In Guatemala, indigenous Mayan communities’ participation in community consulta, or consultation, helps to engage the government, and push back against Canadian and multinational mining companies accused of human rights abuses.
The post Canadian mining interests in Guatemala challenged by indigenous direct democracy appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Lynn Parramore interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the spread of inequality, along with the need for a strengthened labour movement to reverse the trend: LP: In your paper, you indicate that the power of the 1 percent to exploit the rest seems to be increasing. Why is this happening? Are there limits to this exploitation?
JS: In a more careful, academic way of putting it I would say that one of the explanations of what is going on is increased exploitation. You see the ratio of wages to productivity going way down, and (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Ryan Meili examines why Craig Alexander of the TD Bank is calling for a move toward greater income equality in Canada: The OECD reports that income inequality is at the highest level in 30 years, and that economic growth has been slowed by as much as 10 per cent in some countries as a result. A 2014 IMF study showed that redistributive policies through tax and transfers not only do no harm to the economy, but can improve performance in the long-term. In fact, it appears that public investments in child care and (Read more…)
In his final press conference of 2014, President Obama spoke frankly about the so-called “benefits” to Americans of the Keystone XL pipeline. He points out it’s Canadian oil being transported over the United States to be sold on the global markets, with very little benefit to U.S. consumers. It’s good for the Canadian oil industry […]
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Thomas Walkom discusses why politicians have thus far failed to take any meaningful action on climate change. But it’s also worth noting that the question of whether voters are pushing for change may not be the only determining factor in government decision-making.
Most obviously, debt and deficits (which are no less distant from the immediate interests of voters than climate change) are seen as demanding constant and immediate action even at the expense of anybody’s apparent short-term political interests – with unpopular and destructive policy choices regularly defended based on the accepted belief (Read more…)
Advocacy groups and concerned citizens have signed an open letter demanding that the British Columbia government and Science World cancel their province-wide community seminars promoting the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.
The post Groups call on BC and Science World to end LNG promotion appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Here, on this week’s confirmation from the Broadbent Institute that Canadians severely underestimate wealth inequality – as well as the strong popular support to reduce the wealth gap.
For further reading…- The Norton/Ariely study of the views of Americans on wealth inequality is found here, and discussed further here, here and here.- And Danielle Kurtzleben writes that actual wealth inequality in the U.S. has only been getting worse since 2010.
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Mariana Mazzucato comments on the role of the innovative state – and the unfortunate reality that we currently lack anything of the sort due to corporatist thinking: (T)hanks in part to the conventional wisdom about its dynamism and the state’s sluggishness, the private sector has been able to successfully lobby governments to weaken regulations and cut capital gains taxes. From 1976 to 1981 alone, after heavy lobbying from the National Venture Capital Association, the capital gains tax rate in the United States fell from 40 percent to 20 percent. And in the name (Read more…)
As a followup to the Star Phoenix’s article on the hugely expensive, and (public) money losing CCS plant at Estevan, comes word of further cost overruns. The overruns, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, would have been sufficient to buy Regina its Stadium II, outright, fix its pension shortfall, or replace its Waste Water Treatment Plant.
SaskPower has apparently been misleading people by saying we need coal for “baseload” power, when Saskatchewan’s abundant wind source, coupled with Manitoba’s hydro, could safely provide a reliable power supply to homes, schools, etc.
And it appears that viable, cleaner, lower-cost solutions (Read more…)
The Hill times regarding the recent plunge in oil, and unspent money on renewable energy:
Liberal MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, Ont.) said the report is evidence the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) has favoured Alberta’s oil and gas industry at the expense of other sectors.
“We’re not nearly dead last in climate change progress for nothing, we worked at it, and we worked at it by emphasizing the oil sands in preference to everything else,” he said.
“So when we have this impending oil deflation, the price of oil deflation, all of our eggs (Read more…)
It’s so fantastically shameful the Immigration Minister discriminates based on religion, denying Syrian refugees especially if they are Muslims. This would violate the Charter of Rights were these people Canadians. Not a good Christian case of “do unto others”, is it?
.@CBCAlerts if only we could export our low-price oil even faster! #NoKXL #cdnpoli
— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) December 12, 2014
We have a mean-spirited PM presiding over a failing economy and trying to advertize his way out of trouble. #cdnpoli
— Tony Dean (@TonyDeanQPB) December 12, 2014
. . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Export The Immigration Minister Please
Assorted content to end your week.
- Aditya Chakrabortty contrasts the myth of the free market against the reality that massive amounts of public money and other privileges are shoveled toward the corporate sector: Few conceits are more cherished by our political classes than the notion that this is a free-market economy. To the right it is what makes Britain great. For the left it is what they are up against. And for the rich it is what justifies their huge pay packets: after all, they have earned it.
