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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Evening Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– The Star argues that Canada can’t afford to leave tax loopholes wide open for the rich – as the Libs are doing in violation of their campaign promises. And Martin Lukacs notes that obscene giveaways to the rich seem to be the top priority for Justin Trudeau . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Evening Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Mary O’Hara notes that even a relatively modest and incomplete set of progressive policies has created some important movement toward reducing poverty. And conversely, Caroline Mortimer writes that child poverty is exploding under the Conservative majority government in the UK.

– Dean Beeby reports on the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Labour Day reading.

– Jared Bernstein comments on the prospect of a labour revival which can boost the prospects of unionized and non-unionized workers alike. And Thomas Walkom makes the case for closer identification between the NDP and Canada’s labour movement:

Labour needs a political party because unions, on their own, are a declining force. Only 29 per cent of the Canadian workforce is unionized. The number continues to fall.

This has happened because the economy, once characterized by large manufacturing plants, is now dominated by smaller service firms that, under current labour laws, are more difficult to unionize.

The decline of well-paying union jobs is one of the key factors behind the rise in income inequality that politicians routinely fret about.

Yet to reverse this trend would require a total rethinking of employment and labour laws, most of which were designed in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Among other things, the laws must be amended to eliminate the loophole that allows so many employers to pretend their workers are independent contractors who do not qualify for benefits or statutory protection.

As well, labour relations laws would have to be changed to allow unions organizing, say, fast-food franchise outlets, to take on the ultimate employer.

These are just a couple of examples. The point is that, if unions are to survive, labour laws must be rethought.

That in turn requires a political party willing to do the rethinking.

– And CBC reports that Ontario’s NDP looks to be taking that advice by looking to facilitate both certification and collective bargaining – though there’s still more to be done in examining the broader trends affecting unionization rates.

– Mark Dearn discusses how the CETA figures to undermine democratic governance in Canada and Europe alike. And the CP reports on Justin Trudeau’s attempt to stifle discussion of the actual terms of corporate control agreements by indiscriminately bashing anybody who raises reasonable questions about business-oriented trade deals.

– Michael Winship points out how profiteering around the EpiPen the fits into a wider pattern of pharmaceutical price gouging and other anti-social behaviour.

– Finally, Lyndal Rowlands writes that developed countries have a strong stake in working toward meeting global development goals – and suggests it’s long past time that we started acting like it. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Jim Hightower argues that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity – and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:Take On Wall Street is both the name and th… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Jim Hightower argues that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity – and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:

Take On Wall Street is both the name and the feisty attitude of a nationwide campaign that a coalition of grassroots groups has launched to do just that: take on Wall Street. The coalition, spearheaded by the Communication Workers of America, points out there is nothing natural or sacred about today’s money-grabbing financial complex. Far from sacrosanct, the system of finance that now rules over us has been designed by and for Wall Street speculators, money managers and big bank flimflammers. So, big surprise, rather than serving our common good, the system is corrupt, routinely serving their uncommon greed at everyone else’s expense.

The coalition’s structural reforms include:
1. Getting the corrupting cash of corporations and the superrich out of politics with an overturning of Citizens United v. FEC and providing a public system for financing America’s elections.

2. Stopping “too big to fail” banks from subsidizing their high-risk speculative gambling with the deposits of  ordinary customers. Make them choose to be a consumer bank or a casino, but not both.

3. Institute a tiny “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street speculators to discourage their computerized gaming of the system, while also generating hundreds of billions of tax dollars to invest in America’s real economy.

4. Restore low-cost, convenient “postal banking” in our post offices to serve millions of Americans who’re now at the mercy of predatory payday lenders and check-cashing chains.

– Juliette Garside reports on the EU’s efforts to get the U.S. to agree to basic reporting to rein in offshore tax evasion. And Heather Long points out Joseph Stiglitz’ criticisms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as enriching corporations at the expense of citizens.

– Amy Maxmen notes that a non-profit system can develop new drugs far more affordably than the current corporate model – and without creating the expectation of windfall profits that currently underlies the pharmaceutical industry.

– Jordan Press offers a preview of a federal strategy for homeless veterans featuring rental subsidies and the building of targeted housing units – which leads only to the question of why the same plan wouldn’t be applied to address homelessness generally.

– Alan Shanoff comments on the many holes in Ontario’s employment standards (which are generally matched elsewhere as well).

– Finally, Dougald Lamont highlights the many ways in which the Fraser Institute’s anti-tax spin misleads the media about how citizens relate to Canadian governments.

