should have an additional webcam that captures a WFH’er SIDE VIEW, head to toes.

Now of course the Anti-Voyeur people will not like that but if I were a fancy dress attire manufacturer I would certainly push for that additional WFH requirement.

—————–

I liked what the HR person wrote about WFH. Prescient, erudite to me. An eye opener that redefines a workspace in the home and the liabilities that can result from it.

2021 is going to be a brave new world Garth. If true Canada will see thru herd immunity in the last half of Q2 (I think that is optimistic) but for arguments sake let’s say that’s true will you then have had ONE YEAR’s worth of WFH practices by that type of employee.

If they like it, it’s going to be a tough sell by employers to get them to haul butt back to the office especially if many have relocated to the ‘burbs or the forest primeval.

Hard to say what will happen.

Old habits die hard.

Will 1 year of WFH be an old habit? I don’t know if anybody really knows?

Can’t wait to see how it turn out Post-Covid but if anything Gov Canada seems to think that WFH is a given, an old habit already and has a matter of fact deduction for it already in place.

Yup, just another COVID-19 day on Planet Earth.

#14 Rainman on 12.26.20 at 3:51 pm

The government is tracking so they can put a capital gains tax on your house when you sell. Well for the amount of SF you claim anyhow. Sneaky…

#15 Freedom First on 12.26.20 at 3:53 pm

#2 TurnerNation

The truth is becoming more and more censored, or ridiculed. I am one of your appreciative fans of your tenacity to keep revealing the truth, despite the wrath you incur.

Freedom First

#16 Dolce Vita on 12.26.20 at 4:21 pm

Europa VIRUS PORN

1. Europa MSM falling over themselves to report the number of “UK Strain” new cases in their country (headline news and I prefer H501Y as the name then again, I’m a Virus Med fanboy).

-To Wit, misery does indeed love company and #plagueIsland taking it well on the chin but with a stiff upper lip. After all they got their BREXIT agreement and Lufthansa food airlifts to London from Deutschland continue (reverse Berlin airlift).

2. EU fangirl Ursula von der Leyen did not get her “Today Europe Vaccinates” day, latest Europa MSM news is: that will probably occur over 3 days (if not more for less prepared EU countries). Meanwhile her best laid OFFICIAL EU VAX DAY plan put asunder and the delayed EMA approval has undoubtedly cost 1,000’s of European lives.

-EU country fanfare photo op vaccine vans escorted by Police in the MSM yesterday. Which is utter HORSE MANURE (in Italia and I suspect other EU countries as well) since it was leaked by La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera and my own local yokel Messaggero Veneto TWO WEEKS AGO Pfizer vaccine doses already in place and in Italia:

Lombardia (Milano et. al.) = +305,000
Lazio (Roma et. al) = 180,601
FVG (my region) = +50,000

Since the EU prorates doses based on population, take the above 3 Regional quantities, factor for the population of Italia and you have Italia sitting on this many Pfizer doses for the past TWO WEEKS:

1.83 million.

Makes my blood boil.

————————

Gov’s Canada as I have said during Covid have been 1 step back, 2 forward, horseshoes up their collective derrières BUT Canadians are being VACCINATED AS I TYPE and have been for almost a couple of weeks. Italia and Deutschland have their PHOTO OP first vaccinations tomorrow. Nothing from France, Spain etc. as of this morning.

Be grateful there Kanuckistan Free Range Herd for where you live.

Be grateful Canada for Gov’s that care more about your well being than some STUPID PHOTO OP, Adeste Fideles VAX DAY where Ursula von del Leyen can dress up snappy for the subsequent EU cocktail party afterwards.

Yes indeed Canada, be GRATEFUL.

#17 KNOW IT ALL on 12.26.20 at 4:24 pm

I’ll be sure to ask him for that form on Tuesday.

WSIB…..I’ll just have to be honest – You know, like our Government.

#18 Jake on 12.26.20 at 4:48 pm

How times have changed. I started my career in my basement back in the early 90’s. When prospective clients learned about where my office was, I was viewed as either unsuccessful, untrustworthy or both.

Eventually, I “graduated” from home to my own office where I operated for over 20 years. While commuting was sometimes a drag, I preferred the mental and physical separation between home and work.

If I was starting out today and had to choose again, I would still prefer an office away from home.

#19 Jesustin Christrudeau on 12.26.20 at 4:48 pm

Good Afternoon Garth,

We Are Pleased That You And Your Beloveds Are Celebrating Our Birthdays.

Please Refrain From Using The Term “Mr. Socks” As It Is Disrespectful And Not Worthy Of I, We Or Thou.

Happy Holidays To All. Remember Your Lords.

#20 baloney Sandwitch on 12.26.20 at 4:50 pm

Garth, Just a guess but I get the feeling you don’t like WFHomers.

#21 S.Bby on 12.26.20 at 4:56 pm

I used to get my coffee for free in the office but now that I WFH I buy my own coffee so that $400 will help pay for my coffee. What a great country Canada is!

#22 Prince Polo on 12.26.20 at 4:59 pm

Duly noted. Thanks!

Just heard about this custom indexing thing:
https://thereformedbroker.com/2020/12/25/custom-indexing-is-a-tidal-wave-coming-at-the-investment-business/

Do you think custom indexing is a viable idea for the Canadian market?

#23 devore on 12.26.20 at 5:03 pm

#21 Nonplused

All arguments against wealth inheritance are just variations of “eat the rich”, so no, it’s always about jelausy. If the current system sucks, all the other ones suck even more.

#24 AACI Homedog on 12.26.20 at 5:04 pm

And don’t 80% of accidents happen in the home ?
Thanks, Garth, and merry Christmas.

#25 devore on 12.26.20 at 5:07 pm

Also, yesterday’s Helen Kelller quote is wonderful, but I have a feeling it is to be applied selectively. As soon as there is real danger, it’s all about risk off; only paper risks are allowed to be tolerated by the plebs.

#26 As Is Old Man on 12.26.20 at 5:08 pm

Real estate forecast for various markets in Canada – cites data from multiple sources:

https://www.mortgagesandbox.com

Here’s a direct link for Ottawa:

https://www.mortgagesandbox.com/ottawa-real-estate-forecast

#27 Dolce Vita on 12.26.20 at 5:20 pm

RE: Europa VIRUS PORN (Homies, somethings never change in Europa)

This today posted by a very talented Financial Markets reporter (that I obv follow and like very much, a formidable mind) for German Die Welt:

https://i.imgur.com/gMyHRSa.png

Basically he says:

WTF, Italia is doing better at locking down than Germany…how can that be?

