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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- PressProgress weighs in on the OECD’s findings that Canada’s income inequality is significantly worse than previously assumed. Didier Jacobs argues that our current economic system is anything but meritocratic…. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- David Sirota and Andrew Perez expose Steve Schwarzman’s galling complaints that his perceived lessers dare to complain about declining security and stagnating incomes. And Aditya Chakrabortty discusses how the … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Andrew Jackson makes the case for a federal budget aimed at boosting investment in Canada’s economy:Public infrastructure investment has a much greater short term impact on growth and jobs per dollar spent than … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Scripturient: Consultants Run Amok

As the old saw says, a consultant is someone who comes in to solve a problem and stays around long enough to become part of it. So how many consultants’ reports does it take for council to figure out we’re spending too much money on consult… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Consultants Run Amok

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Karl Nerenberg weighs in on the Libs’ choice to direct billions of dollars toward higher-income individuals, rather than working to help Canadians who need it:The Liberals are now in power, and have ju… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.- Roshini Nair reviews Jim Stanford’s re-released Economics for Everyone, with a particular focus on the need not to give up on the prospect of change for the better: Although economics might be the dismal science, t… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Lana Payne discusses Jordan Brennan’s research showing that corporate tax cuts have done nothing to help economic growth (but all too much to exacerbate inequality). And Andrew Jackson sets out the main fisca… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the Libs’ first major budgetary choice has been to continue the Cons’ dangerous pattern of chipping away at the federal government’s fiscal capacity.For further reading…-  Scott Clark and Peter DeVries have previously summarized the… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Scripturient: Screw the Taxpayer

Sitting down? Good. You might want a drink, too. A strong one. Ready? Get a grip on your chair. Here goes: Collingwood is looking at a 3.9% tax hike for 2016. And that’s just its own portion. Let me help you up. No, that isn’t wrong. It&#82… . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Screw the Taxpayer

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.- Louis-Philippe Rochon highlights why we need governments at all levels to be working on stimulating Canada’s economy, not looking to cut back:The bank was referring to what economists call “secular stagnation”… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the Saskatchewan Party’s mid-year fiscal update shows it hasn’t learned a thing about managing a boom-and-bust resource economy – and how it may take Saskatchewan’s electorate to fix the underlying problem. For further reading…- The mid-… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Rosemary Barton reports on the Libs’ announcement of increased funding to help developing countries fight climate change – which does represent a noteworthy improvement on the Cons’ comparative stinginess. But as… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Roderick Benns interviews Michael Clague about his work on a basic income dating back nearly fifty years. And Glen Pearson’s series of posts about a basic income is well worth a read.

- Meanwhile, Julia Belluz interviews Sir Michael Marmot about the connection between inequality and poor social health. And Gillian White writes about a lack of access to credit (and the resulting reliance on payday lenders) as just one of the many extra stresses facing people with lower incomes.

- Jamie Livingstone is optimistic that Scotland has hit a tipping point in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Andrew Jackson discusses a few of the choices the Trudeau Libs need to get right in order to actually set Canada on a more progressive fiscal path: Progressives who worry about growing income inequality will note two key features of the new government’s tax plans. First, the plan is not quite as redistributive as it looks at first sight since it  leaves out below-average income workers. Second, the net effect is not to expand the federal income tax base.

True, the Liberal platform talks of examining some loopholes, such as the favourable taxation of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Lars Osberg discusses the positive effects of raising taxes on Canada’s wealthiest few. And Avram Denburg argues for a speedy end to income splitting due to both its unfairness,and its impact on the public revenue needed to fund a healthier society: (I)ncome splitting primarily benefits middle- and upper-income families, provides relatively little tax relief for low-income families, and skirts single parents altogether. Just as importantly, it acts to deter both parents from equal engagement in the workforce and devalues family policies that promote dual engagement.

From the point of view of child health, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, making the case that Canadians should vote less based on perceptions of momentum (in terms of both policy and political positioning), and more based on where our parties and leaders actually stand.

