Here’s my take on the May Day CUPE Sponsored Workshops in Ottawa on Saturday, the 27th of April: It was an interesting affair for its lamentations and the myriad problems it laid forth with little emerging by way of tactics, however, and certainly no overall strategy. Unions can’t even wrestle concentrated concern from their members, it would seem, let alone solidarity – which means that, even though they’re already in a knife fight in a phone booth, they can’t even dream of organizational solidarity across unions lets alone with other progressive organizations of the left. And, when you think about it, all the unions really have left as (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: organized labour is the only potential political force with enough critical mass & enough organizational capability to get things moving.
Remember when crowdfunding was a baby? It was an innocent but fierce little phenomenon that you would feed, along with a whole community, and lo and behold, a project would be raised, big and strong ready to tackle the world.
Amazing things like literacy projects, art therapy, and independent documentaries were among the steadily highlighted cultural offerings on sites like Indiegogo.com.
Example of the weekly Indiegogo newsletter.
These days I look at my weekly emails from Indiegogo and I see nothing but entrepreneurs trying to raise money to sell stuff right back to us — like the Ridogulous pet (Read more…)
One of the official goals of central bank monetary policy is supposed to be low employment fostered through what is known as an expansionary policy by lowering interest rates with the hope that low credit rates will encourage businesses to expand their operations by way of capital investment in hard assets or capital expenditures of some sort and new hirings. We’ve had this policy in place for quite some time now, and yet employment really hasn’t improved one iota. If anything it’s merely gotten worse along with – because of the incentive of low interest rates – an astounding increase in personal debt to the unseemly tune (Read more…)
It has been a pretty busy week so far and this beautiful weather has been a much needed treat(ment) for the woes of working a stressful job and trying to get by. Fortunate for me, but unfortunately for 500 other people, there will no longer be good and bad days, nice weather or poor, just silence. My heart breaks to find out that the death toll from the building collapse in Bangladesh has reached 500 victims, because these deaths were not only avoidable, but also a sign of the times we live in.
One expert went into detail about how (Read more…)
Fiscal conservatives give me a headache at the best of times. Having them opine about how availability of birth control is going to drive up costs and make every one sad, well…makes me sad. It would be nice, for once, if our conservative friends would base their opinion on something more than a dogmatic adherence to free-market wisdom. The air out here in empirical evidence land isn’t so bad, honest.
Filed under: Politics Tagged: Birth Control, Capitalism, Health Insurance, Liberal Viewer, US
It’s April 27, 2013: a few days after my blog’s first anniversary, the weekend of Rebelfest in Hamilton, and a few days before International Workers’ Day (aka Mayday, aka the real Labour Day). Additionally, April 28 is International Day of Mourning for workers who were killed or injured on the job. A lot has happened since my last post, and here are just a few tidbits.
● Rita MacNeil – singer, political activist and sex abuse survivor – died on April 16 at the age of 68. The down-to-earth artist was always on the (Read more…)
Kudos to the Guardian and to the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists [ICIJ], for their ground-breaking investigative work that has now revealed the names of the world’s most questionable millionaires. In an era of austerity, with massive cuts to services, the arts, education, and labour in many countries, it’s sobering to know that world’s most exploitative and deviant have a safe haven in the Virgin Islands where they’ve stowed away trillions in secret vaults. I think I know how we can restore all that has been cut over the last few decades…And for Revenu Quebec’s part, check out the new PSA they’re running on TV about snatching up millions from offshore accounts (after jump).
The key to deficit reduction is not austerity – reducing government spending by cutting programs and personnel - but good old-fashioned employment. Stanford’s argument is in the Krugman reformist, Keynesian tradition. He doesn’t seek a transformation, merely a technical economic readjustment, but, given our failure to transform capitalism so far – which can be brought about, in any case, only with a political strategy, not mere economic tinkering – it has value within the framework of a capitalist reality – a stopgap of sorts. As I’ve said many times in that context: Without employment, no income; without income, no spending; without spending, no demand; without demand, no (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Why are governments addicted to neoliberal #austerity?
“Yes, the Conservatives are focused on what they call the economy. But their economy is a ruthless, inhuman task-master. It demands that the very profitable Royal Bank be even more profitable. It demands that 45 highly trained people lose their jobs. It demands that Canada’s visa system allow all of this to happen. The government serves this economy faithfully. Whom does this economy serve?” - Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star _________________________________________________________________________________ Maybe its time to begin thinking about withdrawing our patronage from all retailers and services that offshore labour – including perhaps even call centres, which are the (Read more…)
Inequality is going to kick our ass if we don’t take measures to rectify the imbalances in your societies. The topic of this video is interesting; the presenter not so much. I recommend watching the video if you have a keen interest in how our world is working, but do not expect to be actively ‘entertained’.