To which I replied (your standard Italian response to the Deutschers):

Yes, yes, I know to the German mind this makes no sense at all but, it is what it is. You will get better to Deutschland & be allowed into Italia to do what you do best, nude sunbathe on our beaches and wear white socks with sandals, Dio Mio.

All the best Germania, ciao d'(mask emoji, sunglasses emoji, Italian flag emoji)

Well…

Apparently not the only Italian that follows gifted Olaf. A fellow Italiano Tweeted to my Tweet this (also about the Deutschers vacationing in Italia):

“Ha dimenticato il vizio di bere cappuccini a tutte le ore.”

Google translate it, hilarious if you are Italian or a conscente of our ways.

Yup, another Covid 19 day in Europa and they still think Italia is useless. Surprise, surprise.

————————–

Thus, COVID-19 Italia Travel Tip to Canada:

Protocol has it you can only (applies to MALES, females you are good to go the whole day and night, just 1 or 2 and NOT as in the case of the Germans) drink a Cappuccino in the MORNING ONLY. If you do like the Germans do, we will look at you as if there is something wrong with you (ya, sorry there don’t know dung from clay STARBUCKS conoscenti, recall Italia invented espresso about 150 years ago and have some experience with it you do not have).

Canadian Males (more than 2 Cappuccino addicted Canadian females) in lieu of Cappuccino for the rest of the day have a:

Doppio Macchiato, if you musty have your frothy heated milk.

And Canada, for the Love of God please STOP wearing those ridiculous Tilley hats in Fashionista Italia.

Leave the packed in your suitcase, please. Wear them later in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, wherever, but NOT in Italia (and Nordics, heed our nude sunbathing wishes).

-There, FWIW. Not that it will make a difference but at least you will know why in Italia you will get strange looks from us.

#28 Dave on 12.26.20 at 5:21 pm

Mainly just the ol dinosaurs against WFH… time keeps ticking, a permanent shift is inevitable. Technology has come too far and people are realizing just how enriching more time available can be… more genuine living vs a forced regime. Time is finite, dinosaurs will be extinct soon.

#29 Gg on 12.26.20 at 5:21 pm

Garth
The history of coronavirus vaccination in animals is not good. They do not maintain long term immunity
The history of humans and coronavirus infections is not good. We keep getting the same colds every year
If you consider the vaccine may only offer 9 months of protection and 50% of population is anti vaxxers then you can see we have a problem
Perhaps T2 should look at the long game. A multi year pandemic and stop gushing cash from every orfice

#30 Gg on 12.26.20 at 5:24 pm

I’m considering the capital gains tax in China. 20% only
Will Covid (from China) cause the now heavily indebted western governments to have a higher capital gains tax than a communist country?
Who is the communist country now ?

#31 Linda on 12.26.20 at 5:38 pm

An excellent post as always, but predict a surge in WCB claims coming down the pike. Those individuals who like to game the system are doubtless plotting how best to leverage this information to their advantage.

#32 the Jaguar on 12.26.20 at 5:39 pm

“WFH may be forever. Or it may be the Beanie Baby of our times. But it’s weird.”-GT

Jaguar agrees. Hybrid makes a little more sense, such as three days in the office and two at home. Naturally all the slackers will want Monday and Friday in their jammies. Don’t see how it improves public transit coffers much, buy maybe the fares will get jacked. Maybe monthly internet costs will get jacked. Wouldn’t it be interesting to be a fly on the wall of the C -suites these days as they mull it all over.

Sure there are cost savings from an office space perspective. But mentoring, ability to train new colleagues, and creativity all suffer. Studies show productivity is also reduced after time. The constant technological hiccups and interruptions for large numbers of staff on various VPN’s, etc., can be a nightmare. Just ask the remote techies who support them. You need a new army just to keep it all going each day, and dog knows what a brown out or electrical grid failure would do to the blood pressure of CEO’s if it happened. ( Hey Mills, where were you on August 14th, 2003?).
Reminds me of that scene in Clint Eastwood’s film ‘Mule’ where he pulls over in a remote area to help two young’uns change a tire as they desperately try to catch an internet signal on their cell phone to show them how to do it. Mercy.

As for the stats on the great flight from inner cities, I think they need a little more analysis. Suburbs are one thing, that’s not new. But a move to small town/rural is different and better be well thought out. In time there will be data that explains who got out of Dodge and why. “Escape from the GTA or GVA” may be a movie one day, and it might have less to do with Covid or the trends that transpired it, than anyone thinks.
I suspect something more sinister or clever.
The art of self containment, contentment, less is more, and especially being far from the brutes….that’s a clue.

Penny Henny, I only have that one cocktail recipe which has great sentimental value. I am no mixologist.

#33 Andrewski on 12.26.20 at 5:49 pm

Re: #3 Flop, scold or scald, because I’d scold myself if I scald myself.

#34 jal on 12.26.20 at 5:57 pm

“Soon they may have to spend hours on the road, move back to urbanity or ferret out another job.”
—-
Also, they may use their new RV as a working base.

#35 Habitt on 12.26.20 at 6:00 pm

Our host and guest bloggers don’t like WFH. Must have skin in the game. The advantages for employers and employees is HUGE. Obviously. Ignore it at your peril. No good case against it has been made here. That’s what happens when you have skin in the game. Blinders eh

#36 Toronto_CA on 12.26.20 at 6:01 pm

Well, at least the message is changing from “WFH isn’t going to last” to “no one knows what is going to happen”.

Lots of Future of Work committees in play at the moment across major corporations/firms and they are almost unanimously envisioning a hybrid model where WFH is more common than WFOffice, probably 1-2 days in office a week and 3-4 days at home.

With of course a few outliers who will WFOffice 5 days a week and a few more outliers who will only come into the office once a fortnight.

Waivers will be signed to absolve companies of responsibilities for liability or “virtual risk assessments” done with webcams and the like to ensure the home office space is not dangerous to the employee. Employment will adapt. The virus has just moved us to the future. The might office towers may not be empty, but they will not be as full as they were.

An interesting point is that the people in position to make decisions about the Future of Work are usually well paid, middle aged + Gen X or late Boomers who have ample living space and not in a hurry to join the masses. While the people with cramped working space, no gardens or yards or the like are inner city millenials.

