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Things Are Good: It’s Time for the Economy to Shrink

money

With the frequent boom and bust cycles the economy goes through it is rare for people to argue that perhaps the downward portion of cycles should continue. Shrinking the economy can actually be a good thing when done with good direction. DW has gathered many examples of places and people around the world . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: It’s Time for the Economy to Shrink

Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Surplus Absorption, Realization Crisis, and Imperialism (David Gilbert, November 2015)

David Gilbert, a political prisoner held in New York State since 1981, wrote the following text in 2015, examining the the ways in which capitalism is confronted by, and contends with, crises in surplus absorption and realization, in the imperialist age.

David was not entirely satisfied with this text in the end, however . . . → Read More: Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Surplus Absorption, Realization Crisis, and Imperialism (David Gilbert, November 2015)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Paved Paradise Because Parking Was Already There

July 5th, 2016, after years of a mud pit following the rip-out of the previous playground:

Now it looks like this again:

Reasoning given:

A project of this scale requires a large site and staging area directly adjacent to the building. The site, the courtyard immediately west of the building and south . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Paved Paradise Because Parking Was Already There

A Puff of Absurdity: On the Nature of Gifts and Help

Being helped so much by so many has led me to thinking about the idea of help and of gifts and Derrida’s idea that gifts are impossible in that, in part and very briefly (he wrote a whole book on this), once we give to someone it sets up a debt, which is poisonous as . . . → Read More: A Puff of Absurdity: On the Nature of Gifts and Help

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wall Took Money From Who?

Who has the Saskatchewan Party accepted donations from? The UofR, City of Regina, Regina Public Library, etc.

Most of the cash came from oil companies such as Crescent Point, Cenovus, Encana and PennWest, though the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, the Canadian Western Bank and construction company PCL also contributed.

…The NDP last year campaigned on . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wall Took Money From Who?

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Too Much Climate Change Truth

Brad Wall’s “plan is laughable“. That’s because it isn’t a plan to address climate change, it’s a plan to sweep it under the rug for another decade. Too bad we’re short of time and marching toward oblivion.

Clearly, Wall now thinks we’ve fallen a long way as a province since the early days of his . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Too Much Climate Change Truth

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: What’s Really Going On With Climate Change

There are too many people espousing their uneducated, or simply malicious views about the problem of climate change. There are enough of them in some places as to have totally halted progress against one of the greatest threats facing not only our species, but countless others. It’s equivalent to having spotted an Earth-directed asteroid with . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: What’s Really Going On With Climate Change

Politics, Re-Spun: Goodbye, Politics, Re-Spun! Hello, WePivot.net!

“Politics, Re-Spun” is now WePivot.net!

but why, you scream in horror!

next month is the 14th anniversary of Politics, Re-Spun…it’s time for a reframing/rebranding/pivot to something more…betterer, or more bigly, if you will.

14 years ago, in the twisted Orwellian months after 9/11 where words did not mean what words are, it was important to . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Goodbye, Politics, Re-Spun! Hello, WePivot.net!

Susan on the Soapbox: Sandra Jansen is right, there are Progressive Conservatives in Alberta

Yippee!

Sandra Jansen just confirmed she’s running for the leadership of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party. This is good news because her campaign will test Jason Kenney’s assertion that there’s no such thing as a progressive conservative.

Kenney is peddling the line that there are only two kinds of people in Alberta—small “c” conservatives who . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Sandra Jansen is right, there are Progressive Conservatives in Alberta

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: We Hear #carbontax Won’t Work But It Will Change Behaviour

Coyne has a point:

.@acoyne @ZackSiezmagraff Yes, exactly. Same way people don't like paying taxes so they avoid them, but a #carbontax won't change behaviour.

— Saskboy (@saskboy) October 14, 2016

Kevin replies, “I’m planning the purchase of a wood stove…”

Would you normally buy a wood stove?

No, but . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: We Hear #carbontax Won’t Work But It Will Change Behaviour

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: A Tax on Everything Is Coming

Run for the hills!

