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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the need and opportunity to show some vision in our provincial budgeting and planning – even if the Wall government has no interest in bothering.

For further reading…- I posted previously on the Sask Party’s habit of locking Saskatchewan into ill-advised long-term contracts which serve nobody’s interests but the corporations involved. – Karri Munn-Venn discusses the UK Energy Research Centre’s report on which fossil fuels we can afford to exploint here. – Likewise, Ivan Semeniuk and Shawn McCarthy report on the Acting on Climate Change study showing how Canada can eliminate the use of non-renewable power (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kate McInturff and David Macdonald address the need for an adult discussion about how federal policies affect Canadian families. And Kevin Campbell writes about the importance of child care as a social investment. 

- Vincenzo Bove and Georgios Efthyvoulou study how public policy is shaped by political budget cycles – with more popular social spending getting emphasized around election time, only to face a threat as soon as the vote is held. And Scott Clark and Peter DeVries identify a distinct increase in the smoke and mirrors being used by the Cons (Read more…)

Alex's Blog: Why We Hate Taxes – and why we shouldn’t

A somewhat shorter version first appeared in albertaviews January/February 2015 as Taxes: a small price to pay for civilization

About a year ago, my son Jordan, some friends and colleagues and I put together a book on taxes in Canada, Tax Is Not a Four-Letter Word. We had quite different views about how high taxes should be, what kinds of taxes are best, who ought to be taxed more and who less, but one thing we all agreed on: we in Canada, as elsewhere, were having a dangerously distorted conversation on taxes. Taxes had come to be seen as a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Lynn Parramore interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the spread of inequality, along with the need for a strengthened labour movement to reverse the trend: LP: In your paper, you indicate that the power of the 1 percent to exploit the rest seems to be increasing. Why is this happening? Are there limits to this exploitation?

JS: In a more careful, academic way of putting it I would say that one of the explanations of what is going on is increased exploitation. You see the ratio of wages to productivity going way down, and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Reviewing Darrell West’s Billionaires, Michael Lewis discusses how extreme wealth doesn’t make anybody better off – including the people fighting for position at the top of the wealth spectrum: A team of researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute surveyed 43,000 Americans and found that, by some wide margin, the rich were more likely to shoplift than the poor. Another study, by a coalition of nonprofits called the Independent Sector, revealed that people with incomes below twenty-five grand give away, on average, 4.2 percent of their income, while those (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood discusses the close connection between the energy sector and inequality in Canada – with the obvious implication that policies dedicated to unduly favouring the former will inevitably produce the latter:  (T)he real story from last week’s Stats Can report isn’t that Canada is turning the tide on inequality, but that the energy sector is a key driver of income inequality in Canada. Massive investment in the oil sands has benefited the wealthiest earners to the exclusion of most other Canadians, and those immense gains have simply been slightly reduced from their (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: 130 civil society organizations reject Canada-EU CETA trade deal

More than 130 civil society organizations on both sides of the Atlantic have reiterated their continuing rejection of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA.

The post 130 civil society organizations reject Canada-EU CETA trade deal appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Making Sense of the CETA

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the Canada-EU trade deal favours large multinational corporations and burdens consumers, the environment, and the greater public interest.

The post Making Sense of the CETA appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Linda McQuaig discusses how a politically-oriented audit of the CCPA fits with the shock-and-awe part of the right’s war against independent (and public-minded) though: In the conservative quest to shape public debate in recent years, no tool has proved more useful than the think tank. Nobody understood this better than the director of the ultra-right wing U.S.-based ATLAS Foundation, who once stated that his mission was “to litter the world with free-market think tanks.”

Mission accomplished. Certainly the Canadian landscape is cluttered with right-wing think tanks — the Fraser Institute, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Bill Maher offers some simple math and important observations about inequality:

- And Gary Engler proposes ten ways to build a better economic system.

- Vanessa Brcic points out that corporatized medicine is as unethical as it is inefficient. And Garry Patterson laments the premiers’ weak response to the Harper Cons’ attacks on health care.

- Dean Beeby reports that the CRA’s investigation of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is focused squarely on the question of whether the CCPA is adequately complying with the Cons’ definition of rightthink, while Dr. Dawg (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Piketty Forum in Vancouver

On June 25th, a standing-room only crowd of 150 people attended a public forum and discussion titled “Pikettymania, Inequality and You” on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Today, I’m happy to post in full the four talks that made up the first half of the event (the second half was all discussion). The total is about an hour in length with each speaker taking 15 minutes. Enjoy!

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/podcast-140718-piketty-forum-full.mp3

The speakers, in order of appearance:

Iglika Ivanova is an economist and public interest researcher at the CCPA-BC. Her slides are available here and may (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: CCPA Looks at BC Liberals Claims That Teachers Would Benefit With Better Economy

Here is Iglika Ivanova’s look at the BC Liberals economic rationale.

The disconnect between economic growth and teachers’ wages

We are being governed by an anti public education Premier Christy Clark, who it seems has embraced her pique at being caught cheating in SFU Student elections.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Friday reading.

- Robert Kuttner discusses Karl Polanyi’s increasingly important critique of unregulated markets and corporatist states. Sarah Kendzior writes about the latest cycle of workers stuck in poverty who are striking back against a system designed to suppress their standard of living. And Michael Rozworski examines the effect of the Cons’ temporary foreign worker focus on Canadian workers: (W)hile food attendants made up 9% of all TFW Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) issued in Canada in 2012, they comprised 17%, or almost double, of TFW LMOs in Alberta, the province that has the tightest labour market. (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Angella MacEwen takes a look at the large numbers of unemployed and underemployed Canadians chasing a tiny number of available jobs. And Carol Goar calls out the Cons and the CFIB alike for preferring disposable foreign workers to Canadians who aren’t being offered a living wage: If employers want to talk about the government’s abrupt about-face, that is legitimate. If they want an “adult conversation” about work and remuneration, they should be ready to answer some key questions: Why should they be exempt from market discipline? The law of supply and demand provides (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Questioning legacies: Flaherty and the PQ

This week’s podcast takes on government economic policy.

