thwong


Thaddeus Hwong

Photo of Thaddeus Hwong

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

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We live in a plutocracy in which the dominant class imposes the austerity of human decency on all of us. Leave-no-one-behind will enslave you, but everyone-for-oneself will set you free. Is that world the best of all possible worlds? To fend off rent-seeking attacks against the well-being of all, I argue for more redistribution through progressive taxation and public expenditures.

More...

Income inequality. Wealth inequality. Financial insecurity. Extreme poverty. Some say economic Darwinism epitomizes meritocracy, despite the fact that meritocracy was meant to be a dystopian satire.

Systemic racism. Gender discrimination. Wilful blindness to the existence of structural problems in society. Anti-woke propaganda streaming from an ever-expanding web of misinformation and disinformation. Some say this just world is not a fallacy, oblivious to lessons that could have been learnt during the pandemic.

With trepidation and humility, I argue for more redistribution of not only income and wealth but also economic and political power. If we don't want to kowtow to those with ginormous market power, and if we want no one to be left behind, we would need more redistribution.

Wait, really? Taking from the rich and then giving it to the poor is what Robin Hood does, and Robin Hood is not real. Thou shalt not commit to a fiscal policy revolution that will never come. Do not tax the rich. Forget inequality. Focus on poverty instead. With 90 seconds to midnight, doing what has been done in order not to rock the boat won't cut it. If a fiscal policy revolution is what is needed, why shouldn't we argue for one?

Public policy making should not be of the affluent, for the affluent and by the affluent. With more redistribution, genuine shared governance of our democracy could have a fighting chance, and a better tomorrow may be in sight.

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

Law and Justice , Politics and Government, Redistribution for All

Current Research Projects

Redistribution in Civil Society

    Summary:

    Quests to advance redistributive policies, one data point at a time.

    Description:

    Political economy -- the pursuit of distributive justice.

    See more
    Role: Principal investigator

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

(2022). Tackling Poverty or Inequality? You Don’t Have to Choose. In Raju J. Das and Deepak K. Mishra (Eds.), Global Poverty: Rethinking Causality. Leiden|Boston: Brill.

2022

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 Haigh, Richard. (2022). Indexing Influences of Supreme Court of Canada Interveners: A Preliminary Examination,” Annual Review of Civil Litigation, 63-99.

2022

With Li, Jinyan. (2020). GAAR in Action: An Empirical Study of Transaction Types and Judicial Attributes in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Canadian Tax Journal, 68(2) 539-79.

2020

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.

2006

Approach to Teaching


Maybe I am not realistic, but I still believe education is supposed to enlighten, not to indoctrinate to conform.

In our society, everywhere you look there is mounting pressure on everyone to do whatever it takes for individual "success," often in terms of fame and fortune but rarely in terms of the well-being of all. See the universities thriving as vending machines of diplomas, not as incubators of lifelong learning? The commodification is a feature, not a bug.

Tackling the myopia of complacency is a starting point to make the world better for all. 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?

Oh, we can't afford to do more, those who espouse the false necessity exclaim. Like how could we afford to house the unhoused, feed the unfed and comfort the unfortunate? In our world of abundance, the cognitive dissonance is pervasive.

Questioning the status quo can be construed as subversive in our publicly funded classrooms. Defiance we should forgo, desensitized we shall be.

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 change lives for the better for all. If students want, they can learn to become a part of the solutions rather than a part of the problems in our society. But even if students do not want to learn much from coursework, they can still learn to think not just about themselves but also about others.

With only 90 seconds to midnight, my teaching would continue to encourage students to reckon with the malaise in our zeitgeist. Make sense of the best obtainable version of the truth. Don't be a walking, talking emoji of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

The Winter 2025 course of Canada's Labour Market Policy would argue that humans aren't just resources.

The Winter 2025 course of Business Statistics Through Applications would argue that the free market is actually not free.

The Fall/Winter 2024-25 seminar of Politics, Law and the Courts would argue that redistribution is justice.

Questioning the status quo is our responsibility, and asking ourselves whether we can do better for all is our obligation. Caring begins with understanding, and with that then not all is lost.



