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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Graham Lowe and Frank Graves examine the state of Canada’s labour market, and find a strong desire among workers for an activist government to ensure improved pay equality and social supports. Oxfam reaches sim… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:

Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of violence as a backdrop in their lives, based on MRI scans, have weaker real-time neural connections and interaction in parts of the brain involved in awareness, judgment, and ethical and emotional processing.

…Though it’s still largely based on correlations between brain patterns and particular environments, the research points to a disturbing conclusion: Poverty and the conditions that often accompany it—violence, excessive noise, chaos at home, pollution, malnutrition, abuse and parents without jobs—can affect the interactions, formation and pruning of connections in the young brain.

Two recent influential reports cracked open a public conversation on the matter. In one, researchers found that impoverished children had less gray matter—brain tissue that supports information processing and executive behavior—in their hippocampus (involved in memory), frontal lobe (involved in decision making, problem solving, impulse control, judgment, and social and emotional behavior) and temporal lobe (involved in language, visual and auditory processing and self-awareness). Working together, these brain areas are crucial for following instructions, paying attention and overall learning—some of the keys to academic success.

The second key study, published in Nature Neuroscience , also in 2015 , looked at 1,099 people between ages 3 and 20, and found that children with parents who had lower incomes had reduced brain surface areas in comparison to children from families bringing home $150,000 or more a year.

“We have [long] known about the social class differences in health and learning outcomes,” says Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. But neuroscience has now linked the environment, behavior and brain activity—and that could lead to a stunning overhaul of both educational and social policies, like rethinking Head Start–style programs that have traditionally emphasized early literacy. New approaches, he says, could focus on social and emotional development as well, since science now tells us that relationships and interactions with the environment sculpt the areas of the brain that control behavior (like the ability to concentrate), which also can affect academic achievement (like learning to read). 

– Adria Vasil discusses the worldwide trend of water being made available first (and for inexplicably low prices) to for-profit bottlers over citizens who need it. And Martin Regg Cohn examines how the story is playing out in Ontario in particular.

– Mike De Souza reports on how the National Energy Board, rather than acting as a neutral regulator, misled Denis Coderre to try to take free PR for both the NEB itself and fossil fuel development in general. And Carrie Tait points out how the Husky oil spill is raising questions about Saskatchewan’s fully captured regulatory system. 

– Ian MacLeod reports on a sudden and unexplained increase in CSE interception of private communications.

– Finally, Andray Domise discusses what Colten Boushie’s shooting and its aftermath say about the blight of racism in Canada. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall is preaching neglect and delay as a response to violent racism (even as he’s fully prepared to use as much political capital as he can muster pitching the idea of a SaskTel selloff). For further reading…- Wall’s comments which … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here (via PressReader), on how Brad Wall is preaching neglect and delay as a response to violent racism (even as he’s fully prepared to use as much political capital as he can muster pitching the idea of a SaskTel selloff). For further reading…- Wall… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Nora Loreto slams the Wynne Libs’ “red tape” gimmick, while highlighting the need for people to claim a voice in rules largely intended to protect them as workers and consumers:One person’s red tape is another p… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Branko Milanovic points out how the commodification of our interactions may create an incentive for short-term exploitation:Commodification of what was hitherto a non-commercial resource makes each of us do m… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- David Blanchflower notes that there’s virtually no dispute that the UK is headed into an economic downturn – meaning that there’s also no excuse to hold off on fiscal relief for the public. And Brad DeLong po… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Lana Payne discusses how inequality and insecurity inevitably serve as the key explanation for the rise of right-wing populism. And Adam Johnson rightly challenges the theory being presented by some that the … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Trevor Hancock writes that if we’re going to designate anything as a public health emergency, poverty should top the list:I was pleased to see the B.C. Ministry of Health use the powers of the provincial health offic… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Andre Picard writes about the widespread poverty faced by indigenous children in Canada – and the obvious need for political action to set things right: The focus of the [CCPA’s] report, rightly, is on the chil… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the CCPA’s recent report on the continued shame of child poverty (particularly on reserve) and the Wall government’s lack of any interest in changing the reality that over two-thirds of Saskatchewan children on reserve live in poverty.For furt… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Miles Corak reviews Branko Milanovic’s new book on the complicated relationship between globalization and income inequality. Dougald Lamont examines the current state of inequality in Canada. And Matth… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Jim Dwyer writes about the cumulative effect a childhood in poverty has on individual development. And Lee Elliot Major calls out the self-perpetuating exclusion set up by the wealthy to preserve their privileg… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- The BBC reports that even UK business groups are acknowledging that excessive executive pay is leading to public concern and distrust in the state of the economy. And Alex Hern notes that Steve Wozniak for one isn’t … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.- Lana Payne writes about the need for a Bernie Sanders in Canada to highlight and oppose the privilege of the wealthy few:It is in this context of blatant unfairness — rules for the rich and rules for… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- In the wake of the Panama Papers, Don Pittis writes that tax shelters serve only to ensure that the wealthy don’t pay their fair share for a functional society – meaning that everybody who can’t afford… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Sean McElwee examines how the wealthy control the U.S.’ political system, while public opinion plays far too little role in policy choices:A comprehensive study by Grossmann finds that public opinion was a significan… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Robert Kuttner writes about the increasing recognition that extreme inequality arises out of power imbalances rather than any natural state of affairs:(I)nfluential orthodox economists are having serio… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Nicholas Fitz observes that inequality is far worse than the U.S. public believes – even as it already wants to see significant action. And Thomas Piketty updates his policy prescriptions arising out of Capital:… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.- Ian Welsh summarizes why inequality is intrinsically problematic:Even where people’s needs are met, the more unequal a society the more unhealthy everyone is and the more unhappy they are.Those who feel lowe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Patrick Flavin studies (PDF) the direct benefits that flow from giving people secure access to health care. And Daphne Bramham writes that the damage done by child poverty can be directly observed in educational… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Alan Freeman notes that the Libs’ aversion to raising public revenue may lock in some of the Cons’ most damaging actions:With the new Liberal government facing fierce economic headwinds — plus a billion-dollar… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Kaylie Tiessen offers some important lessons from Ontario’s child poverty strategy – with the most important one being the importance of following through. And Christian Ledwell encourages Prince Edward Isl… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- George Monbiot discusses the inherent conflict between consumption and conservation:We can persuade ourselves that we are living on thin air, floating through a weightless economy, as gullible futurologists pr… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links