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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.

OPSEU Diablogue: $12.4 billion in tax revenue lost due to recession, not overspending — CCPA

Officially Ontario ended its recession in 2009, but the effects still linger in 2013. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives estimates the “great recession” of 2008-09 and the slow recovery has taken the Ontario economy $70 billion off course. That … Continue reading →

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has unveiled its alternative federal budget – which highlights the choice between the Cons’ needless austerity, and the 200,000-300,000 extra jobs which could be created alongside important social improvements which could be brought about through well-placed public action.

- Meanwhile, Murray Dobbin worries that the use of interest rates alone as an economic growth strategy is feeding an unsustainable housing bubble – offering anpther indication as to why we should work on expanding socially productive activities rather than hoping that unfettered (and indeed exacerbated) market forces

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Friday reading.

- Michael Moss writes about the amount of time and money spent by corporate conglomerates to push consumers toward eating unhealthy food: The public and the food companies have known for decades now — or at the very least since this meeting — that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Friday reading.

- Zoe Williams questions when being poor became grounds for deliberate discrimination and ritual public humiliation (h/t to Mound of Sound): What I cannot help noticing is a failure of normal human respect for the people at the bottom of the heap – Tuesday’s ruling in favour of Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson has had its bones picked over for what it does or doesn’t say about slavery, and yet the judges were clear: these people were treated dishonestly. They were treated as though, being unemployed, they could be parcelled about at the

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The CCPA looks at Statistics Canada’s latest income data and finds that inequality has been growing steadily across the country over the past few decades. The Canadian Labour Congress notes that corporate tax cuts have led to cash hoarding rather than increased jobs or productivity. Needless to say, the Village requests in all seriousness that observers not draw a connection between the two or any associated economic theory.

- Meanwhile, George Monbiot comments on how the removal of a privileged class from society at large serves to explain the disconnect between the

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Karl Flecker discusses how the Cons’ push to encourage employers to use temporary foreign workers will affect wages for everybody: In fact, what Kenney said was untrue. He has conveniently forgotten that his government significantly changed the wage rules for employers hiring high-skilled migrant workers. On April 25, 2012, after direct consultations with a select group of employers, Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources Skills Development Canada, announced a new “Accelerated Labour Market Opinion” to provide employers with “greater flexibility.” “Wages,” she said, “that are up to 15 per cent below

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Barbara Yaffe lets Hugh Segal make the case for a guaranteed annual income to end poverty in Canada: (Hugh Segal) says it could be arranged by way of a tax credit through the income tax system, to top up income of anyone falling below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cutoff (LICO).

LICO for a single person is about $22,200; for a family with three children, roughly $47,000.

“In other words,” writes Segal, “being poor would become a problem we all buffered in the same way as we buffer all Canadians relative to health

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Pam Palmater explains the historical background to Idle No More: (M)ost Canadians are not used to the kind of sustained, co-ordinated, national effort that we have seen in the last few weeks — at least not since 1969. 1969 was the last time the federal government put forward an assimilation plan for First Nations. It was defeated then by fierce native opposition, and it looks like Harper’s aggressive legislative assimilation plan will be met with even fiercer resistance.

In order to understand what this movement is about, it is necessary to understand how

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Lana Payne discusses the contrast between Theresa Spence’s selfless efforts to improve the lives of First Nations citizens, and Stephen Harper’s callous indifference: Is a hunger strike the answer? I honestly do not know, but then I have not known Chief Spence’s anguish. After all, she says her act is not about “anger, it is about pain.”

But I do so worry about this brave woman who starves herself while waiting for a meeting with the prime minister. I worry because Stephen Harper is a very stubborn man.

And Chief Spence is

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links