#37 Sunny South on 12.26.20 at 6:05 pm

“Oooh, oooh , Mr. Kotter, pick me, pick me.”
Sorry Mr. T., breaking my own rule for the fourth time solely for informational purposes re: WSIB.
Strongly recommend reviewing WSIB legislation and operational policies related to claim eligibility before considering filing a claim, especially for the last two conditions (www.wsib.on.ca). May save them time and ink. Sadly, the Government Services Act prohibits me from providing any further info. Stay safe all.

#38 Trudeau’s Magic Money Machine on 12.26.20 at 6:08 pm

So you’re saying the vaccine will be mandatory in order for people to return to their workplace which they don’t want to go back to because they were working from home. But now their employers won’t let them work from home because it’s a liability issue and will demand they get the vaccine and come in to work.

Gonna be messy.

#39 John Calhoun on 12.26.20 at 6:08 pm

Justin will increase the number of newcomers to fill the gap of the empty DT Toronto office towers. Toronto will become the Mouse Utopist experiment in a few years.

With deepest respect,
John Calhoun

#40 N on 12.26.20 at 6:17 pm

Evictions were suspended until late summer and the Landlord and Tenant Board is now working through a backlog of cases that observers say predated the pandemic, and has grown this year as more people lose income.

Tribunals Ontario doesn’t keep track of evictions, but according to ACTO, the board heard more than 7,000 cases in November. Ninety-six per cent of those were filed by a landlord against a tenant, the ACTO said. As of Dec. 14, 4,597 hearings were scheduled for the month.

“These people are being shown no mercy,” Kenn Hale with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario said in a recent interview. “They’re expected to pay and pay now or get out.”
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/people-are-being-shown-no-mercy-online-evictions-raise-alarm-in-ontario

#41 T on 12.26.20 at 6:19 pm

#8 MF on 12.26.20 at 3:22 pm
#4 Dr. Bob on 12.26.20 at 3:04 pm
WFH……Definitely the Beanie Baby of 2020. Back to the grind for you

-WFH has been around for decades already. The pandemic just accelerated it.

Did Beanie Babies stay around for 20 years? Did they accelerate after 20 years? Nope.

And btw, many people who WFH get more done, not less. If someone doesnt work hard at home that is their problem, not the fact they are home.

MF

————

Many people but certainly not most people. Most are less productive and less engaged. There have been many studies over the past year proving this.

Initially there was a small productivity boost in certain roles as current projects were wrapped up. Any net new projects have suffered with the fractured workforce. There are so many variables at play from distractions at home to technology challenges. Even the big technology players aren’t able to successfully navigate everything and are looking forward to having everyone back in the office environment full time. There’s a lot of catching up to do.

#42 cuke and tomato picker on 12.26.20 at 6:20 pm

Yes Dolce Vita I am very happy to live in Canada. I feel our Prime Minister and his team have done a good job as well as Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix here in BC. We have lived on south Vancouver Island for 15 years prior to living here we lived in the South Okanagan for our working life. We enjoy this blog as well as the comments .
Everybody keep up the good work. THANK YOU ALL.

#43 TurnerNation on 12.26.20 at 6:35 pm

When I say this is about control over our Feeding, Breeding and Movements/Travel let me give it concretely:

– A 20-year old today has lost 1 year of their lives, that is 5% gone over this shutdown nonsense. Their prime years for growth.
People pointed out that the who “Stay within your own household” stasi rule excludes meeting/dating people – who are in other households. Now no sane person would listen to this but the kids are impressionable. This means no breeding!
You thought a Once Child Policy was bad how about Zero Child.

— From the You are “Free to Leave at any Time” dept. We do not have the intercity Bus service nor trains here so…soon to become trapped in our UN-Smart Cities. Everything in the “news” is predictive programming and it is the same thing planned worldwide. They do not want us driving and free!! Electric cars are pricey and have not the range for roadtrips.

(This is the global rollout of the New System but all couched in gender/climate policy. You watch it will be non stop going forward)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/swedensnow-clearing-gender-ottawa-1.4500636

Stockholm and other Swedish municipalities have adopted a “gender equal plowing strategy” that prioritizes sidewalks, bike paths and bus lanes ahead of streets frequented by cars when snow falls.

It’s an attempt to spend more public dollars on women, who are more likely to travel by foot, bicycle or public transportation.
Also, to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by putting emphasis on more environmentally-friendly transportation options.

#44 Kat on 12.26.20 at 6:44 pm

Still no plummet in Vancouver of condos. Definitely more rentals coming up but no major price reduction. We have been looking and it stays steady and no major drops in prices.

#45 Habitt on 12.26.20 at 6:50 pm

#38 T it’s still a free country. You have every right to be wrong. Change is here now. Time to adapt.

#46 East Coast Life Style on 12.26.20 at 6:58 pm

Just gonna leave this here.

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-bank-of-canada-should-be-reinstated-to-its-original-mandated-purposes

#47 Flop... on 12.26.20 at 7:01 pm

#33 Andrewski on 12.26.20 at 5:49 pm
Re: #3 Flop, scold or scald, because I’d scold myself if I scald myself.

/////////////////////////

How do you know she didn’t admonish herself after she burned herself…

M46BC

#48 Chris on 12.26.20 at 7:41 pm

Re the WFH deductions for non-commissioned salary folks – I’ve helped a few co-workers with this and very roughly:
If you are a home owner, the simplified method ($2/day) will be best (smaller % of area reduces the lower $ of deductions)
If you rent a one bed or studio apartment, the detailed method may be best (larger % of area used + get to add rent expenses to the expense pile)
Gets tricker in the middle, but there is definately something to be said for not giving the CRA ammo to come back and review in the future

#49 Flop... on 12.26.20 at 7:41 pm

#44 Kat on 12.26.20 at 6:44 pm
Still no plummet in Vancouver of condos. Definitely more rentals coming up but no major price reduction. We have been looking and it stays steady and no major drops in prices.

//////////////////////////////////

These posts can be controversial…but….well just because I don’t report them anymore, they are still happening everyday.

Pink Snow falling in Vancouver…

#304 1212 Howe St, Vancouver.

1 bed, 1bath, by Vancouver standards quite low on the real estate ladder.

Paid 575k November 2017

Sold last week 490k

I’ll be here if you have any other questions…

M46BC

#50 danny partridge on 12.26.20 at 8:03 pm

Our host and guest bloggers don’t like WFH. Must have skin in the game. The advantages for employers and employees is HUGE. Obviously. Ignore it at your peril. No good case against it has been made here. That’s what happens when you have skin in the game. Blinders eh

—————————————

Sounds as though you “have a skin in the game” son.

