thwong


Thaddeus Hwong

Photo of Thaddeus Hwong

School of Administrative Studies
School of Public Policy and Administration

Associate Professor

Office: McLaughlin College, 232
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext: 20537
Email: thwong@yorku.ca
Primary website: http://www.twitter.com/policyquests

Media Requests Welcome
Accepting New Graduate Students


Think about the Orwellian political economy of our unjust world in which alternative facts reign supreme. Think about the post-truth prevalence of trickle-down economics that does more harm than good. Think about the wilful blindness of meritocracy the free marketers are selling you without even a hint of irony given all the misuses and abuses of metrics: leave-no-one-behind will enslave you, but everyone-for-oneself will set you free. Is this world the best of all possible worlds? With trepidation and humility, I explore the fiscal policy aspirations for the financing of a more just world for all.

More...

Think about the dopamine-inducing love of Reality TV in the context of the endorphin-depleting doubts of shared prosperity and the cortisol-triggering fear of distributive justice. Think about the delusional denials of the existential threats of poverty, income inequality, wealth inequality, political inequality and plutocracy. Think about the underwhelmed framing of the mountain of empirical evidence showing that the rich get richer but the poor get slaughtered. Think about the democracy-touting refrains of every politician in every campaign, yet think about the cliché: money is the mother's milk in politics. Think about the power-does-what-power-does Social Darwinian zeitgeist: the winners take all.

Think twice. Think hard. Think smart. Is that all there is?

Perhaps I am overly optimistic, but I still hope we will at least try to solve some of the political, economic and social problems we face by doing the right thing. If we don't want our lives to be dominated by those with ginormous market power, and if we don't want to be held hostage in a grim subsistence in which those who are less lucky are left behind, we would need to fight for more progressivity with more resolve.

I aspire to make creative use of our collective understanding of progressive taxation and public expenditures to argue for redistributive design in public policy responses to challenges arising from income and wealth inequalities. Through my very modest pursuit of a deeper understanding of redistribution, I strive to advance our knowledge of who we are as a society and who we aspire to be as a people.

Redistribution is not only about societal resources but also about power and influence. The affluence who reap the most benefits from our society should pay for what the society has given them. Public policy making should not be of the affluence, for the affluence and by the affluence. With more redistribution, genuine shared governance of our democracy could have a fighting chance, and a better tomorrow may be in sight.

As my very modest attempt to make a contribution to public discourse in this age of disinformation, I explore the battle of ideas policy advocates wage on the costs and benefits of progressive taxation and public expenditures, the political commitment people are willing to make to level the playing field between the Haves and Have-nots and the policy options citizens can consider to hold the plutocrats, the oligarchs and the rest of the power elite accountable to democratic ideals.

Degrees

PhD, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
MS, Columbia Journalism School, Columbia University
BA, Economics, York University

Research Interests

, Redistribution through progressive taxation

Current Research Projects

Costs and Benefits of Taxation

    Summary:

    Comparison of social and economic policy outcomes between high-tax and low-tax countries.

    Description:

    Exploration of cross-country data.

    See more
    Role: Co-investigator

    Collaborator: Professor Emeritus Neil Brooks
    Collaborator Institution: Osgoode Hall Law School
    Collaborator Role: Principal investigator

Redistribution in Civil Society

    Summary:

    Quests to advance redistributive policies in upside-down world where bombastic stupidity won & basic decency lost.

    Description:

    Exploration of cross-country data.

    See more
    Role: Principal investigator

Transfer pricing in China and India

    Summary:

    Analysis of tax norm transplantation to China and India from the West in the context of transfer pricing.

    See more
    Role: Co-investigator

    Collaborator: Professor Jinyan Li
    Collaborator Institution: Osgoode Hall Law School
    Collaborator Role: Principal investigator

Anti-Tax Avoidance Doctrines And General Anti-Tax-Avoidance Rules: Theory And Empirical Evidence

    Summary:

    Comparative analysis of anti-tax avoidance laws and judicial decision making in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    See more
    Role: Co-investigator

    Collaborator: Professors Tim Edgar and Jinyan Li
    Collaborator Institution: Osgoode Hall Law School
    Collaborator Role: Principal investigators

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

With Brooks, Neil. (2017) Personal Tax Expenditures in the Canadian Income Tax Act – The First 100 Years. In Jinyan Li, J. Scott Wilkie, and Larry E. Chapman (Eds.), Income Tax at 100 Years. Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation.