When asked for his view of western civilisation, Gandhi said he (Read more…)
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Wray Herbert examines Lukasz Walasek and Gordon Brown’s work on the psychological links between inequality, status-seeking and reduced well-being. And Linda McQuaig writes about the harm increasing inequality has done to Canada both economically and socially: (The OECD’s recent) report puts actual numbers on how much growth has been reduced as a result of trickle-down. In the case of Canada, the reduced economic growth amounts to about $62 billion a year — which economist Toby Sanger notes is almost three times more than the estimated annual loss to the Canadian economy of (Read more…)
So, @PMHarper, if oil/gas regulations don’t work at $65 a barrel, at what price are they “uncrazy”? $80? $100?
— David Akin (@davidakin) December 9, 2014
Here’s an impressive takedown of the Prime Minister’s “crazy” comments in the House the other day. Since 2006 he’s promised to regulate oil and gas. Now he admits that would be “crazy”. Harper is nuts, and a liar, and he’s our Prime Minister for another year.
In Parliament today, PM Stephen Harper said “it would be crazy economic policy” to regulate the Canadian oil and gas industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The post Harper Breaks Promise To Regulate Oil And Gas Emissions appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- The OECD reports on the relationship between equality and growth, and concludes that rising inequality is as toxic for economic development as it is for our social fabric. And David Rider discusses how increasing inequality is manifesting itself in several Toronto neighbourhoods.
- Meanwhile, Daniel Tancer finds finds that Canada’ workers receive a significantly lower share of income than in other developed countries: Our modern economy is anything but egalitarian, and labour’s share of income has been shrinking for decades as business profits soar while wages stagnate.
On this measure, Canada is (Read more…)
A delusional remark in a CBC article: “Canada, which has long been criticized for being heavily dependent on shipping natural resources to the rest of the world.” Our Prime Minister, and Saskatchewan’s Premier spend millions, hundreds of millions actually, to tell Canadians and the world how many resources we should be sending elsewhere.
Consider the stat from Gasland II, where about 60% of some wells’ casings are expected to fail within 30 years. Naturally that stat is going to err on the sensational, but even the more conservative ~10% estimates are extremely worrying. “Leaky plumbing on energy (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Polly Toynbee writes about the unfortunate agreement among the UK’s major parties not to talk about the real effects of gratuitous cuts for fear that the public won’t abide honesty in politics. And George Monbiot discusses how the UK’s tax system favours rents over productive uses of capital: The Westminster government claims to champion an entrepreneurial society of wealth creators and hardworking families, but the real rewards and incentives are for rent. The power and majesty of the state protects the patrimonial class. A looped and windowed democratic cloak barely covers the corrupt old (Read more…)
No. They are victims of circumstance, and despite their wealth and fame, they alone cannot change ‘the system’.
A voice from the Facebook-sphere intones: “I appreciate your commitment and respect what you are trying to achieve but bashing fossil fuels while you continue to use them adds no value to your cause.”
Not true. As Shane’s made plain, there’s no means for someone to hop off the oil bandwagon, because we’ve built our society around it for generations. It will take generations to leave it behind (completely), but that isn’t an argument to stop trying. Quite the opposite, (Read more…)
Assorted content to start your week.
- Murray Dobbin writes about the damage caused after decades of allowing the corporate elite to dictate economic policy – and notes that the Cons are determined to make matters all the worse: However you see it — as separate from society or integral to it – Canada’s “economy” is increasingly at the mercy of a risk-averse, inept corporate elite addicted to government tax breaks and an ideologically addled government which more than anything else is simply incompetent. It is a deadly combination — a sort of dumb and dumber team slowly dragging us backwards (Read more…)
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Mark Gongloff takes a look at social mobility research from multiple countries, and finds that there’s every reason for concern that inheritance is far outweighing individual attributes in determining social status. And Left Futures notes that the problem may only get worse as our corporate overlords become more and more sophisticated at cannibalizing our commonwealth for profit.
- Speaking of which, Jake MacDonald offers an insightful (if maddening) review of how farmers are suffering from the demolition of the single-desk Canadian Wheat Board.
- Andrew Jackson comments on the Cons’ glaring failure (Read more…)
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 exports since the 16th century, spent much effort over the years trying to do break free from this dependence — usually by encouraging secondary manufacturing.
The aim was to diversify the economy so that offsetting forces were created. A fall in oil prices, for instance, (Read more…)
A few years ago when the media started buying into the spindoctors’ PR BS about “Black Friday”, in the USA, I was severely disappointed. I’ve let that grow into a healthy disgust for what’s now an extra week of consumer manipulation perpetrated even on the supposedly “ad free” CBC Radio.
.@DaniMarioCBC @SheilaColesCBC I mean, what's the point of listening to ad-free radio, if the subject is the ads we're missing? @Adbusters
— John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) November 27, 2014
Our extreme consumerism, greed, materialism and gluttony disgust me during the Holiday season. The whinning, fighting, the pettiness WHY?!?!
— Emily (@MsEffieLou) (Read more…)
This is awesome. The 3 competing projects are all so great, it’s honestly hard to choose. I was just talking about being able to invest in solar power though, so I may go with the SES option. $1000 gets a future co-op membership too!