There is no political rocket science to the Oct. 19th election result. Even with our slanted first-past-the-post system, it would have been difficult for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to squeak out a parliamentary majority, or even minority, given that more than two-thirds of the population wanted him out.
If vague notions of change played the lead role in the long campaign, then the economy wrote the script for much of the rest. The Liberals won, while the others lost, on economic issues.
Since the global crisis of 2007-08, most of us have seen stagnation in incomes and living standards. The past (Read more…)
Anderson Anderson Architecture has built a classroom in Hawaii that generates more energy than it consumes, making what they call a “energy positive” building. The term “energy positive” is being encouraged to replace “net zero” as the benchmark for environmental consciousness in architecture.
The classroom does use roof solar panels to generate energy, though the roof’s saw-tooth shape helps to that end. The slating, jagged design is often referred to as a factory roof, deriving from its use in the design of factories more than a century ago. With north-facing windows, this roof shape is particularly efficient at capturing daylight, (Read more…)
Mark Blyth: The Return Of Class Politics In The UK.
For David Cameron, cutting spending in a highly unequal society works because it doesn’t affect those who matter to him. This used to be called class politics.
The prime minister’s speech at the lord mayor’s banquet last year was notable in part because its main message, that “we need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently,” was delivered from a throne bedecked in gold to applause from members of the financial elite. But it’s the other less commented upon aspects of last year’s speech that signal why the (Read more…)
I’ve been posting more sparsely lately for a number of external reasons but this should change soon I hope. For now, here is the first major piece I wrote for Ricochet. In some ways, it’s the obligatory piece on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, but really it’s my way of trying to think through the hand-wringing about Canada’s middle class. Below are the first couple of sections, read the rest here.
The US is in the throes of a debate about inequality: It’s the Waltons versus the Walmart workers on food stamps, the runaway rich in the 1 (Read more…)
Two very interesting articles about police conduct came out this week, particularly interesting if you juxtapose them.
Ferguson and the cult of compliance
In cases that seem very different, separated by factors such as age, race, gender, sexuality, geography, class and ability, police explain away their actions by citing noncompliance. They do it because it works. They do it because according to their beliefs, any sign of noncompliance is an invitation to strike.
First, we have to recognize the common denominators in many of these incidents: that people who die at the hands of the police don’t obey commands and (Read more…)
EU Advisors Advocate use of Military Against Strikes and Protests | Global Research.
Experts at a European Union (EU) think-tank are demanding that the EU prepare to put down strikes and protests with military force. Due to the deepening social inequality in a globalised economy and growing military conflicts within the EU’s borders, such outbursts will inevitably increase.
In the study by the European Union Institute for Security Studies, the authors bluntly state that in the face of these developments, the army will have to be used increasingly for policing duties to protect the rich from the anger of (Read more…)
Filed under: Class, Democracy, Political Science, The State
Things I realize after getting many hater-comments and trolls: 1) The world is not ready for Critical Race Theory or talking about the process of “Whiteness” and “racialization”. I thought […]
Looking at the prevalence of strikes in the US over the past six decades, Doug Henwood writes,
Second Amendment fetishism aside, there’s an old saying that the working class’s ultimate weapon is withholding labor through slowdowns and strikes. By that measure, the U.S. working class has been effectively disarmed since the 1980s.
Doug then produces a graph showing a precipitous decline in the number of strikes in the US involving more than 1000 workers starting about three decades ago. Intrigued, two thoughts quickly crossed my mind. First, as is often the case, I wanted to see whether the same (Read more…)
Low-Wage Workers Are Finding Poverty Harder to Escape – NYTimes.com.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — At 7 in the morning, they are already lined up — poultry plant workers, housekeepers, discount store clerks — to ask for help paying their heating bills or feeding their families.
And once Metropolitan Ministries opens at 8 a.m., these workers fill the charity’s 40 chairs, with a bawling infant adding to the commotion. From pockets and handbags they pull out utility bills or rent statements and hand them over to caseworkers, who often write checks — $80, $110, $150 — to patch over (Read more…)
Britain’s five richest families worth more than poorest 20% | Business | The Guardian.
The scale of Britain’s growing inequality is revealed by a report from a leading charity showing that the country’s five richest families now own more wealth than the poorest 20% of the population.
Oxfam urged the chancellor George Osborne to use Wednesday’s budget to make a fresh assault on tax avoidance and introduce a living wage in a report highlighting how a handful of the super-rich, headed by the Duke of Westminster, have more money and financial assets than 12.6 million Britons put together.
The development (Read more…)