2017

(2013) Tax Levels, Tax Mixes and Income Redistribution in Canada and Selected OECD Countries Since Carter. In Kim Brooks (Ed.) The Quest for Tax Reform Continues: The Royal Commission on Taxation Fifty Years Later. Toronto: Carswell.

2013

(2011) The Distributional Effects of Making Personal Income Tax Credits Refundable. In Lisa Philipps, Neil Brooks, and Jinyan Li (Eds.), Tax Expenditures: State of the Art. Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation.

2011

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

With Li, Jinyan. (2013) . GAAR in Action: An Empirical Exploration of Tax Court of Canada Cases (1997-2009) and Judicial Decision Making. Canadian Tax Journal, 61(2), 321-366.

2013

With Brooks, Neil. (2010) . Tax Ratios, Tax Mixes, and Tax Reforms: Convergence and Persistence.Theoretical Inquires in Law, 11(2), 791-821.

2010

(2009) . A Quantitative Exploration of Judicial Decision Making in Supreme Court of Canada in Income Tax Cases in 1920-2003. Manitoba Law Journal, 33(1), 150-196.

2009

With Hanlon, Dean. (2008) . The Effect of External Advisors on the GST Compliance Costs of Businesses in Australia.Asia-Pacific Journal of Taxation, 12(2), 93-108.

2008

(2004) . A Review of Quantitative Studies of Decision Making in the Supreme Court of Canada. Manitoba Law Journal, 30(3), 353-382.

2004

Professional Journal Articles

Publication
Year

(Aug. 13, 2018) The Public’s Fickle Opinion About More Tax Cuts. Tax Notes, 975-981.

2018

With Mellor, Peter, & Krever, Richard. (2012) . Tax Treaty Trends in Central Asian Former Soviet Nations. Bulletin for International Taxation, 66 (10), 541-552.

2012

(March 2, 2009) . How Canada's Flat Tax Debate Played in the Press: A Case Study. Tax Notes International, 767-775.

2009

Research Reports

Publication
Year

With Brooks, Neil. (2006) . The Social Benefits and Economic Costs of Taxation: A Comparison of High- and Low-tax Countries. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Retrieved from http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_Pubs/2006/Benefits_and_Costs_of_Taxation.pdf.

2006

Approach to Teaching


Maybe I am not realistic, but I still believe education is supposed to enlighten, not to indoctrinate to conform. Tackling our myopia of false necessity is a starting point to make the world better for all. Questioning the status quo is our responsibility, and asking ourselves whether we can do better for all of us is our obligation. Does it have to be this way? What do we want to do about it? What could we do about it given what we know?

Realistically, raising that line of questions is subversive even in our publicly funded classrooms. In our society, many see university studies only as a vending machine for diplomas so university graduates can go get a job, not as a catalyst for lifelong learning so university graduates can design their professional and personal lives. Students face mounting pressure from everywhere for individual "success," often in terms of money, not contributions to civil society.

Coping with the grim reality, I try to hang onto any glimmer of hope, more likely out of desperation than anything else, that education can still change lives for the better for all. If students want, education can change their lives, empowering them to become part of the solutions rather than part of the problems in our society. If students want, they can learn to realize their potential in university studies. But even if students do not want to learn much from coursework, they could still learn to think not just about their own well-being but also about the well-being of others in university studies.

Caring begins with understanding, and with that then not all is lost.

In 2019-20, my teaching would explore the misuses and abuses of metrics in portraying who we are, the tyranny of meritocracy in limiting who we could be, and the undue influence of Econ 101 in financing the civil society we strive to have. The Winter 2020 course of Business Statistics Through Applications would explore practical data analysis with a focus on data visualization that unravels the blind faith in metrics to uncover what really lies beneath. The Winter 2020 course of Canada's Labour Market Policy would explore public policy responses to today's misguided push for meritocracy, which was actually first conceived as a satire. The Fall/Winter 2019 seminar of Political Economy of the State & Finance would explore the tax-and-transfer system in face of relentless attacks by the free market orthodoxy that stars in Econ 101.