.@CNN #PriceOnCarbon article: "because we've been so slow to act on this crisis, bold action is now required" https://t.co/PvV1Y1oFdM

— Pembina Institute (@Pembina) October 5, 2016

I realize several people who I’m friends with, think Premier Wall is great for Saskatchewan. I’ve never held a high opinion of . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: A Tax on Everything Is Coming

Things Are Good: Environment Destroying CEOs Held Accountable by Shareholders

ShareAction is an organization that is tired of letting CEOs and companies harm the world and are doing something about it. The organization campaigns on behalf of shareholders to represent environmental, health, labour, and other concerns. They leverage their combined representation of shareholders to ensure that the companies return a profit while not destroying . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Environment Destroying CEOs Held Accountable by Shareholders

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Even When It Tries To Be Good, It’s Not

Oh boy, do I have thoughts. pic.twitter.com/lIEkxvT9uY — Steve Ladurantaye (@ladurantaye) September 13, 2016 The Mainstream Media, or MSM, has failed the people. Maybe because the majority is not owned by the people, but by large debt holders, billionaires, and the government. Their attempt to be “fair”, still overlook elephants in the room. .@DemFromCT @brianbeutler […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Even When It Tries To Be Good, It’s Not

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canadian Debt

Jeremy Harrison, minister of the economy pointed to the fact the average Canadian family needs 42.8 per cent of its pre-tax income for housing while the average in Saskatchewan is 28.6 per cent. “So I think that speaks as to the affordability of living here in this province,” said Harrison. John Hopkins, CEO of the […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canadian Debt

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Premier Phonying It In, With Respect to SaskTel

“Will [the Act] be changed with respect to [SaskTel]? No.” – Wall (March 2016) “There’s something we signed on to called the Crown Corporation Protection Act, or to that effect. Basically, it protects Crowns from being privatized,” he said. “If elected, we will make one change to that: that’s to the liquor retailing in the province. And we’ve already announced that.” That […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Premier Phonying It In, With Respect to SaskTel

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: On Time and On Budget

There’s a cliche around the City of Regina the last while. Politicians will say a project is “on time and on budget”, but fail to point out that the initial estimates for the budget and time it’s expected to be completed, are amended as the project goes along. Get support for the project by low-balling […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: On Time and On Budget

Things Are Good: How a Universal Basic Income Might Work in the USA

This year the idea of a basic income is growing in popularity, it’s even going to be tested in Ontario. The core concept that every citizen should be able to make a living regardless of their job (or lack thereof) is not new but it has never been done on a mass scale. A new […]

The post How a Universal Basic Income Might Work in the USA appeared first on Things Are Good.

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: How a Universal Basic Income Might Work in the USA

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Leader Post: Publishing Anti-Facts

In response to Herb Pinder’s July 16th op-ed “Climate change alarmists ignore nature’s role”, I wonder if the Leader-Post has decided to publish conspiracy theories as reasonable opinions. I think many have heard of “young earth creationists” who contend the Earth is only 6000 years old, but it’s news to me there are people such […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Leader Post: Publishing Anti-Facts

Yappa Ding Ding: Where have all the anti-globalization activists gone?

Over the last decade or so, every time there’s a WTO meeting or G8 summit, a lot of protesters show up to bring attention to some very real concerns about free trade agreements. Most recently there have been a number of protests against the TPP.

Globalization has made the world richer, but the way it has been implemented has given much more power and wealth to corporations, and diminished the ability of nations to regulate activities within their borders. At this very moment, for example, a Canadian pipeline company is suing the US government for $15B for not approving a very unpopular pipeline proposal – and it’s suing based on the rules of NAFTA.

So now Britain has voted to leave the EU. Polls showed that “the top issue among those voting to go was Britain’s right to act independently” (link).

The deficiencies of the EU are widely recognized. As Paul Krugman wrote recently:

The E.U. is deeply dysfunctional and shows few signs of reforming.

…Today’s E.U. is the land of the euro, a major mistake compounded by Germany’s insistence on turning the crisis the single currency wrought into a morality play of sins (by other people, of course) that must be paid for with crippling budget cuts. Britain had the good sense to keep its pound, but it’s not insulated from other problems of European overreach, notably the establishment of free migration without a shared government.

…The most frustrating thing about the E.U.: Nobody ever seems to acknowledge or learn from mistakes. If there’s any soul-searching in Brussels or Berlin about Europe’s terrible economic performance since 2008, it’s very hard to find. And I feel some sympathy with Britons who just don’t want to be tied to a system that offers so little accountability, even if leaving is economically costly. (link)

Soon after England and Wales voted to leave the EU, Larry Elliott, Economics Editor at the Guardian, wrote an article in the Guardian titled “Brexit is a Rejection of Globalisation” (link). He talks about the free trade movements of the last 30 years resulting in “a much diminished role for nation states”. Elliott argues that the EU failed:

Jobs, living standards and welfare states were all better protected in the heyday of nation states… than they have been in the age of globalisation. Unemployment across the eurozone is more than 10%. Italy’s economy is barely any bigger now than it was when the euro was created. Greece’s economy has shrunk by almost a third. Austerity has eroded welfare provision. Labour market protections have been stripped away.