#51 Nonplused on 12.26.20 at 8:07 pm

We set my wife’s office up years ago for WFH and it is more ergonomic than her crappy cubicle at work was. She has an uppity-down desk from Ikea (get the electric one the manual one is so hard to raise you will never use it in the standing position), ergonomic keyboard, bouncy ball, and Costco web office chair. (Don’t get the leather ones the finish comes off.) That and a couple large monitors. We paid for most of it with the transit savings for just one year. She has a nice window with a view of the garden rather than being 150 feet from a window overlooking another window across the road. She plays “Just Dance” or takes the dog for a walk at lunch rather than crowding into a gym. Commute time is zero, even if it snows. We are putting so few miles on the car my mechanic emailed me to see if we were ok. Her job is national in scope so being in an office isn’t really necessary, her clients are mostly in different cities anyway.

For some jobs, WFH rules. For others not so much. For example if you are a car or appliance salesman you have to be on the showroom floor. Plumbers and electricians will always have to drive around in their electric cargo vans. But those folks were never occupying an office anyway.

Work from home, I have argued before, is just a continuation of the now decades old war on the office initiated by the personal computer. First they got rid of the secretaries and the typewriters, then the mail boy went away, then they swapped out offices for dehumanizing “open concept” cubicles, then the filing cabinets and file rooms, and now they are getting rid of as many cubicles as they can. It just makes sense to lease as little space as you need to.

I also don’t foresee the same productivity problems with WFH as Garth does. Sure, some folks are gaming the system, but they were probably just hanging round the water cooler when they were WFW. Companies have ways to see if you are actually working without having to peer over you shoulder. First of all they can see if the work is actually getting done. Second, that corporate laptop they sent you home with has more on it than VPN and the software you need. They can tell if the computer is active. All the websites you visit flow through the company servers, regardless that you are using your own wifi to connect. Whatever data entries you are making in the database is being logged. If you are doing telephone support, they know how many cases you handled in a day, and at what time you did it.

Other than not having to wear pants, there is no privacy online, and especially not on the company computer. The people that don’t figure that out will be terminated, not brought back to the office. And no, the jobs will not be going to Mumbai, unless that was in the cards already.

I am told that there are studies out there that indicate the average WFW office worker was only getting about 3 hours of work done a day anyway. The rest of the time is spent socializing, attending useless meetings, loading the printer with paper, reading the news, updating Facebook, and going for coffee. “Wally” (from Dilbert) has always been with us.

#52 Nonplused on 12.26.20 at 8:20 pm

#13 Dolce Vita on 12.26.20 at 3:43 pm

“I liked what the HR person wrote about WFH. Prescient, erudite to me. An eye opener that redefines a workspace in the home and the liabilities that can result from it.”

Pretty easy work-around. I worked on contract for many years and had to carry my own $2,000,000 insurance for not only myself but any damage I might do to the corporate offices either by breaking the computer or burning the whole place down by not putting a cigarette in the proper receptacle. I think it was about $400 a year. And it is hard to find because many insurance companies won’t touch it. But some do.

Companies will simply start making WFHers sign a wavier and carry their own insurance. That means companies no longer have to carry the insurance. Another win for them. If they have to, they will put all the WFHers on contract through their own corporation (something else I also had to do to prove I was not an “employee” and thus not eligible for severance or benefits).

#53 SOMETHINGS UP! on 12.26.20 at 8:22 pm

Hey Garth

Thought you might find this interesting.
I Hope it isn’t true.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/businesses-likely-can-t-force-staff-to-get-covid-vaccine-experts-warn-1.1540979

Nobody can force you to be vaxed. But nobody is forced to employ you, either. Refusing can be grounds for termination. – Garth

#54 OK, Doomer on 12.26.20 at 8:26 pm

It’s amusing that the Mills are so on board with WRH.

Every generation thinks that their parents are idiots, that their generation was the first to discover sex and they invented WFH.

Let’s be serious. If you have a career, rather than just a job, WHF is a disaster. Impossible to make the personal contacts and connections needed to advance.

#55 OK, Doomer on 12.26.20 at 8:28 pm

WFH also makes the use of acronyms more difficult as IJDGAS about spelling anymore.

#56 What about ... on 12.26.20 at 8:30 pm

drug testing the WFHers? They get a buy?

#57 Ross on 12.26.20 at 8:32 pm

I have nothing to say in regards to todays post but this short video is about community health guidelines on outdoor unlawful gatherings in Alberta.
My oldtimers hockey league was terminated in middle of
November unfortunately in my case.
https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/warmington-wild-hockey-brawl-featured-police-stun-gun-handcuffs

#58 Drinking on 12.26.20 at 8:33 pm

#33 Andrewski
There are a few posters here that I really respect and of course my favorite is Garth!

I am not from the west coast; although visited it many times and love it; Andrewski perhaps a little more respect for Flop; this person has always posted actual links and probably saved many for making stupid mistakes. If you think this individual is incorrect then by all means post the links that contradicts Flop (Pink Snow) ideals and allow dawgs to make that decision. Most of us have Flop, respect! ;)

#59 Phylis on 12.26.20 at 8:47 pm

#51 Nonplused on 12.26.20 at 8:07 pm …. The rest of the time is spent socializing, attending useless meetings, loading the printer with paper, reading the news, updating Facebook, and going for coffee. “Wally” (from Dilbert) has always been with us

———
Timely reference, check todays clip. Wally has three full time work from home jobs on the go. Talk about productivity, gotta love the Wallies.

#60 Daveyboy on 12.26.20 at 8:54 pm

I am a house husband, working from home is great!

#61 Rural Rick on 12.26.20 at 9:06 pm

Hah hah, Garth the cowboy boot guy dissing “Mr. Socks”.. Just pissed no one can see his socks.

#62 Doug t on 12.26.20 at 9:48 pm

#43 TurnerNation

AGAIN nailing it down – BRAVO

#63 Doug t on 12.26.20 at 9:55 pm

What if……what if?

What if 2021 doesn’t get us back to “normal”
What if 2021 is the same as 2020 – or worse
What if 2021 keeps dividing us
What if 2021 pits nation against nation

What if ?

#64 joblo on 12.26.20 at 10:15 pm

Justin Trudeau must be genius, GTA only votes for the best and brightest.

Thanks GTA

#65 Breaking News on 12.26.20 at 10:17 pm

COVID-20 just breached Canadian borders. Seems like Ontario was the province of choice.

Just in time for the New Year’s celebrations!

