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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Peter Rossman explains why the CETA falls far short of the mark in accounting for anybody’s interests other than those of big business. And Dani Rodrik discusses the dangers of laissez-faire fundamentalism, particularly to the extent it threatens to undermine the foundation of a functional society: (T)he . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Andrew Jackson discusses how the rise of right-wing, prejudiced populism can be traced to the failures of global corporate governance. And Dani Rodrik argues that it’s time to develop an international political system to facilitate – rather than overriding – democratic action:

Some simple principles would reorient us in the right direction. First, there is no single way to prosperity. Countries make their own choices about the institutions that suit them best. Some, like Britain, may tolerate, say, greater inequality and financial instability in return for higher growth and more financial innovation. They will opt for lower taxes on capital and more freewheeling financial systems. Others, like Continental European nations, will go for greater equity and financial conservatism. International firms will complain that differences in rules and regulations raise the costs of doing business across borders, but their claims must be traded off against the benefits of diversity.
Second, countries have the right to protect their institutional arrangements and safeguard the integrity of their regulations. Financial regulations or labor protections can be circumvented and undermined by moving operations to foreign countries with considerably lower standards. Countries should be able to prevent such “regulatory arbitrage” by placing restrictions on cross-border transactions — just as they can keep out toys or agricultural products that do not meet domestic health standards.
 
Third, the purpose of international economic negotiations should be to increase domestic policy autonomy, while being mindful of the possible harm to trade partners. The world’s trade regime is driven by a mercantilist logic: You lower your barriers in return for my lowering mine. But lack of openness is no longer the binding constraint on the world economy; lack of democratic legitimacy is.

It is time to embrace a different logic, emphasizing the value of policy autonomy. Poor and rich countries alike need greater space for pursuing their objectives. The former need to restructure their economies and promote new industries, and the latter must address domestic concerns over inequality and distributive justice.

– William Lazonick and Matt Hopkins note that already-appalling estimates of the gap between CEOs and other workers may be severely underestimating the problem. And Iglika Ivanova laments British Columbia’s woefully insufficient changes to its minimum wage which will keep large numbers of workers in poverty.

– In one positive development for corporate accountability, Telesur reports that the International Criminal Court is now willing to take jurisdiction over land grabbing, environmental destruction and other corporate crime.

– Harry Stein writes that there are significant economic and social gains to be achieved by better funding social infrastructure.

– Finally, Jeremy Nuttall interviews Robert Fox, the NDP’s new national director, on the plan to building a more activist party – both in the sense of better engaging with existing activists, and developing a culture of ongoing action. And Robin Sears offers a long-term path for the NDP to once again lead Canada toward progressive policies. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Norman Farrell highlights how following the reversal of the HST transition, B.C. businesses haven’t given up on their goal of making sure that only individuals pay consumption taxes. – Jordan Press and… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Danny Dorling writes about the importance of empathy and kindness in establishing the basis for a more equal society:When you cannot empathise with another group, it is very hard to think kindly towards them… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Brent Patterson points out the continued dangers of extrajudicial challenges to laws under the CETA. And John Jacobs examines (PDF) the likelihood that reduced tariffs under the Trans-Pacific Partnersh… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Carolyn Ferns writes that a long-awaited child care program would represent the best possible Mother’s Day gift for Canadian families.- Danyaal Raza and Ritika Goel remind us how housing affects a wide range … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- David Akin reports that MPs from multiple parties are rightly challenging offshore tax evasion – though it remains to be seen how many will actually demand a change to the practice. And Tanya Tagala notes that it… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Robert Green looks at Quebec as a prime example of selective austerity – with tax cuts and other goodies for the wealthy considered sacrosanct, and well-connected insiders being paid substantial sums of public money to tell citizens they’ll have to make do with less: In a move . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Danyaal Raza and Edward Xie write that a well-designed city environment can make all the difference in enabling individuals to live healthy lives: What if city council took our health into account when designing neighbourhoods? An idea gaining favour in major cities around the world is “complete streets,” . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Buttonwood weighs in on the disproportionate influence of the ultra-rich when it comes to making policy choices which affect all of us: But the analysis backs up earlier work by Larry Bartels of Princeton, author of a book called “Unequal Democracy”, and the general thesis of the late . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Stuart Trew fleshes out the Cons’ new(-ly explicit) Corporate Cronies Action Plan – and it goes even further in entrenching corporate control over policy than one might have expected at first glance: – The makeup of the advisory panel that consulted with Trade Minister Fast skews the new . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Whipped

For those who haven’t yet seen Whipped, Sean Holman’s documentary on party discipline in the B.C. legislature is now available through CPAC’s website. And it’s well worth a watch (particularly on a stormy Saturday).