…Torsten Bell, the director of the Resolution Foundation thinktank, analysed the voting patterns in the referendum and found that those parts of Britain with the strongest support for Brexit were those that had been poor for a long time. The result was affected by “deeply entrenched national geographical inequality”, he said.

There has been much lazy thinking in the past quarter of a century about globalisation. As Bell notes, it is time to rethink the assumption that a “flexible globalised economy can generate prosperity that is widely shared”.

So do you see my problem? Brexit is such an enormous boon for anti-globalization that it is being heralded as a reversal of the entire globalization trend. Why aren’t the anti-globalization organizations marching in the streets?

I can answer that question, but it saddens me. Over the last week, “conventional wisdom” has decided that everyone who supports Brexit is racist. I have been practically spat on because of the sentiments I expressed in my last post (link), that “my head said Remain but my heart said Leave”. One supposed old friend wrote:

60+ year old citizens of the UK who voted to leave (and they are the majority of wanna-be leavers) are delusional. They want to restore that tiny little island to its imperial greatness, or at least to its completely diminished splendour during WWII. They want an England with white rulers and black slaves.And of course the slaves are all rapists, and none of the white rulers is. Foreigners are all murderers and rapists. So the tiny little island may be able to pull in tourists to see its nearly dead monarch until she dies. Then the itiny little island dies. And this is where your heart is? I pity your heart. Unbelievable.

with a followup email the next day:

Fuck your heart Dwarf.

Every day recently, there are articles about thousands of people protesting Brexit; none about people supporting it. I just googled “Brexit” and the first hundred articles were overwhelmingly negative, largely based on the personalities of its spokespeople. The stock market in Britain is soaring (the FTSE 100 is at a 5-year high), but even that is being spun as negative with repeated claims that panicked Britishers are buying up everything in sight – which is a totally ridiculous argument.

Not many people, apparently, have the courage to take on the anti-Brexit crowd.

Even while arguing against Brexit, people could be starting a discussion of the ways the EU needs to improve. Instead, we have vitriolic articles about one person who said he regretted his vote to leave, that is magically turned into a claim that most leave-voters regret their decision; claims that an uptick in google searches for “European Union” in England means that those who voted Leave somehow didn’t know what the EU is; and on and on.

I am confident that the economic shock of Brexit will soon subside. I am not so sure that the world community will ever regain its sanity about what just happened, and why.

Oh, and for those clinging to the notion that Brexit was purely motivated by ignorance and racism, read this article written by Larry Elliott a month before the vote, in which he argues for Leave: Brexit May Be the Best Answer to a Dying Eurozone. . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Where have all the anti-globalization activists gone?

Yappa Ding Ding: Where have all the anti-globalization activists gone?

Over the last decade or so, every time there’s a WTO meeting or G8 summit, a lot of protesters show up to bring attention to some very real concerns about free trade agreements. Most recently there have been a number of protests against the TPP.Globali… . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Where have all the anti-globalization activists gone?

Things Are Good: Solar Sales Soaring Sixfold

Bloomberg is reporting that they anticipate a sixfold increase in star capacity thanks to the efficiency of a having a naturally-occuring ball of fire in our solar system. The sun is an abundant resource which shines its rays on us and now we have the industrial means to convert the sun’s rays into a powerful […]

The post Solar Sales Soaring Sixfold appeared first on Things Are Good.

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Solar Sales Soaring Sixfold

Susan on the Soapbox: Four Things We Learned From Brexit

What was he thinking? The UK, with or without Scotland and Northern Ireland, is leaving the EU, but first it has to slog through two harrowing years extricating itself from its most important market (44% of all of the UK’s … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Four Things We Learned From Brexit

Yappa Ding Ding: Another View on Brexit

I wasn’t eligible to vote on Britain’s exit from the European Union, and I’m not sure how I would have voted. My head said Remain but my heart said Leave – and I find myself quite pleased that England and Wales found the strength to free themselves fro… . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Another View on Brexit

Yappa Ding Ding: Another View on Brexit

I wasn’t eligible to vote on Britain’s exit from the European Union, and I’m not sure how I would have voted. My head said Remain but my heart said Leave – and I find myself quite pleased that England and Wales found the strength to free themselves fro… . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Another View on Brexit

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Bogus Brokerage Bull, and Other Online Obstructions

“by keeping that purchase threshold at $20 instead of giving Canadian shoppers a break and raising it to $80, Ottawa spends about $166 million to collect $39 million in additional taxes and duties.” Here’s something the Industry Minister should fix this year. Especially in light of the Liberals’ support of the TPP, why are they […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Bogus Brokerage Bull, and Other Online Obstructions