Filed under: Politics Tagged: Capitalism, Inequality, The RSA
Here is a two-part interview with Stephanie Seguino, who, though focusing squarely on income inequality and its racial and gender implications, is not a revolutionary transformer of capitalism but a technical reformer in the Krugman Keynesian tradition. Like Krugman, she advocates closely monitored public spending as a way to stimulate the economy. An interesting argument – especially on how profoundly youth, blacks, Hispanics and single mothers are disparagingly affected by income inequality resulting from the 2008 crisis - but one, alas, that simply asks for better management, not change to the very system itself. It remains clear that change will not come from government and this policy or that (Read more…)
It doesn’t require a Trotskyist or a laid off worker to tell you that capitalism isn’t working. Not only does it not work, it is destroying societies… it is destroying lives, incomes and empowering a tiny elite, who never seem to fail, go broke or go to jail. Well, when they do go broke governments bail them out with your money so they can continue their rapacious ways. It’s called capitalism – and it is in deep trouble.
Richard D Wolff is a professor of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he taught economics from 1973 to
. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Capitalism is self-destructing: Richard Wolff on the ways
Wife of Bank of England governor turns herself into a guillotine-magnet:
Diana Carney – wife of the new Bank of England governor (and former Bank of Canada head) – had a Mary Antoinette moment on March 25, 2013 when she whined on Twitter that she and her husband were having trouble finding suitable housing in London.
British taxpayers are giving her husband Mark Carney an annual salary of £624,000 (more than $959,000 CAD) plus an annual housing allowance of £250,000 (more than $384,000 CAD). No doubt he is also getting a bunch of other benefits and privileges. This is
. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Wife of Bank of England governor turns herself into a guillotine-magnet
Over the last decade of programming political documentary for Cinema Politica I can say with confidence that there are two subjects that have always been decidedly divisive and caused the most vociferous backlash from audience members. One of those subjects is the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine and the other is animal rights.
Expecting More — Or Less?
Over the years I recall audience revolts occurring where we had screened shorts and features interrogating the ugly spaces of the non-human animal world’s subjugation to the biped food chain champs, homo erectus. PETA shorts have always inspired the most passionate responses (Read more…)
Peeved Harper aims at ‘remaking Canadian labour force’ ‘Too many kids getting BAs and not enough welders,’ one Conservative insider says
The irony of this pontificating ConJob is that one of Harper’s favourite sycophants, Gordon Campbell, single-handedly destroyed the wonderful apprenticeship program here in BC so that his political pals in the construction biz could pay slave wages to only minimally trained workers.. he also decided to disembowel the safety inspections, etc. that went along with construction and repairs..with the resultant leaky condo situation that lasted forever…and look what’s happening now..a shortage of skilled tradesmen that will
i often disagree with Noel Ignatiev – and the following essay is certainly no exception in that regard – however his reasoning is often provocative, which though a bit maddening is also not a bad thing. As such, it should not be assumed that the views in the following guest contribution are those of yours truly. However, it is worth reading in the context of the ongoing discussion of Zak Cope’s book Divided World Divided Class. The other essays referenced here are by Charlie Post, Matthijs Krul, and Don Hamerquist. (Note that Krul also posted a further response
. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Progress and Poverty: a response to Krul, Post and Hamerquist from Noel Ignatiev
On Sunday, March 10 the British Socialist Workers Party held a Special Conference to deal with the crisis that has been raging in its organization since its annual January conference. The trigger for the crisis was an allegation of rape against a member of the party’s Central Committee (CC) that was reviewed by a Disputes Committee composed of long-time colleagues and friends of the accused. I
We, in Western Civilization, are constantly bombarded with the notion that Capitalism is the be all and end all. It is the End of History, it is the Ultimate System. More like Ultimate-Horsepucky, in my opinion because we almost never get to see the critiques of our system in the mainstream and not knowing the weaknesses of your own system is hubris of the most dangerous variety. It leads to a variation to what psychologists term the Dunning-Kruger effect. And that is, given sufficient ignorance, we cannot accurately judge the quality of the work we produce.
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Richard Wolff – Capitalism Run Wild
…it is owned by private individuals, and you are allowed to stay there on not at their pleasure. I remember when my younger brother and his pals got banned from hanging at the mall next to their high-school during lunch hour. They weren’t buying enough stuff, and their presence frightened other shoppers. They thought that was public space too. Certainly it was the only interesting place for them to go at lunch. But they were rudely disabused of the notion. And, frankly, suggesting that Mark Zuckerberg move to China is beyond ironic. The ability to boot somebody off your
Horizontal hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is fighting with coal mining for the title of worst possible method of resource extraction. Fracking ruins the environment and kills people. It is profitable at the moment though, so you can guess why it is so darned popular. Plus, in the US, people are desperate to feed their families and will take the dangerous jobs to make ends meet. Walter Brasch from Counterpunch writes about the consequences of fracking in his article titled “Life and Death in the Frack Zone”.
“José Lara just wanted a job.
A company working in the natural
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Getting Fracked – The Latest Rage in Moonscaping the Earth
Is there a Baby Boomer so dim in this land of rackets and swindles who thinks that he or she will escape the wrath of the Millennials rising? The developing story is so obvious that only an academic economist could fail to notice. – James Howard Kunstler, Democratic Underground
This was not my intended topic today. But when Dr. John Izzo’s TED talk — a Baby Boomer rallying cry — was released recently on-line, and highlighted via 350 or Bust, it quickly became a priority. (Scroll down to watch below.)
The Boomer generation both fascinates and irritates me
. . . → Read More: Boreal Citizen: The bumpy road to Boomer responsibility