For further reading…- The platform comparisons referenced in the column include Keith Stewart’s on climate change, the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s on health care, David Macdonald’s on budgeting, and OpenMedia’s on digital policy.- Meanwhile, David Macdonald also takes a look at the key messages being presented by each party.  – Finally, those looking to delve further into the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On contrasting activities

Thomas Walkom rightly notes that this fall’s election has seen somewhat more discussion of government acting in the public interest than we’ve seen in some time. But it’s worth drawing a distinction between the varieties of intervention on offer from the NDP and the Libs respectively.

As much as the latter have tried to suggest that running immediate deficits is the sole measure of progressivism, the real difference between the two lies in their longer-term plans.

For the NDP, the goal of an active government is to build up a stronger social safety net over time. Immediate funding for child (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On unclear pictures

David Akin may have been right to point out that Justin Trudeau’s response to the federal government’s latest fiscal update was based on an avoidable lack of knowledge. But it’s worth noting why it’s so difficult for anybody to have an accurate picture of what’s actually happened within the federal government – as Akin himself observes in a follow-up post: In any given year, we won’t know what the final numbers are, including lapses, for the government as a whole and for individual departments until a document called the Public Accounts of Canada is tabled in Parliament. All (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: In need of explanation

Lee Berthiaume reports on the $8.7 billion budgeted but unspent by the federal government over the past year. And if the Cons want to try to claim credit for the government’s fiscal position, then surely they have to answer a couple of key questions for the money that went unspent:

What caused them to decide between 2014 and 2015 that the funding they themselves included in the budget shouldn’t be used? And if they’re on such an unsound fiscal footing that they feel the need to slash this much within a year of passing their preferred funding amounts in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson writes that the Cons have gone out of their way to destroy the federal government’s capacity to improve the lives of Canadians: When the Harper government took office, federal tax revenues (2006-07 fiscal year) were 13.5% of GDP, a bit shy of the 14.5% peak in 2000-01. In the most recent fiscal year, 2014-15, they are projected in the most recent federal budget to be just 11.4% of GDP, which is lower than in the mid 1960s before the creation of much of the modern welfare state.

(Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Sherri Torjman comments on the importance of social policy among our political choices, while lamenting its absence from the first leaders’ debate: (M)arket economies go through cycles, with periods of stability followed by periods of slump and uncertainty. Canada has weathered these economic cycles, and even major recessions, largely because of our social-policy initiatives. Income-security programs, in particular, are vital economic measures. The problem is that most of these have withered and shrunk in recent years and are in need of major repair.

Why is social policy so important to the economy? (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On balanced options

Dave McGrane offers a historical perspective on how deficits for their own sake shouldn’t be seen as an element of left-wing or progressive policy, while Excited Delerium takes a look at the policies on offer in Canada’s federal election to see how it’s possible to pursue substantive progressive change within a balanced budget. But let’s examine more closely why it’s wrong to draw any equivalence between the Trudeau Libs’ platform, deficits and progressive policies (despite their frantic efforts to pretend there’s no difference between the three).

Taking the Libs at their word, their current plan is to engage in deficit (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Scott Clark and Peter De Vries discuss the need for a Canadian economic plan which involves investment in the long term rather than politically-oriented payoffs only within a single election cycle. And Joseph Stiglitz points out the obvious need for a global system of investment and financial regulation which better puts existing resources to work: (D)eveloping countries and emerging markets have demonstrated their ability to absorb huge amounts of money productively. Indeed, the tasks that these countries are undertaking – investing in infrastructure (roads, electricity, ports, and much else), building cities that (Read more…)

Trashy's World: The CPC, liars since 2006…

Yeah, forget about the Parliamentary Budget Office saying that we are already in deficit. Like, what do they know? The Harper Reform Party – lying comes so naturally to them.    (0) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Greg Keenan exposes how corporations are demanding perpetually more from municipalities while refusing to contribute their fair share of taxes to fund the services needed by any community. And Sean McElwee points out how big-money donations are translating into a warped U.S. political system: Available data reveals that donors not only have disproportionate influence over politics, but that influence is wielded largely to keep issues that would benefit the working and middle classes off of the table.

Do donors really rule the world? Recent research suggests that indeed they do. Three (Read more…)