[Edit: fixed wording.] . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Owen Jones discusses the UK’s experience with privatized rail as yet another example of how vital services become more costly and worse-run when put in corporate hands.- Sean McElwee highlights still more resea… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Owen Jones discusses the UK’s experience with privatized rail as yet another example of how vital services become more costly and worse-run when put in corporate hands.- Sean McElwee highlights still more resea… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Rachel West charts how higher wages and improved social supports can reduce crime rates and their resulting costs.- Lana Payne comments on the glass ceiling still limiting the wages and opportunities availabl… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Dani Rodrik comments on the need for a far more clear set of policy prescriptions for left-wing political parties to present as an alternative to laissez-faire corporate domination, while noting there’s no lack… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Neil Irwin writes about the White House Council of Economic Advisers’ study of employment policy which found that superior protections for workers (rather than the undermining of employment standards in the name… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Cynthia Kaufman discusses Moses Naim’s theory that while a transnational ruling class has managed to exercise almost total control over the functions of government, it’s set to lose power over the public at l… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Ryan Meili writes that the spread of for-profit corporate medicine – including through the Saskatchewan Party’s privatization of care – demonstrates the need for enforcement of the Canada Health Act. And the Star mak… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Alice Martin offers three basic reasons why unions are as necessary now as ever, while PressProgress weighs in on the IMF’s findings showing the correlation between unions and greater equality. And David Ball po… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Scott Santens discusses how a basic income could help to foster social cohesion. And Jared Bernstein confirms the seemingly obvious point that properly-funded social programs work wonders in reducing poverty. – … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Tony Atkinson offers reason for hope that it’s more than possible to rein in inequality and ensure a more fair distribution of resources if we’re willing to put in the work to make it happen: (T)he present levels of inequality are not inevitable; we are not simply at . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Julie Delahanty discusses the need for Canada’s federal government to rein in rising inequality. And Tim Stacey duly challenges the excuse that today’s poor people just aren’t poor enough to deserve any consideration.

– Amy Goodman interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the serious problems with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Left Over: Composure Under Pressure…..

I am trying with great difficulty to ignore the current campaign for a new Parliament and, if there is any justice, a new PM. I have been also trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to stop comparing and contrasting (thanks so much to all my Uni profs. who beat that concept into my head….) my own reality with . . . → Read More: Left Over: Composure Under Pressure…..

Left Over: Composure Under Pressure…..

I am trying with great difficulty to ignore the current campaign for a new Parliament and, if there is any justice, a new PM. I have been also trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to stop comparing and contrasting (thanks so much to all my Uni profs. who beat that concept into my head….) my own reality with . . . → Read More: Left Over: Composure Under Pressure…..

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Yonatan Strauch and Thomas Homer-Dixon discuss how the Cons’ economic plans involve betting against our planet. And David Macdonald notes that the supposed reward for prioritizing oil profits over a sustainable future is to stagnate at recession-level employment rates.

– James Bagnall documents the rise of inequality in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Jim Stanford discusses how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is renegotiating NAFTA – and taking away what little Canada salvaged in that deal. And Jared Bernstein highlights the TPP’s impact on prescription drug costs.

– Rick Smith rightly challenges the effort some people have made to minimize the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Kevin Carmichael compares the federal parties’ promises to help parents and concludes the NDP’s child care plan to hold far more social and economic benefit, while Natascia Lypny likewise finds that parents are more interested in actual affordable child-care spaces than tax baubles. CTV reports on the NDP’s . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Haroon Siddiqui comments on the Cons’ tall economic tales. And Steven Chase and Greg Keenan note that workers are rightly fighting back against the Cons’ plan to sell out Canada’s auto parts industry and its 80,000 jobs.

– Canadian Doctors for Medicare weighs in with its . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Jerry Dias sees the forced passage of an unamended Bill C-377 as a definitive answer in the negative to the question of whether the Senate will ever justify its own existence. And Nora Loreto emphasizes that the bill has no purpose other than to attack unions: The amendments . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Gregory Beatty reports on Saskatchewan’s options now that it can’t count on high oil prices to prop up the provincial budget. And Dennis Howlett writes about the need for a far more progressive tax system both as a matter of fairness, and as a matter of resource management: . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Polly Toynbee writes about the unfortunate agreement among the UK’s major parties not to talk about the real effects of gratuitous cuts for fear that the public won’t abide honesty in politics. And George Monbiot discusses how the UK’s tax system favours rents over productive uses of capital: . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links