But I will point out that there may be an important distinction between an elected representative speaking up about issues in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Whipped

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Rick Salutin highlights the dangers of relying on bulk data collection and algorithmic analysis as a basis to restrict individual rights: The National Post’s Jen Gerson interviewed a U.S. privacy expert. She asked about the PRISM program, by which U.S. agencies spy on Internet activity based outside the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Michael Babad takes a look at Bureau of Labor Statistics data on wages and employment levels – reaching the conclusion that the corporatist effort to drive wages down does nothing to improve employment prospects. But the absence of any remotely plausible policy justification hasn’t stopped the Sask Party . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

The Disaffected Lib: Coming Soon to Canada, "Fortress B.C."

The CBC’s Stephen Smart sees rough waters and rocky shoals ahead for Ottawa-B.C. relations after Tuesday’s provincial elections.

Perhaps for the first time in his reign our eastern ruler may be confronted by a province spoiling for a fight.

Most of the past dozen or so years can be seen as the golden era . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Coming Soon to Canada, "Fortress B.C."

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how all of Canada could lose out if Christy Clark’s B.C. Liberals are able to follow through on their plans to eliminate the Therapeutics Initiative which has provided needed information about the effectiveness of prescription drugs.

For further reading…– More background about the current status of the Therapeutics Initiative is available here and . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Politics, Re-Spun: A Not-So-Public Hearing

Yesterday I gave my testimony to the Joint Review Panel for the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project.

Protesters in Vancouver January 2013

Some might argue it was an exercise in futility because ultimately Bill C-38 gives decision-making power for these projects to Cabinet. Perhaps. Yet yesterday on the fourth floor of the Wall Centre hotel . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: A Not-So-Public Hearing

350 or bust: Canadians Answer The Call To Defend Our Coast While Climate Silence Reigns South of Border

It was a cool rainy day in Victoria, British Columbia yesterday, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from coming out to the B.C. Legislature to show both the provincial and the federal governments that they are opposed to the two pipelines that industry and governments want to build to carry tar sands oil across . . . → Read More: 350 or bust: Canadians Answer The Call To Defend Our Coast While Climate Silence Reigns South of Border

The Disaffected Lib: British Columbia’s Sordid Premier

There’s something really sleazy about BC premier Christie Clark.   Faced with growing public opposition to the Northern Gateway and Kinder-Morgan bitumen pipeline trafficking, she sat mute for months as her own and her party’s fortunes tanked.

Finally she stood up on her hind legs and announced the pipeline/supertanker business was just too environmentally risky for . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: British Columbia’s Sordid Premier

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Joe Stiglitz discusses the link between increased inequality and the U.S.’ economic frailty: Any solution to today’s problems requires addressing the economy’s underlying weakness: a deficiency in aggregate demand. Firms won’t invest if there is no demand for their products. And one of the key reasons for lack . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Sid Ryan rightly criticizes Tim Hudak’s anti-labour plans as a push toward poverty rather than prosperity.

– Via Climate Progress, Steven Mufson reports on the causes of Enbridge’s Michigan oil spill – with Enbridge’s complete failure to repair known defects over a period of five years included among . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Barbara Yaffe discusses Thomas Mulcair’s strong start in winning over B.C. voters. And Martin Regg Cohn notes that Stephen Harper is starting to face some real (and needed) pressure from Darrell Dexter and other premiers to start actually talking to the provinces, rather than retreating from shared . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

DeSmogBlog: EOG Resources: The Gas Corporation That Does It All From Cradle to Grave

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DeSmogBlog, on multiple occasions, has reported that the damage caused by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" in the unconventional oil and gas industry goes far beyond water contamination, put in the spotlight by the documentary film "Gasland." The multi-pronged harms were tackled in a comprehensive manner in our report, "Fracking the Future."

One . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: EOG Resources: The Gas Corporation That Does It All From Cradle to Grave

DeSmogBlog: TransCanada’s Latest Extreme Energy Export Pipelines in the U.S. and Canada

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TransCanada was once in the limelight and targeted for its Keystone XL pipeline project. Now, with few eyes watching, it is pushing along two key pipeline projects that would bring two respective forms of what energy geopolitics scholar Michael Klare calls "extreme energy" to lucrative export markets.

Pipeline one: the southern segment of . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: TransCanada’s Latest Extreme Energy Export Pipelines in the U.S. and Canada

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Jared Bernstein discusses the effect of raising taxes on the highest-income households, featuring this in particular: Growth and jobs. History shows that higher taxes are compatible with economic growth and job creation: job creation and GDP growth were significantly stronger following the Clinton tax increases than following the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links