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The Disaffected Lib: The Germans Get It. When Will We?

Sixty per cent of Germans believe that capitalism is the cause of poverty and hunger and that real democracy can’t be realized under that economic system.  It seems they’re not fond of market fundamentalism and neoliberalism.  In fact, they see straight through it.

You might have thought that Germans who live in Europe’s economic powerhouse would be true free market capitalists.  You would be wrong.

The survey found that more than 60 percent of Germans believe there is no genuine democracy in their country because industry has too much political influence and that the voice of the voters plays only (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Iceland’s Supreme Court Upholds Jail Sentences of Four Banking Executives

Filed under: Capitalism, Crisis, Europe Tagged: Financial crisis, Iceland

The Progressive Economics Forum: Seccareccia on Greece, Austerity and the Eurozone

Over at the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Ottawa U professor Mario Seccareccia has given an interview titled “Greece Shows the Limits of Austerity in the Eurozone. What Now?”

The interview can be read here.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Responsibility for Housing

On Monday I gave a guest presentation to Craig Jones‘ graduate seminar class in Carleton University’s School of Social Work. My presentation sought to answer two questions:

1. Why should government play a role in creating affordable housing?

2. Which level of government is responsible?

With those questions as a backdrop, here are 10 things one needs to know:

1. When it comes to affordable housing, the private sector alone doesn’t cut it—not by a long shot! For it to be profitable for a for-profit developer to create rental housing in one of Canada’s major urban centres, (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Capitalism – Laying the Foundations for our Extinction.

I’m at the point in life where I’m not really all about saving the planet anymore. Oh sure, I recycle, carpool when I can all of those little personal things one can do to be more “earth friendly” but until we reform our current ‘limitless growth paradigm’, we are well and truly screwed. Hence the reason why my Eco-consciousness is changing from saving the planet to hoping that the shit doesn’t hit the fan during my lifetime.

“At the rate things are going, the Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Chris Hedges: Predatory capitalism’s perversion of Christmas charity

Chris Hedges and Detroit’s Rev. David Bullock discuss predatory capitalism’s perversion of Christmas charity, justice and revolution on The Real News Network.

The post Chris Hedges: Predatory capitalism’s perversion of Christmas charity appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Parchment in the Fire: Collective Bargaining and the Eurozone Crisis

Since the beginning of the Eurozone crisis in 2008, most attention has been focused on the recurring and persistent struggles against ‘austerity’. Austerity, in this sense, refers to the politics of cutting public spending – primarily in the areas of social programs like unemployment benefits, disability benefits, ‘public goods’ such as legal aid programs, public housing, etc. – in order to bring down the deficit and service any outstanding debts. Insofar as the politics of austerity has been the product of elite dominated parties putting the squeeze on the public in order to pay for the socialization of private risk (Read more…)

CuriosityCat: Oil Price: Has Saudi Arabia gambled and lost?

Is it better to have gambled and lost?

Saudi Arabia is calling the shots in the steep price decline of oil in recent weeks, by refusing to cut its output so as to remove production from the market and increase prices. Why is it doing this? One possible reason is that it is underestimating the remorseless drive for profits (Read more…) . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Oil Price: Has Saudi Arabia gambled and lost?

Parchment in the Fire: Revealed: how the wealth gap holds back economic growth | Business | The Guardian

Revealed: how the wealth gap holds back economic growth | Business | The Guardian.

The west’s leading economic thinktank on Tuesday dismissed the concept of trickle-down economics as it found that the UK economy would have been more than 20% bigger had the gap between rich and poor not widened since the 1980s.

Publishing its first clear evidence of the strong link between inequality and growth, the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development proposed higher taxes on the rich and policies aimed at improving the lot of the bottom 40% of the population, identified by Ed Miliband as the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Why Are Capitalists So Lazy?

Entrepreneurialism, innovation, competition, insight, optimization, excellence?

These are the self-satisfying hallmarks of our jackboot triumphal capitalism.

But what’s with the laziest of the lazy capitalists?

You know, the ones who run the fossil fuel sector. The science is in. They’re causing much of the climate change we’re seeing, except of course for the spoutings of the scientists they pay to say it’s just that the sun is, you know, hot.

But if capitalism is supposed to be this wealth of innovation and better mouse traps, why are these lazy folks sitting around STILL extracting oil, gas and coal from the (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: If You Watch This Video

… you will realize very quickly that Ursula K. LeGuin is talking about much more than the writing of books:

Recommend this Post

Progressive Proselytizing: Dealing with Climate Change and Inequality

Two of the defining problems of our times are wealth inequality (both globally and within the first world) and climate change. With any socioeconomic order – our mixture of capitalism and government being just one – there are going to be consequences both good and bad. There are going to be challenges that the socioeconomic order is particularly good or bad at addressing. The point of this post is to expand on how these two defining problems – global warming and inequality – are products of our particular socioeconomic order, that they are two problems that our system is particularly (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Robots, migration and the future of work (Briarpatch Magazine)

I have a longer read in the newest issue of Briarpatch Magazine, which is dedicated to the world of work. If you don’t know Briarpatch, be sure to check out the other articles in this issue and consider subscribing; this is one of Canada’s oldest independent left publications and definitely worth supporting. My piece has the rather grand title “Robots, Migration and the Future of Work” but it’s really about trying to see how we are often pitted against one another and encouraged to see external threats, like machines and migrants, to our well-being rather than working together in (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Capitalism Off the Rails

Those at the very top of today’s neoliberal, free-market capitalist, global economy see the writing on the wall – capitalism has just about run its course.