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2020 AP/ADMS2310 3.0 M Business Statistics Through Applications LECT
Winter 2020 AP/PPAS3762 3.0 N Canada's Labour Market Policy LECT
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/PPAS4115 6.0 A Political Economy of the State & Finance SEMR


Think about the Orwellian political economy of our unjust world in which alternative facts reign supreme. Think about the post-truth prevalence of trickle-down economics that does more harm than good. Think about the wilful blindness of meritocracy the free marketers are selling you without even a hint of irony given all the misuses and abuses of metrics: leave-no-one-behind will enslave you, but everyone-for-oneself will set you free. Is this world the best of all possible worlds? With trepidation and humility, I explore the fiscal policy aspirations for the financing of a more just world for all.

Think about the dopamine-inducing love of Reality TV in the context of the endorphin-depleting doubts of shared prosperity and the cortisol-triggering fear of distributive justice. Think about the delusional denials of the existential threats of poverty, income inequality, wealth inequality, political inequality and plutocracy. Think about the underwhelmed framing of the mountain of empirical evidence showing that the rich get richer but the poor get slaughtered. Think about the democracy-touting refrains of every politician in every campaign, yet think about the cliché: money is the mother's milk in politics. Think about the power-does-what-power-does Social Darwinian zeitgeist: the winners take all.

Think twice. Think hard. Think smart. Is that all there is?

Perhaps I am overly optimistic, but I still hope we will at least try to solve some of the political, economic and social problems we face by doing the right thing. If we don't want our lives to be dominated by those with ginormous market power, and if we don't want to be held hostage in a grim subsistence in which those who are less lucky are left behind, we would need to fight for more progressivity with more resolve.

I aspire to make creative use of our collective understanding of progressive taxation and public expenditures to argue for redistributive design in public policy responses to challenges arising from income and wealth inequalities. Through my very modest pursuit of a deeper understanding of redistribution, I strive to advance our knowledge of who we are as a society and who we aspire to be as a people.

Redistribution is not only about societal resources but also about power and influence. The affluence who reap the most benefits from our society should pay for what the society has given them. Public policy making should not be of the affluence, for the affluence and by the affluence. With more redistribution, genuine shared governance of our democracy could have a fighting chance, and a better tomorrow may be in sight.

As my very modest attempt to make a contribution to public discourse in this age of disinformation, I explore the battle of ideas policy advocates wage on the costs and benefits of progressive taxation and public expenditures, the political commitment people are willing to make to level the playing field between the Haves and Have-nots and the policy options citizens can consider to hold the plutocrats, the oligarchs and the rest of the power elite accountable to democratic ideals.

Degrees

PhD, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
MS, Columbia Journalism School, Columbia University
BA, Economics, York University

Research Interests

, Redistribution through progressive taxation

Current Research Projects

Costs and Benefits of Taxation

    Summary:

    Comparison of social and economic policy outcomes between high-tax and low-tax countries.

    Description:

    Exploration of cross-country data.

    Role: Co-investigator

    Collaborator: Professor Emeritus Neil Brooks
    Collaborator Institution: Osgoode Hall Law School
    Collaborator Role: Principal investigator

Redistribution in Civil Society

    Summary:

    Quests to advance redistributive policies in upside-down world where bombastic stupidity won & basic decency lost.

    Description:

    Exploration of cross-country data.

    Role: Principal investigator

Transfer pricing in China and India

    Summary:

    Analysis of tax norm transplantation to China and India from the West in the context of transfer pricing.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: Co-investigator

    Collaborator: Professor Jinyan Li
    Collaborator Institution: Osgoode Hall Law School
    Collaborator Role: Principal investigator

Anti-Tax Avoidance Doctrines And General Anti-Tax-Avoidance Rules: Theory And Empirical Evidence

    Summary:

    Comparative analysis of anti-tax avoidance laws and judicial decision making in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: Co-investigator

    Collaborator: Professors Tim Edgar and Jinyan Li
    Collaborator Institution: Osgoode Hall Law School
    Collaborator Role: Principal investigators

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

With Brooks, Neil. (2017) Personal Tax Expenditures in the Canadian Income Tax Act – The First 100 Years. In Jinyan Li, J. Scott Wilkie, and Larry E. Chapman (Eds.), Income Tax at 100 Years. Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation.

