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Politics and its Discontents: Highlighting Corporate Failure

There are two lead letters in today’s Star that bear reproducing. Expect no admission of a flawed ideology on the part of the neoliberals among us, however:Re: House of Harper quickly crumbling, Feb. 22 Suddenly a lot of people from banks and corporati… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Highlighting Corporate Failure

Politics and its Discontents: "It Was Very Malicious Of Them To Leave This Town In The Shape It’s In" – A Tale Of Walmart’s Depredations

The above observation is voiced by a former grocery store owner whose business closed shortly after Walmart moved into her town. But this is not just another story about how the retail behemoth drives out competition through its predatory pricing pract… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: "It Was Very Malicious Of Them To Leave This Town In The Shape It’s In" – A Tale Of Walmart’s Depredations

Politics and its Discontents: The Next System Project: A Practical Example

Yesterday’s post revolved around The Next System Project, an initiative committed to exploring replacements for the traditional institutions that are failing our world so badly. One major focus of the project is on expanding business models that grant company ownership to workers.

That goal put me in mind of a documentary I saw a . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Next System Project: A Practical Example

Politics and its Discontents: And On A Personal Note…

I thought long and hard before making the decision to post the following, for two reasons: one, in the broader scheme of things it is a quite negligible plaint, and two, it perhaps exposes me as the petty and vindictive person that I on occasion can be. On the other hand, since it deals . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: And On A Personal Note…

Politics and its Discontents: A Broken Model Of Capitalism: The Latest Poster Child

Despite being on track to meet its 2014 financial objectives, Scotiabank, with a total $5.57 billion of net profit in the first three quarters of 2014, has announced it is cutting about 1500 jobs, two-thirds of them in Canada.

Said CEO and president Brian Porter, “Today’s announcement is a result of making some difficult . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A Broken Model Of Capitalism: The Latest Poster Child

Politics and its Discontents: A Union Victory

About a year ago I wrote two posts on Richtree Market, the union-busting Toronto eatery that got the clever idea of terminating all of its unionized employees, shutting down its restaurant, located in the Eaton Centre, only to reopen later a few doors down (about 50 metres) from its original spot, much larger and . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A Union Victory

Politics and its Discontents: Tim Hortons Takes Aim And Fires

The advertising would have us believe that Tim Hortons is a Canadian institution and icon that we should all revere as patriotic citizens. Who can forget the role the coffee and donut emporium has played over the years in bringing caffeine comfort to early-morning hockey dads, sending underprivileged kids to camp, and, gosh darn, . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Tim Hortons Takes Aim And Fires

Politics and its Discontents: The House That Ronald Built

… seems to be undergoing some serious perturbations these days. Earlier in the month came the story of three McDonald’s outlets in British Columbia abusing the Harper regime’s TFWP (Temporary Foreign Workers Program) by hiring temporary workers instead of available local people and reducing the hours of Canadian employees.

Now comes word from Edmonton . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The House That Ronald Built

Politics and its Discontents: A Tale of Intimidation At TransCanada Corporation

Despite the best efforts of the Harper government to make its own addiction to the fossil fuel agenda the Canadian people’s as well, increasing numbers are voicing their concern and opposition to the expansion of the Alberta tarsands through new pipelines. And evidence is mounting that those concern are wholly justified and not simply . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A Tale of Intimidation At TransCanada Corporation

Politics and its Discontents: An Extreme Of Capitalism?

Anyone who reads my blog regularly and has drawn the conclusion that I am anti-capitalism would be completely wrong. I have nothing against business, entrepreneurship, nor corporations, per se. And I do believe that those who take risks should be appropriately rewarded.

What I am against, however, is extreme imbalance. I have nothing but . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: An Extreme Of Capitalism?

Politics and its Discontents: Harper Lies: The Dismal Truth About Corporate Tax Evasion

My friend Gary recently alerted me to this, which should sicken all Canadian citizens. It is a story of corporate greed, massive amounts of lost tax revenues, and a government that aids and abets both. After viewing it, be sure to read the missive from Star letter-writer Robert Bahlieda that follows, and think about it . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Harper Lies: The Dismal Truth About Corporate Tax Evasion

Politics and its Discontents: But I Save so Much Money Shopping There!

For the true cost of those bargains that we all slavishly delight in (cue Pavlov’s dog), you might want to read this article about Walmart workers and watch the video below. As well, a recent post by Dr.Dawg is instructive.

Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: But I Save so Much Money Shopping There!

Politics and its Discontents: The Predator At Our Doorstep

I’ve just finished reading Confessions of a Sociopath, written by the pseudonymous M.E. Thomas, a law professor who confesses herself to be a sociopath who has integrated fairly well into mainstream society. The book offers a chilling if somewhat annoyingly self-aggrandizing portrait of the mind of a person lacking the normal constraints that conscience . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Predator At Our Doorstep

Politics and its Discontents: More On The Struggle Of Minimum Wage Workers

We hear it all the time from those who slavishly and unconscionably parrot the corporate line: raising the minimum wage is a job-killer. While that rhetoric may serve the insatiable business appetite for greater and greater profits at the expense of vulnerable workers, it simply isn’t true. While I have written several posts recently on . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: More On The Struggle Of Minimum Wage Workers

Politics and its Discontents: How Much Do We Really Pay For Those Bargains?

There is a segment in the documentary, The Corporation, where Michael Walker of The Fraser Institute extols how corporations help developing nations by using their labour to make their products. If you watch the video below from 3:15 to about the 6:00 mark, you will hear his explanation:

While the claims made by Walker . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: How Much Do We Really Pay For Those Bargains?

Politics and its Discontents: And Now, A Word About Kellie Leitch From The Salamander

The question of personal integrity is one that is very near and dear to my heart. Since literature at its best is a reflection of some of the deepest truths about human nature, during my teaching career, it was a topic I explored with relish every time the curriculum permitted it. In so-called real . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: And Now, A Word About Kellie Leitch From The Salamander

Politics and its Discontents: Outsource Canada

I’m not sure who is actually responsible for breaking down these outsourcing statistics according to province and company, but we certainly owe him or her a real debt of gratitude. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Bad Corporate Behaviour Abounds

As fellow blogger LeDaro pointed out to me the other day in a comment on my post about the Royal Bank’s outsourcing of jobs, such practices are common among all of our banks. Further research by the CBC has come up with ample evidence to verify LeDaro’s observation. You can read the complete sad . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Bad Corporate Behaviour Abounds

Politics and its Discontents: The Royal Bank Responds With An Attempt At Damage Control

Somehow, I don’t think George Orwell would be too impressed by the RBC response to its public relations nightmare over the outsourcing of Canadian jobs:

Said Zabeen Hirji, RBC’s chief human resources officer:

“We recognize the impact of this situation on our employees and we continue to remain focused on assisting our . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Royal Bank Responds With An Attempt At Damage Control

Politics and its Discontents: Now It All Makes Sense

RBC CEO Gord Nixon

I just knew there had to be a logical explanation. This explains that. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Porter Air, Pension Funds, and Invisible Strikers

Many years ago, in the midst of my teaching career, there was a movement by a group of us to try to get the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to divest itself from Maple Leaf Foods when it was in the process of reducing its workers’ wages in Burlington by about one-third, the threat being . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Porter Air, Pension Funds, and Invisible Strikers