First, Armine Yalnizyan looks back at the tenure of Jim Flaherty as federal Finance Minister; the interview is based on an article she recently published in the Globe and Mail. Armine is a senoir economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. She is also a founding member of the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab feature and the Progressive Economics Forum. You can find her on Twitter @ArmineYalnizyan.

I then talk to Eve-Lyne Couturier about the legacy of the last PQ government in Quebec and the economic debates going into the upcoming provincial election. Eve-Lyne is a (Read more…)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Postal banking

Introducing the Political Eh-conomy Radio podcast, a new podcast on economic issues in Canada and beyond. The inaugural episode tackles postal banking: why cut valuable services and jobs at Canada Post when it is instead possible to create financial services run by the post office, at the same ensuring the Post’s future sustainability? Canada Post put it best in its secret report: postal banking is a “win-win” – unless of course your aim is to dismantle public services and set the stage for privatization.

Download: podcast-140228-postal-banking.mp3

Interviews include John Anderson, author of the CCPA report, Why Canada Needs (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Postal banking

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Donovan Vincent reports on the Institute for Social Research’s study showing Canadians are highly concerned about income inequality: “People think the income gap has gotten worse. What was surprising to me was the universality of this belief. Younger people, older, higher levels of education, lower, men and women. The fact is, a wide cross-section of Canadian society believes that the income gap has gotten bigger, or much bigger in the last five years,” survey author David Northrup said in an interview.

“Usually we see a lot more variation in opinion in social (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- David MacDonald studies the effect of the Cons’ income-splitting scheme, and finds that it’s oriented purely toward funnelling money toward the top of the income scale: “Income splitting creates a tax loophole big enough to drive a Rolls Royce through. It’s pitched as a program for the middle class but in reality it’s an expensive tax gift for the rich,” says Macdonald. “The upper third of Canada’s richest families would receive $3 of every $4 spent on income splitting.”

The study finds seven out of ten senior families get no benefit (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Costas Lapavitsas discusses the disproportionate hold finance has over the global economy: Financialisation represents a historic and deep-seated transformation of mature capitalism. Big businesses have become “financialised” as they have ample profits to finance investment, rely less on banks for loans and play financial games with available funds. Big banks, in turn, have become more distant from big businesses, turning to profits from trading in open financial markets and from lending to households. Households have become “financialised” too, as public provision in housing, education, health, pensions and other vital areas has been (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Ontario’s austerity policies self-defeating — Hennessy

There are many ways to tell a story. For Trish Hennessy, Ontario director at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one way is to look at the most searched word annually for the on-line Mirriam-Webster dictionary. Speaking last night at the … Continue reading →

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Polly Toynbee discusses how the UK’s attacks on social programs are based on gross ignorance about what social spending does (and who it helps): The Citizens Advice Bureau reports a rise of 78% in the last six months in people needing food banks to keep going. Many have jobs, but their pay doesn’t see them to the end of the week. The CAB chief executive says millions of families face a “perfect storm” with benefit cuts, low wages, short hours and the high cost of living. Even in apparently well-to-do areas, community halls (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the CCPA’s recent report (PDF) on child poverty in Canada – and the affordable options which could eradicate that poverty based on a few simple choices.

For further reading…- Campaign 2000′s report card showed where Canada stood in 2009 when it came to its commitment to ending child poverty. – Sources as to the revenue implications of policy choices include Mike de Souza’s report on existing oil and gas subsidies, the PBO’s estimate on the GST (PDF), and Kevin Milligan’s calculation as to the long-term costs of TFSAs.- And for reporting on the CCPA’s study, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Helene Leblanc argues that we should make sure the Internet is treated as a commons accessible to all, rather than a privilege denied to many (particularly in rural areas): Many Canadians living outside urban centres do not have access to high speed broadband Internet and a significant number connect at speeds of 1.5 megabits per second — only marginally faster than dial-up.

In the year 2000 Estonia declared Internet access a fundamental human right, something essential for life in the 21st century, and launched a program to expand rural access. Finland (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- George Monbiot discusses the fallout from decades of corporate-controlled governments abdicating their responsibility to consider the public interest: In other ages, states sought to seize as much power as they could. Today, the self-hating state renounces its powers. Governments anathematise governance. They declare their role redundant and illegitimate. They launch furious assaults on their own branches, seeking wherever possible to lop them off.

This self-mutilation is a response to the fact that power has shifted. States now operate at the behest of others. Deregulation, privatisation, the shrinking of the scope, scale and spending (Read more…) the state: these are now seen as the only legitimate policies. The corporations and billionaires to whom governments defer will have it no other way.

Just as taxation tends to redistribute wealth, regulation tends to redistribute power. A democratic state controls and contains powerful interests on behalf of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis: Fossil fuel divestment necessary to avoid “carbon bubble”, says study

By: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives | Press Release: OTTAWA – Canada’s economy is experiencing a “carbon bubble” that could have significant consequences for Canada’s financial markets and pension funds, according to a new study released March 26 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Between two-thirds and four-fifths of known [...]

The post Fossil fuel divestment necessary to avoid “carbon bubble”, says study appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.