elementalpresent: Who’s Driving? A Response to 4Front Atlantic’s GPS for Atlantic Canada

 What we are all looking for…is the readymade, competent man [sic]; the man whom some one else has trained. It is only when we fully realize that our duty, as well as our opportunity, lies in systematically cooperating to train and to make this competent man, instead of in hunting for a man whom some ...

elementalpresent: One benefit of getting older…

…is that you age your way out of the generational gaze. You know the one. The one that fixes on everything younger than 30 or 40, and can’t see anything but narcissism, entitlement, deviance and degrading values. I wrote this blog many months back, and a much shorter and slightly different version of it was ...

elementalpresent: ‘Hipster’ is not a real job. Neither is not having a job.

Last week, the CCPA released a report (authored by yours truly) about youth un- and underemployment in Canada. It showed that, while youth unemployment in Canada is not insubstantial – 14.1% in 2011, up from 12.9% in 2006 – it’s still “low” compared to other OECD countries. In Greece, for example, the rate was 44.4% ...

elementalpresent: The Pot and the Kettle

In several previous posts, I’ve made passing reference to the idea that every generation doubts or outright disparages the “work ethic” of the one following it into the workforce. Conducting some preliminary research for my next project on the concept of “productivity”, I came across some hard evidence for my claim. It’s not earth shattering, but I’m ...

elementalpresent: How to Eliminate Tuition Fees (and do it right)

Quebec student group CLASSE has come forward with an offer of what it would take to end their almost four-month strike: the elimination of tuition fees by 2016. The plan is based on taxing banks, starting at 0.14 per cent per cent this year, and rising to 0.7 per cent over the next four. According ...

elementalpresent: The Real Culture of Dependency: In Defense of Atlantic Canada

This post is co-authored with Brian Foster “Is the EI system making it more attractive to not work?” That’s the (attempt at) thought-provoking (or fire-stoking) title of a recent National Post piece, written in the aftermath of Jim Flaherty’s intellectually lazy and socially irresponsible public musings on the psychological, voluntaristic reasons for Canada’s unemployment rate. Flaherty, ...

elementalpresent: Why work?

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be I’ll get ...

elementalpresent: Now, to let the money start rolling in…

You’ve likely seen at least one list, published in a newspaper’s ‘business’ section, of tips for how to manage that unruly influx of “young punks” wreaking havoc on workplaces around the world: the millennials (or Generation Y). Over at the CCPA’s Behind the Numbers blog, I’ve combined some old material with some newer numbers in a different format to ...

elementalpresent: Waging or Resisting Unwinnable Wars: A Response to Donald Gutstein

Across Canada and every other place where austerity has become a household term, the idea of generational conflict has come out of retirement (pun intended). In Canada, intergenerational issues and tensions garnered a bit of attention during the Occupy encampments, and resurfaced again in the wake of the Prime Minister’s nonchalant announcement, in Davos, that ...

elementalpresent: State of the Union: Part 1 of 2

Unions, in Canada and the world over, are facing perhaps their biggest battle of the last eighty-odd years. Not only are they fighting to protect workers against governments and employers (and government employers) armed with the powerful language of crisis and austerity, they are also doing it with very little sympathy or support from people ...

elementalpresent: Delaying Retirement: What Does it Mean for Younger Workers?

Since the announcement that his government was considering raising the eligibility age for Old Age Security (OAS), Stephen Harper has backed off slightly, assuring the public that such reforms are years away. Nevertheless, media and experts of all kinds have fired into gear, speculating on the possible motivations for OAS reform, and exploring its potential implications. ...