#66 Harry Styles on 12.26.20 at 10:52 pm

DELETED

#67 yvr_lurker on 12.27.20 at 12:41 am

My chair and desk at work was purchased in 1992 when I was first hired. There has been zero funds for upgrading it since then. Not just for me, but purchasing furniture is a one-time event at the start of your career. When someone retires and if they have better stuff than you and you are quick, you get your upgrade then.

As for working from home, my employer does not cover the upgrade to the WIFI to allow for all the zoom links, the purchasing of a scanner needed for my job, the docu-cam for working online, etc….etc… The electricity bill has been much higher than before…. It is only fitting that we get a 400.00 tax discount… this will be the only gov’t money we will have received in 9 months. I will take it.

#68 Nonplused on 12.27.20 at 1:45 am

#52 Dogman01 on 12.26.20 at 12:55 pm (yesterday)

I sense that we are not as far apart on these issues as it might seem.

Certainly Bezos has accumulated a lot of wealth, but he also changed the world. As did Musk. But we don’t know what they plan to do with the wealth just yet other than build their companies. With Gates we know, he is in his own misguided way trying to make a difference. But Microsoft doesn’t really need him anymore.

And I agree with some of the other commenters that intergenerational wealth is a lot more rare than it seems. In the same way as lottery winners so often seem to end in ruins when they should be set for life, it takes a lot of raising those kids up right to make sure they aren’t going to just blow the inheritance. That, if done correctly, equals “merit”. Maybe not as much merit as some other people but it is more than zero.

Sports heroes suffer the same fate. The best of them get 10 years in the limelight, and then they do ads on the radio for car dealerships.

But I do share you observation that our current system does tend to concentrate a lot of wealth in a few hands. But was the system designed to do that in the case of Bill Gates? Or was he just in at the start of something small that snowballed? I mean he did end up with a kind of oligopoly because of file sharing issues and what not, but I don’t know that one could have predicted that when MS Dos came out.

Anyway the government is going to get a 25% cut of all Gates has that he hasn’t given to his charities when he dies. That will be a lot more than you and I pay. That doesn’t count all the taxes he’s been paying along the way.

As for Galen, ya it looks like nepotism. But the taxes will be paid there too. And then Galen will either steward the company well or he will fail.

#69 calgaryPhantom on 12.27.20 at 2:36 am

I have been in technology industry for long enough to remember the WFH apprehensions when it became possible in IT field.
The discussion 15years ago was similar where employers thought: it’s not productive, hard to manage, no team work, in general lots of trust issues.

But overtime all those apprehensions went away with solid processes and a deliverable based approach. For WFH to work effectively, managers need to know how to properly define roles/responsibilities and implement accountability and track deliverables with agreed upon timelines and quality. How and where the employee gets it done then becomes meaningless.

The problems this time is the speed at which this happened to other sectors. Companies that were able to adapt quickly and now have proper processes in place will likely allow WFH where it makes sense. Those who either didn’t or can’t, will switch back to office style.

#70 Glenna Goldberg on 12.27.20 at 5:26 am

DELETED

#71 westcdn on 12.27.20 at 7:44 am

Back in the day I read comic books for entertainment. Spiderman (boy?) was my favorite. I would stand by the rack and read them before buying one – it drove the merchants crazy.

One that I bought was “Magnus, Robot Fighter”.

https://www.bing.com/shop?q=magnus+robot+fighter&FORM=SHOPPA&originIGUID=5916DE40D0C44074B5F566CCFA7EEF8C

I remember “squeee” as he used his karate hands to punch them out. I also liked “Enemy Ace”.

I also got a collection of “Classics Illustrated”. I wish I could could have given them more respect – one of my many regrets.

Too bad I had to grow up through making mistakes.

#72 westcdn on 12.27.20 at 7:54 am

For interest the link for “Classic Illustrated” is

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classics_Illustrated

#73 Another Deckchair on 12.27.20 at 8:25 am

@68 Nonplused:

” But was the system designed to do that in the case of Bill Gates? Or was he just in at the start of something small that snowballed? ”

I remember reading in BYTE magazine a letter from a Bill Gates at Micro Soft admonishing people for copying paper tapes of his Basic interpreter.

I can also remember thinking “what’s he doing? – we are all trying to get these 8-bit micros up and running, openly sharing info, and this guy’s going on about stealing?”

Well, Gates is a billionaire, and I’m not. Was he happier every day of his working life than I was? *Totally* doubt it.

#74 neo on 12.27.20 at 8:27 am

#46 East Coast Life Style on 12.26.20 at 6:58 pm
Just gonna leave this here.

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-bank-of-canada-should-be-reinstated-to-its-original-mandated-purposes

Thanks for this link. Unfortunately, nobody in the media or political spectrum is ever going to touch this topic out of self preservation. That includes Garth but at least he allowed it to be posted.

T2 really picking up where his father left off.

“Build. Back. Better.”

The COMR nuts have been around for several decades and are just as loony now as when the organization was started by an autoworker in Windsor (whom I first gave public notice to). They get no media attention because they deserve none. – Garth

#75 Ordinary Blog Dog on 12.27.20 at 8:58 am

Yep, whenever we had people work (government) from home pre-COVID the HR and security folks were all over Managers for these types of issues that Garth mentions. Could never get WFH people to the same risk level as those working in an office. But long before COVID it seemed the government wanted more people to work from home to reduce the real estate footprint and reduce the associated cost. Manager’s who resisted the WFH initiatives because of productivity concerns and other concerns, were coached to ‘get on board’. So government workers will mostly endorse this new WFH phenomena.

#76 Dharma Bum on 12.27.20 at 9:14 am

“And now a few words from a blog dog with decades of experience in the HR business.” – Garth
——————————————————————–

Hey!

Is that CAROL from HR?

CAROL? Is that you!

Hi honey!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nTpsv9PNqo

#77 maxx on 12.27.20 at 10:03 am

New Canadians who buy urban properties, such as condos, may well end up being far ahead of those who chose to live in the ‘burbs and sticks after this period of strangeness.

We have all witnessed one of the best examples of lemming behaviour, reinforced by others in that sad critical mass.

Look beyond the crowds of lemmings for opportunity.

#78 comicon on 12.27.20 at 10:31 am

#71 westcdn on 12.27.20 at 7:44 am
___________________________

i’ve got some fairly nice copies of 3, 8, 11, 18, 26 and 33. all first editions. plus a bunch of later issues. i loved this title. high grade copies are so hard to find. they all got beat up pretty badly.