It’s hard to get your head around the idea, isn’t it?  It sure is for me.  Imagine, the economic model around which our society has been structured is bogus.  It is the product of 18th century economics, 19th century industrialism and 20th century geo-politics.  It worked for a couple of hundred years, perhaps right up until the early 70s, but it’s now dawning on us that it doesn’t work any more.  It’s lost its (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Cuban medics on the front lines of the Ebola fight: lack of decent public healthcare at root of the Ebola crisis

Top: Cuban medical team leaving for West AfricaBeneath: Arrival in Sierra Leone

The magnificent Cuban response to the Ebola crisis is in a class of its own. While Western nations pledge funds to fight the disease there is a reluctance to step up and send needed medical personnel. Cuba by contrast has gone into action on the front lines. It will send some 461 doctors and nurses to West Africa – the largest number of medical personnel from any nation. One hundred and sixty five Cuban medics are already in West Africa setting up operations.

The World Health Organization (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Deadly Politics of Ebola

The scene couldn't have been more ironic or more appalling. For even as the Ebola epidemic raged out of control, and Oxfam sent out a desperate call for more boots on the ground, in Africa. On Saturday Oxfam took the unusual step of calling for troops to be sent to west Africa, along with funding and medical staff, to prevent the Ebola outbreak becoming the “definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation”. It accused countries that did not commit military personnel of “costing lives".And leaders like Obama urged Americans not to surrender to fear and hysteria.There was Stephen (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: DWR Quote of the Day – On Parasites and Capitalism

People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.

—Jason Read

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Capitalism, DWR Quote of the Day

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Academic Dumas-ery

Kane X. Faucher’s latest novel is a brilliant adaptation the classic Alexander Dumas tale of revenge, The Count of Monte Cristo. I’ve always loved the original, and Faucher’s book is a wonderful satire that cleaves to the original plot so … Continue reading →

Parchment in the Fire: Austerity has been an utter disaster for the eurozone | Business | The Guardian

Austerity has been an utter disaster for the eurozone | Business | The Guardian.

 

Austerity has been an utter and unmitigated disaster, which has become increasingly apparent as European Union economies once again face stagnation, if not a triple-dip recession. Photograph: Vladimir Rys/Getty Images

“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory,” goes the old adage. But too often it is easier to keep the theory and change the facts – or so German chancellor Angela Merkel and other pro-austerity European leaders appear to believe. Though facts keep staring them in the face, they continue to deny (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Will capitalists save us from global warming?

In her latest book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Naomi Klein argues that if we are to defeat climate change we must defeat capitalism. At this week’s UN climate summit in New York, a number of corporate leaders seemed determined to prove her wrong.

For example, a group of investment institutions that included pension funds and corporate asset managers promised to “

Cowichan Conversations: SUZUKI-It Makes No Sense To Elevate Economics Above The Biosphere

The Disaffected Lib: Naomi Klein’s Confession – Is It Yours, Too?

In the run-up to the release of her new book, “This Changes Everything,” Naomi Klein has come clean.  For far too long she was in what she describes as a “soft denial” about climate change.  Does this sound familiar?

“A great many of us engage in this kind of denial.  We look for a split second and then we look away.  Or maybe we really do look, but then we forget.  We engage in this odd form of on-again-off-again ecological amnesia for perfectly rational reasons.  We deny because we fear that letting in the full reality of this (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Scottish Independence: The Empire Strikes Back

With one week to go in the Scottish referendum the YES side's surge to independence appears to have been at least temporarily halted, with a new poll suggesting the NO side is leading again. The YouGov survey for The Times and Sun newspapers put supporters of the union on 52 per cent, narrowly ahead of supporters of independence on 48 per cent, excluding those who said they did not know how they would vote.But with 97% of those eligible registered to vote, either side could still win.And the good news for the YES side is that most of (Read more…)

Joe Fantauzzi: The Militarization of Police: But Why?

Since the beginning of the year, several stories in high-profile mainstream media publications have examined what some find to be the increasing militarization of police forces in North America. In March, The Economist wrote a feature on the phenomenon noting that the use of tactical units, which are often armed with military-style weaponry such as so-called […]

The Disaffected Lib: The Anchor Around Our Necks – Neoliberalism

Modern neoliberalism, of the Hayek and Friedman schools, has been defined as “capitalism with the gloves off.”  Today it’s a term associated with laissez-faire capitalism, deregulation and free trade.

Neoliberalism has made deep inroads into our federal body politic.  Stephen Harper is a disciple.  Our opposition leaders appear less neoliberal than their prime minister but it could be argued that is a matter of degree.

Few dare mention it but the spread of neoliberalism has ushered in the rise of corporatism at the direct expense of social democracy.  Nowhere is this more obvious than at our Head Office, (Read more…)