2017

(2013) Tax Levels, Tax Mixes and Income Redistribution in Canada and Selected OECD Countries Since Carter. In Kim Brooks (Ed.) The Quest for Tax Reform Continues: The Royal Commission on Taxation Fifty Years Later. Toronto: Carswell.

2013

(2011) The Distributional Effects of Making Personal Income Tax Credits Refundable. In Lisa Philipps, Neil Brooks, and Jinyan Li (Eds.), Tax Expenditures: State of the Art. Toronto: Canadian Tax Foundation.

2011

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

With Li, Jinyan. (2013) . GAAR in Action: An Empirical Exploration of Tax Court of Canada Cases (1997-2009) and Judicial Decision Making. Canadian Tax Journal, 61(2), 321-366.

2013

With Brooks, Neil. (2010) . Tax Ratios, Tax Mixes, and Tax Reforms: Convergence and Persistence.Theoretical Inquires in Law, 11(2), 791-821.

2010

(2009) . A Quantitative Exploration of Judicial Decision Making in Supreme Court of Canada in Income Tax Cases in 1920-2003. Manitoba Law Journal, 33(1), 150-196.

2009

With Hanlon, Dean. (2008) . The Effect of External Advisors on the GST Compliance Costs of Businesses in Australia.Asia-Pacific Journal of Taxation, 12(2), 93-108.

2008

(2004) . A Review of Quantitative Studies of Decision Making in the Supreme Court of Canada. Manitoba Law Journal, 30(3), 353-382.

2004

Professional Journal Articles

Publication
Year

(Aug. 13, 2018) The Public’s Fickle Opinion About More Tax Cuts. Tax Notes, 975-981.

2018

With Mellor, Peter, & Krever, Richard. (2012) . Tax Treaty Trends in Central Asian Former Soviet Nations. Bulletin for International Taxation, 66 (10), 541-552.

2012

(March 2, 2009) . How Canada's Flat Tax Debate Played in the Press: A Case Study. Tax Notes International, 767-775.

2009

Research Reports

Publication
Year

With Brooks, Neil. (2006) . The Social Benefits and Economic Costs of Taxation: A Comparison of High- and Low-tax Countries. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Retrieved from http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_Pubs/2006/Benefits_and_Costs_of_Taxation.pdf.

2006

Approach to Teaching


Maybe I am not realistic, but I still believe education is supposed to enlighten, not to indoctrinate to conform. Tackling our myopia of false necessity is a starting point to make the world better for all. Questioning the status quo is our responsibility, and asking ourselves whether we can do better for all of us is our obligation. Does it have to be this way? What do we want to do about it? What could we do about it given what we know?

Realistically, raising that line of questions is subversive even in our publicly funded classrooms. In our society, many see university studies only as a vending machine for diplomas so university graduates can go get a job, not as a catalyst for lifelong learning so university graduates can design their professional and personal lives. Students face mounting pressure from everywhere for individual "success," often in terms of money, not contributions to civil society.

Coping with the grim reality, I try to hang onto any glimmer of hope, more likely out of desperation than anything else, that education can still change lives for the better for all. If students want, education can change their lives, empowering them to become part of the solutions rather than part of the problems in our society. If students want, they can learn to realize their potential in university studies. But even if students do not want to learn much from coursework, they could still learn to think not just about their own well-being but also about the well-being of others in university studies.

Caring begins with understanding, and with that then not all is lost.

In 2019-20, my teaching would explore the misuses and abuses of metrics in portraying who we are, the tyranny of meritocracy in limiting who we could be, and the undue influence of Econ 101 in financing the civil society we strive to have. The Winter 2020 course of Business Statistics Through Applications would explore practical data analysis with a focus on data visualization that unravels the blind faith in metrics to uncover what really lies beneath. The Winter 2020 course of Canada's Labour Market Policy would explore public policy responses to today's misguided push for meritocracy, which was actually first conceived as a satire. The Fall/Winter 2019 seminar of Political Economy of the State & Finance would explore the tax-and-transfer system in face of relentless attacks by the free market orthodoxy that stars in Econ 101.



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2020 AP/ADMS2310 3.0 M Business Statistics Through Applications LECT
Winter 2020 AP/PPAS3762 3.0 N Canada's Labour Market Policy LECT
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/PPAS4115 6.0 A Political Economy of the State & Finance SEMR