#79 yvr2zrh on 12.27.20 at 10:48 am

Really great post and I looked at the form. Seems like people should make sure they take advantage of it. It is so simple that anyone should be able to fill it out.

Funny – here in Zurich, I decided to see what the rules would be – looking for more deductions. However, since our rules already favour heavily deducting your existing employment costs (we can deduct a lot – clothing, commuting and meals while at work), the Zurich authorities basically decided that instead of allowing a deduction for work from home – the would specifically continue to allow the generous deductions you would have had if you were going to work. Makes sense to me!

#80 neo on 12.27.20 at 10:57 am

The COMR nuts have been around for several decades and are just as loony now as when the organization was started by an autoworker in Windsor (whom I first gave public notice to). They get no media attention because they deserve none. – Garth

I’m referring to this…the explosion of exponential debt that ensued, the majority of it interest on top of interest, is self evident.

“In 1974 the Bank for International Settlements (the bank of central bankers) formed the Basel Committee to ostensibly establish global monetary and financial stability. Canada, i.e., the Pierre Trudeau Liberals, joined in the deliberations. The Basel Committee’s solution to the “stagflation” problem of that time was to encourage governments to borrow from private banks, that charged interest, and end the practice of borrowing interest-free from their own publicly owned banks. Their argument was that publicly owned banks inflate the money supply and prices, whereas chartered banks supposedly only recycle pre-existing money. What they purposefully suppressed was that private banks create the money they lend just as public banks do.”

“This was such a fundamental change of policy that it should not only have been debated in parliament, this should have been put to a national referendum. Strangely, even when this became known, this was apparently never questioned by the opposition parties, especially the NDP, and never revealed in the media.”

That 80’s Volker moment never gonna happen now Garth, even at 4% interest rates the entire system would crash much less 20%. Unless the plan is to blow this system up for good and…

“Build. Back. Better”

#81 joblo on 12.27.20 at 11:01 am

Here’s the media ya need ta pay attention ta:
2020 News React TikTok Compilation | Adam Rose

https://youtu.be/8iIlU6k-upM

#82 David Hawke on 12.27.20 at 11:20 am

Wow, you published the drunken rantings of smoking man but limit the insightful posts by TurnerNation, pathetic!

He gets two lengthy posts a day to spew the latest conspiracy drivel. Seems adequate. – Garth

#83 Durango on 12.27.20 at 12:41 pm

Investment question:

Is there a resource that allows me to find out how much contribution room I still have to put $ into my TFSA?

Or must I go back and try to figure out how much was put in each year and see if I cumulatively maxed it out or not?

Anybody know?

#84 Upenuff on 12.27.20 at 12:44 pm

Technology has changed the work world forever

And For all WFH’ers:

Meet George Jetson.
His Boy Elroy.
Daughter Judy.
Jane his wife.

#85 Macduff on 12.27.20 at 1:08 pm

We could give our healthcare personnel a one-time $400 tax break out of appreciation for not missing a day of risk-infused work since March. No, instead let’s reward those who stayed at home.

#86 AGuyInVancouver on 12.27.20 at 1:21 pm

54 OK, Doomer on 12.26.20 at 8:26 pm
It’s amusing that the Mills are so on board with WRH.

Every generation thinks that their parents are idiots, that their generation was the first to discover sex and they invented WFH.

Let’s be serious. If you have a career, rather than just a job, WHF is a disaster. Impossible to make the personal contacts and connections needed to advance.
____
LOL, do you really think Millennials and Gen Z care about gladhanding to advance their careers? They’ve been interacting digitally their whole lives and many would rather have that contact through a screen than a sweaty handshake.

As a shareholder I’d like companies to demonstrate why they feel they really must give millions to commercial landlords each year when it has been shown the economy can function quite well without doing so.

#87 Katherine on 12.27.20 at 1:26 pm

#83 Durango

Go to your CRA account. You can find your RRSP limit as well as your TFSA

#88 S.Bby on 12.27.20 at 1:35 pm

#83 Durango

Be aware that your CRA account does not count the current year’s TFSA contributions; only all prior years. So any contributions made in 2020 will not be counted until 2021 so you need to count 2020 contributions into the total yourself. This was very confusing but they now have a note on the total explaining this.

#89 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.27.20 at 1:38 pm

Three more days until Apocalypse 2020 is due to retire…
Long live Apocalypse 2021 !

How long has Apocalypse been predicting our imminent demise?

5 years? 10?
Skeptical minds wanna know.

#90 Regjeg on 12.27.20 at 3:18 pm

Rosie’s not-so-rosy forecast:

https://financialpost.com/investing/david-rosenberg-sorry-2021-wont-bring-as-much-relief-as-markets-appear-to-be-telling-us

He’s predicted 36 of the last two recessions. – Garth

#91 Russ on 12.27.20 at 3:38 pm

crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.27.20 at 1:38 pm

Three more days until Apocalypse 2020 is due to retire…
Long live Apocalypse 2021 !

How long has Apocalypse been predicting our imminent demise?

5 years? 10?
Skeptical minds wanna know.
====================================

Quiet day for me today.

It looks like Garth encourages people:
https://www.greaterfool.ca/2008/03/09/apocalypse-soon/

Without going into a deep dive, I find this a year later:
https://www.greaterfool.ca/2009/04/08/brothers/#comment-25668

Obviously “Now” never came so we are on the annual routine.

Cheers, R

#92 Regjeg on 12.27.20 at 3:41 pm

Alas, some day his call will be right on the money.

However, as you’ve oft pointed out, Garth, it won’t impact those holding balanced, diversified portfolios.

#93 KLNR on 12.27.20 at 4:18 pm

@#82 David Hawke on 12.27.20 at 11:20 am
Wow, you published the drunken rantings of smoking man but limit the insightful posts by TurnerNation, pathetic!

He gets two lengthy posts a day to spew the latest conspiracy drivel. Seems adequate. – Garth

seriously david, theres far better tinfoil hat sites out there than this one if thats your thing. maybe its time for you and TN to move on to one of them?

#94 Big Tuna on 12.27.20 at 4:21 pm

« Lots of urban employees moved to the burbs»

We don’t know that. I think we overestimate the number of people that actually left the city for the burbs thinking they will never have to commute. You don’t make that kind of important decision in 2 weeks during a pandemic.

It’s been nine months. – Garth

#95 earthboundmisfit on 12.27.20 at 4:26 pm

Nope. He really is a dummy. Just the useful idiot of the LPC braintrust.