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2025 AP/PPAS3762 3.0 M Canada's Labour Market Policy LECT
Winter 2025 AP/ADMS2310 3.0 M Business Statistics Through Applications ONLN
Fall/Winter 2024 AP/PPAS4130 6.0 A Politics, Law and the Courts ONLN


We live in a plutocracy in which the dominant class imposes the austerity of human decency on all of us. Leave-no-one-behind will enslave you, but everyone-for-oneself will set you free. Is that world the best of all possible worlds? To fend off rent-seeking attacks against the well-being of all, I argue for more redistribution through progressive taxation and public expenditures.

Income inequality. Wealth inequality. Financial insecurity. Extreme poverty. Some say economic Darwinism epitomizes meritocracy, despite the fact that meritocracy was meant to be a dystopian satire.

Systemic racism. Gender discrimination. Wilful blindness to the existence of structural problems in society. Anti-woke propaganda streaming from an ever-expanding web of misinformation and disinformation. Some say this just world is not a fallacy, oblivious to lessons that could have been learnt during the pandemic.

With trepidation and humility, I argue for more redistribution of not only income and wealth but also economic and political power. If we don't want to kowtow to those with ginormous market power, and if we want no one to be left behind, we would need more redistribution.

Wait, really? Taking from the rich and then giving it to the poor is what Robin Hood does, and Robin Hood is not real. Thou shalt not commit to a fiscal policy revolution that will never come. Do not tax the rich. Forget inequality. Focus on poverty instead. With 90 seconds to midnight, doing what has been done in order not to rock the boat won't cut it. If a fiscal policy revolution is what is needed, why shouldn't we argue for one?

Public policy making should not be of the affluent, for the affluent and by the affluent. With more redistribution, genuine shared governance of our democracy could have a fighting chance, and a better tomorrow may be in sight.

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

Law and Justice , Politics and Government, Redistribution for All

Current Research Projects

Redistribution in Civil Society

    Summary:

    Quests to advance redistributive policies, one data point at a time.

    Description:

    Political economy -- the pursuit of distributive justice.

    Role: Principal investigator

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

(2022). Tackling Poverty or Inequality? You Don’t Have to Choose. In Raju J. Das and Deepak K. Mishra (Eds.), Global Poverty: Rethinking Causality. Leiden|Boston: Brill.

2022

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 Haigh, Richard. (2022). Indexing Influences of Supreme Court of Canada Interveners: A Preliminary Examination,” Annual Review of Civil Litigation, 63-99.

2022

With Li, Jinyan. (2020). GAAR in Action: An Empirical Study of Transaction Types and Judicial Attributes in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Canadian Tax Journal, 68(2) 539-79.

2020

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.

2006

Approach to Teaching


Maybe I am not realistic, but I still believe education is supposed to enlighten, not to indoctrinate to conform.

In our society, everywhere you look there is mounting pressure on everyone to do whatever it takes for individual "success," often in terms of fame and fortune but rarely in terms of the well-being of all. See the universities thriving as vending machines of diplomas, not as incubators of lifelong learning? The commodification is a feature, not a bug.

Tackling the myopia of complacency is a starting point to make the world better for all. 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?

Oh, we can't afford to do more, those who espouse the false necessity exclaim. Like how could we afford to house the unhoused, feed the unfed and comfort the unfortunate? In our world of abundance, the cognitive dissonance is pervasive.

Questioning the status quo can be construed as subversive in our publicly funded classrooms. Defiance we should forgo, desensitized we shall be.

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 change lives for the better for all. If students want, they can learn to become a part of the solutions rather than a part of the problems in our society. But even if students do not want to learn much from coursework, they can still learn to think not just about themselves but also about others.

With only 90 seconds to midnight, my teaching would continue to encourage students to reckon with the malaise in our zeitgeist. Make sense of the best obtainable version of the truth. Don't be a walking, talking emoji of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

The Winter 2025 course of Canada's Labour Market Policy would argue that humans aren't just resources.

The Winter 2025 course of Business Statistics Through Applications would argue that the free market is actually not free.

The Fall/Winter 2024-25 seminar of Politics, Law and the Courts would argue that redistribution is justice.

Questioning the status quo is our responsibility, and asking ourselves whether we can do better for all is our obligation. Caring begins with understanding, and with that then not all is lost.



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2025 AP/PPAS3762 3.0 M Canada's Labour Market Policy LECT
Winter 2025 AP/ADMS2310 3.0 M Business Statistics Through Applications ONLN
Fall/Winter 2024 AP/PPAS4130 6.0 A Politics, Law and the Courts ONLN