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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Michael Bader argues that a cynical view of politics represents the most important barrier to progressive victories:Cynicism is a corrosive force in our politics and culture, but one that is invisible to us beca… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

The Progressive Economics Forum: Small Business Taxes, Big Loopholes

by: Kaylie Tiessen & David Macdonald

Small business taxes made the news last week when, during a CBC interview, federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suggested many business owners are using the small business tax rate as a de facto in-country tax shelter.

Responding to the interview, Conservative leader Stephen Harper accused Trudeau of taking aim . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Small Business Taxes, Big Loopholes

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Why Thomas Mulcair Should Distance Himself From the CFIB and Why he Won’t

Recently, Justin Trudeau has come under fire for remarks he made suggesting that some small business owners used their concerns to avoid paying taxes.  He did not suggest all, but that didn’t stop the media and his opposition from jumping on the bandwagon.

However, leading the charge is a group called the Canadian Federation . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Why Thomas Mulcair Should Distance Himself From the CFIB and Why he Won’t

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Why Thomas Mulcair Should Distance Himself From the CFIB and Why he Won’t

Recently, Justin Trudeau has come under fire for remarks he made suggesting that some small business owners used their concerns to avoid paying taxes.  He did not suggest all, but that didn’t stop the media and his opposition from jumping on the bandwagon.

However, leading the charge is a group called the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.  (Former president shown above with NDP members, including Brian Topp).

However, in 2011, David Climenhaga exposed this group for what they really are:

Why does the so-called Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses push a far-right agenda that benefits the country’s richest corporations and individuals at the expense of independent businesses? 

Well, it’s not that complicated, really. Like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which doesn’t represent the interests of Canadian taxpayers, it’s fair to say based on its actual behaviour that the CFIB is a typical example of pure, unadulterated AstroTurf pretending to serve the interests of one group while actually working against them.

In 2012,  CFIB’s president, Christine Swift (above with Topp),  was forced to step down because of her involvement in a group called Working Canadians.  Don’t let the name fool you.  This is actually another AstroTurf group, whose primary stated goal is to diminish the role of unions.

Since when were the NDP anti-union?  I know in Quebec that Mulcair was, and it is he who suggested that the party move away from them, but still.  It’s rather odd that they would be backed by an anti-union group, although everything about this party is odd these days.

That would certainly explain why most of their attacks have been against Justin Trudeau, despite the fact that it’s the NDP who actually benefit from union support.  The only anti-NDP  ad is against the B.C. Party, but they have left Mulcair alone.

Maybe it has something to do with this.

Their former president tried to explain here.

The Tories’ latest TV attack ad takes direct aim at Trudeau, ignoring Mulcair. Similarly, a group called Working Canadians, headed by former Canadian Federation of Independent Business president Catherine Swift, and funded mainly by donations from business owners, is airing radio ads attacking Trudeau’s “high-tax, big-government agenda,” but not taking aim at Mulcair—

She suggested that she didn’t think he would have electoral success, but given past polls, why are they still leaving Mulcair alone?

One of their television ads is eerily similar to those run by the Conservatives.  They use the cherry picked “budgets will balance themselves” and a short clip from Trudeau’s teaching days.

Swift’s replacement, Dan Kelly, is also right-wing and has even called on businesses to boycott the United Way and supports the use of temporary foreign workers.

The Proof is in … Well the Proof

Ok.  So you look at the above and might say that the links between the NDP and CFIB are weak, except that the NDP themselves have admitted to courting their influence.

Last week’s exchange in the House is just one small example of how the CFIB’s influence – with all parties – has grown substantially, particularly the NDP, one expert says.  From question period. 

“The political parties are looking at the CFIB as the only credible organization that deals with small and medium sized businesses. That’s an approach the NDP has been taking in the past few years,’’ says Gilles LeVasseur, a business and law professor with the Telfer School of Business in Ottawa. 

“They’ve been dealing with unions. So now they (the NDP) are shifting toward business people because they see that they’ve missed out on that opportunity. You have to understand that the NDP is doing that because they have to show they can govern the country, and by governing the country you also need to have business on your side,’’ said LeVasseur, who was a member of the CFIB for a year about a decade ago.

They’ve been dealing with unions alright.

So the CFIB and the offshoot Working Canadians are overtly attacking Justin Trudeau with money from “small businesses”, and CFIB has an NDP MP as a former member.  Did they draft Mulcair’s business tax strategy that benefits the rich?

