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


Leave-no-one-behind will enslave you, but everyone-for-oneself will set you free. Is that world the best of all possible worlds?

With trepidation and humility, I explore the fiscal policy aspirations for redistribution for all. 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 more redistribution.

As my attempt to make a modest contribution to public discourse about redistribution in this post-truth era, 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 economic elites accountable to democratic ideals.

More...

We live in a plutocracy that imposes the austerity of human decency on all of us.

Income inequality. Wealth inequality. Income insecurity. Extreme poverty. Some see them as the results of meritocracy, even meritocracy was set up to be a satire. We can do better than this.

Systemic racism. Gender discrimination. Wilful blindness of those who refuse to even acknowledge that structural problems exist. Propaganda streaming from an ever-overreaching web of misinformation and disinformation. Are we standing idly by or are we willing to do something about them?

Redistribution is not only about societal resources but also about power and influence. Actually, redistribution is less about societal resources but more about power and influence. The affluence who reap the most benefits from our society should pay for what the society has given them. They should not be endowed with the veto power over agenda control to ensure that they can reap the most benefits. 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.

The orthodoxy says taking from the rich and then giving it to the poor is what Robin Hood does, and Robin Hood is not real so we should forget trying to tax the rich more. Thus, the orthodoxy says let's focus on what's practical -- let's give up on reducing inequality and instead focus on reducing poverty as we should not commit to a fiscal policy revolution that will never come. The leading lights of many generations have been calling for change, but their actions have been protecting the status quo. Given all the exploitation and deprivation, doing what has been done in order not to upset the establishment just won't cut it. If a fiscal policy revolution is what is needed, why shouldn't we argue for one?

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

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. (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. Retrieved from http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_Pubs/2006/Benefits_and_Costs_of_Taxation.pdf.

2006

Approach to Teaching


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?

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.

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.

With a backdrop of having survived a historic crisis together, my 2021-2 teaching would attempt to reconcile with who we are and reckon with who we could be. The Fall 2021 course of Canada's Labour Market Policy would explore public policy responses to today's misguided push for meritocracy. The Winter 2022 course of Business Statistics Through Applications would seek to unravel the blind faith in data analysis. The Fall/Winter 2021-22 seminar of Politics, Law and the Courts would push the boundaries of the pursuit of justice beyond the confines of the reproduction of hierarchies and the entrenchment of the establishment.

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


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/PPAS4130 6.0 A Politics, Law and the Courts REMT
Fall 2021 AP/PPAS3762 3.0 A Canada's Labour Market Policy LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2022 AP/ADMS2310 3.0 M Business Statistics Through Applications LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/PPAS4130 6.0 A Politics, Law and the Courts REMT


Leave-no-one-behind will enslave you, but everyone-for-oneself will set you free. Is that world the best of all possible worlds?

With trepidation and humility, I explore the fiscal policy aspirations for redistribution for all. 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 more redistribution.

As my attempt to make a modest contribution to public discourse about redistribution in this post-truth era, 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 economic elites accountable to democratic ideals.

We live in a plutocracy that imposes the austerity of human decency on all of us.

Income inequality. Wealth inequality. Income insecurity. Extreme poverty. Some see them as the results of meritocracy, even meritocracy was set up to be a satire. We can do better than this.

Systemic racism. Gender discrimination. Wilful blindness of those who refuse to even acknowledge that structural problems exist. Propaganda streaming from an ever-overreaching web of misinformation and disinformation. Are we standing idly by or are we willing to do something about them?

Redistribution is not only about societal resources but also about power and influence. Actually, redistribution is less about societal resources but more about power and influence. The affluence who reap the most benefits from our society should pay for what the society has given them. They should not be endowed with the veto power over agenda control to ensure that they can reap the most benefits. 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.

The orthodoxy says taking from the rich and then giving it to the poor is what Robin Hood does, and Robin Hood is not real so we should forget trying to tax the rich more. Thus, the orthodoxy says let's focus on what's practical -- let's give up on reducing inequality and instead focus on reducing poverty as we should not commit to a fiscal policy revolution that will never come. The leading lights of many generations have been calling for change, but their actions have been protecting the status quo. Given all the exploitation and deprivation, doing what has been done in order not to upset the establishment just won't cut it. If a fiscal policy revolution is what is needed, why shouldn't we argue for one?

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

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. (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. Retrieved from http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_Pubs/2006/Benefits_and_Costs_of_Taxation.pdf.

2006

Approach to Teaching


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?

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.

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.

With a backdrop of having survived a historic crisis together, my 2021-2 teaching would attempt to reconcile with who we are and reckon with who we could be. The Fall 2021 course of Canada's Labour Market Policy would explore public policy responses to today's misguided push for meritocracy. The Winter 2022 course of Business Statistics Through Applications would seek to unravel the blind faith in data analysis. The Fall/Winter 2021-22 seminar of Politics, Law and the Courts would push the boundaries of the pursuit of justice beyond the confines of the reproduction of hierarchies and the entrenchment of the establishment.

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


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/PPAS4130 6.0 A Politics, Law and the Courts REMT
Fall 2021 AP/PPAS3762 3.0 A Canada's Labour Market Policy LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2022 AP/ADMS2310 3.0 M Business Statistics Through Applications LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/PPAS4130 6.0 A Politics, Law and the Courts REMT