#96 Bill on 12.27.20 at 5:23 pm

Rosenburg’s forecasts are a waist of time.

A lot of people that were on the edge of heading to the country and covid was the push that they needed to bail in very liquid market….their not returning.

Turner Nation is not completely off….
Go back 10, 20, 30 years.
No airport body scanners ect.. You can’t do jack shit now as there are so many controls and laws in the nanny state. I need a permit to burn leaves on my large lot. I use to feed massive stumps with my backhoe to a fire that lasted days on my 10 acre commercial RE out of the city limits. I cleared my own land for building. Now in 10 min some a hole has ratted you out. New restrictions regulation and on and on. Big brother has control…

As for Inflation numbers, they are false.
In the manufacture of autos to houses. Everything is made from more and more inferior / on the margin products and prices have still soared over the years.
Houses use to be built with fir joists, beam, trusses and ply wood. Now OSB (chip board), HD hardboard (sawdust board), parallam beams, cedar siding (VS vinyl) and on and on. Plastic fixtures and plumbing today were all brass and copper…Just crap in comparison. That hides true inflation. Build today with the old school products and you would really see what a building cost….
That’s why you see people scavenging wood out of old barns and other buildings.

#97 Jim on 12.27.20 at 5:28 pm

#82 David Hawks,
Agree completely.

#98 Alberta Ed on 12.27.20 at 5:40 pm

I would concede that Socko is bright enough to realize that ethics and integrity are just hindrances to success in the LPC.

#99 Nonplused on 12.27.20 at 6:56 pm

#73 Another Deckchair on 12.27.20 at 8:25 am
@68 Nonplused:

” But was the system designed to do that in the case of Bill Gates? Or was he just in at the start of something small that snowballed? ”

I remember reading in BYTE magazine a letter from a Bill Gates at Micro Soft admonishing people for copying paper tapes of his Basic interpreter.

I can also remember thinking “what’s he doing? – we are all trying to get these 8-bit micros up and running, openly sharing info, and this guy’s going on about stealing?”

Well, Gates is a billionaire, and I’m not. Was he happier every day of his working life than I was? *Totally* doubt it.

——————————

I’m not saying Microsoft has ever been anything but ruthless at defending what they see as their intellectual property. I’m saying he started out small with a couple other folks doing the work themselves to fill a new void that was created as the PC became affordable to many, and that made him rich. Steve Jobs (and that other Steve) built their first computer in a garage. It is rumored that Bezos worked at McDonald’s in his youth.

Steve Jobs turned Apple around after the Pepsi guy nearly ran the company into the ground with his ideas for the iPod (he was frustrated that the MP3 player he was using when jogging didn’t hold many songs so he wanted to cram a hard drive into a larger model).

Contrary to popular belief, Musk didn’t found Tesla, but he certainly made it what it is today.

So yes, there probably is something systemic about the nature of things, and one can certainly point to “old money” when talking about it (Galen being our current whipping boy in these comments) . But how do you get rid of the systemic problems without killing off incentive?

Wealth and inheritance taxes are often floated, even though they are both taxed already. So we must raise the tax rate, it is said, as if there is a magic number.

So what would happen if they raised the inheritance tax to 100%? Will that raise revenues? Not likely, it will just cause many people to retire early. Nobody is going to keep working for the benefit of the state. But then how does an Amazon get built? Or a Microsoft? What happens when all the innovators bail as soon as they have 10 million in the bank (well, in the stock market)? Who buys out and continues to operate their companies?

Wealth taxes are equally problematic because wealth is not money, it generates money, and we already tax that. So to impose a wealth tax on Bezos would mean he has to sell a certain amount of shares every year to pay the tax, or raise prices. But sell to whom? And if all the major shareholders in Amazon including his ex-wife have to sell, what does that do to the share price, which is a notional number in the first place?

Sometimes simple problems do not have simple solutions. The economy is a self optimizing complex system. We mess with it at our peril. Nobody is smart enough to know how the masses will react to a policy change until it is too late. Therefore it isn’t as simple as saying “the poor need more money, and the rich have it, so let’s take it from the rich and give it to the poor”. The rich will head for Gault’s Gulch first chance they get, leaving us without the full benefit of their further contributions.

——————————–

This is also why carbon taxes and solar incentives will also fail to do anything but damage the economy. The economy already knows solar in unsustainable because it is intermittent and the panels have a relatively short lifespan. So incentives and regulations have to be put in place. But then eventually you end up with “brownouts” because it is too windy to run the wind “turbines” as happened in California. Can you imagine once everyone has solar? Brownout every night unless you have batteries and even then there will be weather events that mean you go days without power because the Powerwall is empty and will compete with the house for power for days until it is recharged once the sun comes out. Unless you have a backup generator. Or the grid does.

As 1 or 2 of you might remember, I spent several years working for a major US power company. They built a fancy new “green” office with solar on the roof and in the parking lot (car shades). Even the toilet water came from a nearby swamp and was minimally treated. They had a big fancy huge screen in the lobby showing where the power for the building was coming from and it never got above 50% on the sunniest of days. At night and when raining the number fell to zero. They had 2 huge Cat generators sitting outside incase the grid went down.

A side effect of all of this was that it meant the brand new office building had a resale value of zero, because nobody else was willing to pay for all this green-washing.

——————————

And yes, I think Bill Gates is happy. Even excluding the wealth seeing Microsoft succeed must have been like winning the Super bowl.

#100 NS in Calgary on 12.27.20 at 7:20 pm

#2 TurnerNation

I may not agree with you on many things but I appreciate and read the perspective that you post.

Like #15 Freedom First says, many truths are very well hidden and/or ridiculed when you try to expose them.

#101 Nonplused on 12.27.20 at 7:43 pm

#73 Another Deckchair on 12.27.20 at 8:25 am

Oh and PS, there is still a version of copying tapes out there, called “open source” and “Linux”. They have made inroads, but most equipment sold still comes either Microsoft, Apple, or more and more Android. It turns out that for many people having to program the machine yourself isn’t the best use of your time.

And yes Google does charge for Android. What a great business model! Get other non-employees that you pay nothing to develop it for free and then stick a 10% overcharge on the hardware. Brilliant.

#102 The West on 12.27.20 at 7:50 pm

TurnerNation:

It is obvious to anyone paying attention to what’s going on. Those on the upper echelon’s of the social schematic will be okay for a couple more years.

The social instability that is now hurling towards us is incalcuable. What has happened to our brains, our world and the economy, this year, cannot be understated.