They have set up Justin Trudeau and once again the media has become complicit.  Don’t you just love the state of our democracy?

Trudeau is right to challenge them.  He has heard the ads and he knows the players. He could pull an #NDPTruthTeam on them and ask why the NDP was being backed by a group that wants to stop money going to the United Way.  Or is a strong supporter of the Temporary Foreign Workers program.  Or wants to diminish the role of unions.

Wait a minute.  I think I just did that.  Yeah, me.  I’m for #RealChange.

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Why Thomas Mulcair Should Distance Himself From the CFIB and Why he Won’t

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Sheila Block points out the problems with the spread of low-paying, precarious jobs. And PressProgress fact-checks the CFIB’s attempt to make as many workers’ lives as precarious as possible by suppressing minimum wages and standards.

– But Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports that Ontario’s provincial government is making matters . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On minimal solutions

Shorter Corporatists to Fleece the Irrelevant Beggars trying to avoid a living wage for Alberta: Has anybody pointed out that if we ensure that the hungry have food, some of them might gain weight? That’s why we consider it more responsible to force-feed them diet pills.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Thomas Walkom points out that with oil prices in free fall, we’re now seeing the inevitable consequences of the Cons’ plan to build an economy solely around unstable resource revenues: Sensible countries try to lessen their dependence on volatile commodities. Canada, whose economy has been dominated by resource . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– George Monbiot comments on the far more important values we’re endangering in the name of constant financial and material growth: To try to stabilise this system, governments behave like soldiers billeted in an ancient manor, burning the furniture, the paintings and the stairs to keep themselves warm . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Duncan Cameron discusses how Canada can respond to being stalled economically: In 2011 median earnings in Canada were $30,000. That means one-half of Canadian workers earned less than $30,000. What is more to the point is that earnings in 2011 were $1,800 below the level attained in 1977 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On deflection

Shorter Your Corporate Overlords: It turns out most of the information we supplied to get a free pass on importing disposable foreign workers was laughably inaccurate. And we’re outraged that anybody was foolish enough to believe us.

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

– James Meek observes that decades of privatization in the UK have eliminated public control over housing and other essential services – and that privatization takes far more forms than we’re accustomed to taking into consideration. And Rick Salutin offers his take on the latter point: Economist Mariana . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the conflict between Canadian values including a reasonable quality of life and freedom from an employer’s total control, and the explicitly anti-Canadian message of employers seeking to expand and exploit a temporary foreign worker underclass.

For further reading…– Once again, Dan Kelly’s comments were caught by PressProgress, while Geoff Leo reported on . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Political Eh-conomy: The Temporary Foreign Worker Program and labour solidarity

Yesterday, I took a look at the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and how it helps enforce labour discipline on all workers, and low-wage workers in particular. Today, I want to explore the migration side of the migrant worker equation. The context of migration not only makes it easier for employers to exploit TFWs, it . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: The Temporary Foreign Worker Program and labour solidarity

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

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Livio Di Matteo discusses the wasted opportunity to improve Canada’s health care system through concerted national investments. And Ryan Meili asks who will provide future direction now that the Cons have scrapped the Health Council of Canada: Now we see the federal government making a bad situation . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Justin Fox questions whether traditional studies tracking the distribution of wealth by quintiles do much good when the most obvious economic faultline is between the (give or take) 1% and everybody else: Something really dramatic is going on up there in the top 5%, the top 1%, the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

OPSEU Diablogue: Is CFIB willing to shoulder health costs resulting from prescription for more inequality?

At a time when the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is advocating an end to “defined benefit” (DB) pensions, the latest retirement index suggests that the alternate “defined contribution” (DC) pensions are struggling and will not produce the kind … Continue reading →

The Progressive Economics Forum: The CFIB’s Municipal Manipulations

After analyzing “research reports” issued by the Fraser Institute or the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), I usually end up shaking my head in disbelief.

Do they really need to so grossly distort and manipulate the statistics to make their arguments?

The answer is invariably “yes”. That’s because the underlying facts are often so . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The CFIB’s Municipal Manipulations

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire: Danielle Smith and Big Tobacco

What is it with right-wing politicians and tobacco, anyway? Below: Don’t worry, she won’t have to pay higher taxes for that cigarette.

The leaders of all Alberta parties but one seem committed to ending smoking by young Albertans. The sole holdout? It’s the Wildrose Party, led by former Fraser Institute apparatchik Danielle Smith, of . . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire: Danielle Smith and Big Tobacco