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James Cowan
Works at Canadian Business
Attended McGill University
Lives in Toronto
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James Cowan

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The Internet works fine—the Things are the problem. Your smart home is only as smart as the dumbest thing in it
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Your comment about wi-fi-enabled front door locks intrigued me until I realized that yours didn't work. I think I'll wait for the next generation. 
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James Cowan

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Privatizing the booze trade would boost selection, generate more tax revenue and raise employment.
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James Cowan

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My column from last month's Canadian Business on the right and wrong ways to control CEO salaries: 

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/blogs-and-comment/a-simple-fix-for-ceo-salaries-james-cowan/
Public shaming hasn’t helped bring CEO pay down to earth. It’s time to put their salaries to a vote.
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I have many weaknesses, but I hope that "arguing for my personal prejudices, for which I haven't done the research, against evidence produced by someone who has done the research" isn't one of them. 
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James Cowan

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McArdle explains why we hate ALL CAPS EMAILS. IT HAS TO DO WITH SCIENCE
 
"I have a colleague who uses ALL CAPS. ALL THE TIME in e-mails. We laugh, but should I say something?"

McArdle answers:
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What does Science have to say about the almost-as-noxious practice of placing two spaces after a period?
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James Cowan

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How the CBC's digital success has turned it into a competitor for everyone from Netflix to newspapers. And why it's a problem: 
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/blogs-and-comment/time-to-make-the-cbc-fight-fair/
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Let's stipulate that the presence of the CBC in a market can discourage new entrants and weaken existing market participants. Does this constitute 'meddling' with the market? Only if we agree that

a) there is no market failure in the journalism trade, and

b) news is more like a commodity (ketchup, say) and less like a matter of public interest (pensions, say).

Both contentions are questionable. 

On a) I tend to think that the fact that established news vehicles are shedding jobs and losing share value says that we can't rely on the existing market to ensure that Canadians have equal access to news. 

On b) I tend to think that news and public-affairs analysis is a prerequisite for democratic governance, and that there is a role for a public journal, a role played by the CBC in Canada. I'm sure that if we abolished RRSPs tomorrow people would be able to fund their retirements through private financial vehicles, but the fact that such vehicles do exist doesn't constitute an argument for the government to vacate the business of retirement planning.

The issues you raise are good ones, but I think you need more space to work them out.
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James Cowan

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I spent about a year following McDonald's Canada executives as they rebuild the brand. They're in headlines for the Temporary Foreign Worker controversy right now, but there's a bigger story at play: 
Powdered eggs! Pink slime! Lard shakes! How a brilliant Canadian campaign squashed the rumours, embraced the feedback, and made us love Big Macs again.
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"Consumer-friendly" policies sometimes aren't.
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Great topic and idea.
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I want more movie analogies, like in the first paragraph:
Love Story is the charming tale of love between a townie and a free spirit;
Psycho is about how Janet Leigh steals some money and goes on the lam; and
The Shining is the story of how Jack Torrance bonds with his family and writes the Great American Novel over a Colorado winter. 
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My latest, on why it's vital to get foreign investment policy right. . . And how the Harper government keeps making it worse.
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Great article, Jamie.
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In which I argue the hotel bar is the best place to business, always: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/lifestyle/meet-us-at-the-hotel-bar/
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Have him in circles
289 people
Jordan Timm's profile photo
Raj Kaul's profile photo
Edward Keenan's profile photo
Arash Bizhan zadeh's profile photo
Sudari Yanto's profile photo
MoneySense's profile photo
Trevor Melanson's profile photo
Akhter Nasreen's profile photo
Chris Ferguson's profile photo
Education
  • McGill University
    1994 - 1998
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Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Deputy Editor at Canadian Business Magazine
Employment
  • Canadian Business
    Deputy Editor, 2002 - present
  • Saturday Night
    Associate Editor, 2000 - 2001
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Toronto
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