Those living large do not really understand the impact yet. Don’t worry – they will.

We flatter ourselves by thinking we live in epochal times. – Garth

#103 neo on 12.27.20 at 7:55 pm

#94 Big Tuna on 12.27.20 at 4:21 pm
« Lots of urban employees moved to the burbs»

We don’t know that. I think we overestimate the number of people that actually left the city for the burbs thinking they will never have to commute. You don’t make that kind of important decision in 2 weeks during a pandemic.

It’s been nine months. – Garth

People are impulsive. They take less time to put an offer in on a home than on a toaster. These are all emotional decisions in the first place. It’s the reason we are where we are in the first place.

#104 Neo on 12.27.20 at 7:57 pm

#90 Regjeg on 12.27.20 at 3:18 pm
Rosie’s not-so-rosy forecast:

https://financialpost.com/investing/david-rosenberg-sorry-2021-wont-bring-as-much-relief-as-markets-appear-to-be-telling-us

He’s predicted 36 of the last two recessions. – Garth

Rosie needs to retire.

#105 Hilroy on 12.27.20 at 8:09 pm

What about a slip & fall on your property for a work related delivery (Purolator/Amazon etc)? Would home insurance cover it? Would the employer pay for shovels/salt?

#106 Bill on 12.27.20 at 8:21 pm

We are here because we (Mass majority) live way beyond their means and the Gov is the prime example…
Pissing money at the way in boom times and doubling down in bad.
No contingency backup for anything.

#107 WFH or BUST on 12.27.20 at 8:28 pm

Get ready for the boot. Many jobs are gone forever come January. Many offices, stores and restaurants are history.
Get over it.

#108 Dominoes Lining Up on 12.27.20 at 10:59 pm

#107 WFH or BUST

Get ready for the boot. Many jobs are gone forever come January. Many offices, stores and restaurants are history. Get over it.

—————————————————

Yep, nailed it. Sadly, way too many small businesses will have run out of track by January.

Watch also for government jobs. Lots of baby boomers are already seizing this moment to pack their bags, and their positions are not being filled as in normal times. Massive early retirement offers are being prepared right now across the country, at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. These will roll out starting in January. Then, when the financial SHTF big time in 2022 this will become epic. I expect about 30-40% cut in all government jobs by 2023. Sad but true. The debt will have to be addressed in many ways, this is just one of them.

#109 the Jaguar on 12.27.20 at 11:17 pm

I notice this blog is from the 26th. It’s closing in on the 28th in less than 3 hours here. I guess this means a delivery might be happening in a small town on the Nova Scotia coast. An item that requires attention and orientation. I’ll just have to live with my impatience. Wouldn’t be the first time.
Here’s a little musical clip while we all wait. Dwight’s take on an old Hank William’s classic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqMJFWffvjU

#110 SI2K on 12.27.20 at 11:32 pm

It’s interesting to know that Bay Street Dudes could start claiming WSIB for work injuries gig workers (mainly not dudes) have been quietly sustaining for two decades in home offices. Longstanding problems make the news during COVID when a certain class of people suddenly have them. What will this mean in the future for workers injured under precarious working conditions?

How I see it is that white collar workers have all suddenly been made precarious. I almost lean towards Big Corp pushing to make WFH permanent in order to further weaken labour standards.

This perspective comes from working in our university system the past 25 years, where professor ‘no office’ ‘no job’ is now the majority of the teaching force.

#111 Channel Surfer on 12.28.20 at 4:51 am

DELETED

#112 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.28.20 at 8:59 am

@#103 Domino’s
” I expect about 30-40% cut in all government jobs by 2023. ”

++++

Two questions.

Will the average citizen notice the missing govt shirkers?
OR
Could they cut the exorbitant pensions FIRST to save the jobs?

Three….two….one…………

#113 tkid on 12.28.20 at 9:02 am

Some lighter entertainment on this grey Monday:

Duck Tales: Scrooge McDuck and Money
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWTjJZxS64Y

#114 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.28.20 at 9:02 am

“We flatter ourselves by thinking we live in epochal times. – Garth”

++++

I think it’s a direct result of telling everyone “they’re special”.

#115 Do we have all the facts on 12.28.20 at 9:51 am

A number of polls indicate that over 10% of larger companies worldwide are planning to reduce their total office space requirements in 2021. Even if the volume of office space required worldwide was to remain the same the location of this space is certainly under serious review.

At one time the prestige of office space in a downtown tower meant something. Now that most businesses are focussed on the bottom line the rental of space at $40 per square foot or more is being reviewed.

In the recent past every major retailer in North America operated a flagship store in a downtown location. Customers travelled to these central stores to access the widest range of goods at competitive prices. As customers moved to the suburbs major retailers opened stores in regional shopping centres. As customers began focussing on obtaining goods at the lowest price possible the reliance of bricks and mortar stores was replaced by the internet.

My point is that paradigm shifts will occur on a regular basis and the primary driver of these shifts is the quest for additional profit or added convenience. How does renting expensive space in a downtown office tower add to the bottom line. Like it or not paradigm shifts will occur and it seems probable that renting expensive space in large downtown office towers is currently involved in a paradigm shift.

I guess pointing that out makes me delusional.

#116 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.28.20 at 10:05 am

Hmmmm
So the first Doctor in China to speak of the Corona virus was harassed and censored by the Chinese authorities….and when he eventually died of the disease…..became a hero.
Anyone else that spoke of the disease was threatened or jailed.

Now this.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-journalist/china-jails-citizen-journalist-for-four-years-over-wuhan-virus-reporting-idUSKBN2920EI

Does anyone really believe China only had a few thousand dead from Corona 19?

#117 Old Ron on 12.28.20 at 9:50 pm

Not so fast Garth, the Vax only works if you get one.

In 14 days Ontario has given about 14,000 Vaccines. At that rate it will take 78 YEARS for every one in Ontario to get both shots.

Let’s assume that only 60% of the population gets the VAX. That is still is 8,700,000 people x 2 shots each.

To give 60% of the population both needles in 1 year from today we will need to give 47,671 needles every single day.

Anyone who thinks that the Ford Gov is capable of that kind of organisation is seriously delusional. Hence, anyone who is making any decisions or investments based on us being virus free is on thin ice.

#118 Buford Wilson on 12.29.20 at 12:13 am

Is dat what they call a v shape recovery in the markets?

#119 mousey on 12.29.20 at 12:41 pm

#84 – You forgot the Jetson’s dog, Astro.