Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Atrios offers a reminder as to how means-testing tends to make social programs more vulnerable to attack without making our overall tax system more progressive: We already means test through the tax code. It’s called progressive taxation. There’s no reason to add an entire additional layer of complexity ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – John Thornhill talks to Mariana Mazzucato about the importance of public investment in fostering economic growth – along with the need for the public to benefit as a result: As Mazzucato explains it, the traditional way of framing the debate about wealth creation is to picture the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – CBC follows up on the connection between childhood poverty and increased health-care costs later in life. And Sunny Freeman points out how the living wage planned by Rachel Notley’s NDP figures to benefit Alberta’s economy in general. – Meanwhile, William Gardner laments our lack of accurate information on ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

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 ...

Alberta Diary: What are Premier Jim Prentice and his three ‘agents of change’ planning for Alberta’s public service?

Alberta civil servants: do you get the feeling someone may have their eye on you? Below: Agents of change Richard Dicerni, Ian Brodie, Oryssia Lennie and Steve West. Premier Jim Prentice says he intends to “reform” Alberta’s public service, fix its low morale, reverse its “shocking” turnover and deal with its other “very significant problems.” ...

Bill Longstaff: Evidence for Democracy

Our current federal government’s aversion to facts is now, unfortunately, well-established as a fact itself. Examples are legion, but I will just mention one. Health Minister Rona Ambrose has assured Canadians that her government is a firm believer in science-based policy. Unfortunately, in a recent CBC interview she went about proving herself wrong. On the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week. – Robert Jay Lifton discusses the “stranded ethics” of a fossil fuel industry which is willing to severely damage our planet in order to protect market share: Can we continue to value, and thereby make use of, the very materials most deeply implicated in what could be the demise ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading. – Matthew Yglesias writes that while increased automation may not eliminate jobs altogether, it may go a long way toward making them more menial. And Jerry Dias recognizes that we won’t see better career opportunities emerge unless we make it a shared public priority to develop them: (I)ncreasingly, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Duncan Cameron writes that Stephen Harper’s CETA triumphalism may result in serious long-term damage to Canada for the sake of a temporary political reprieve: Promoting the big bamboozle means Harper is gambling with Canada’s economic future. The PM is touting a deal not yet finished. Making himself its ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your day. – Bloomberg reminds us of the nest egg Norway has built up by taking ownership of its own natural resources (and the consensus among conservative parties and business groups in favour of social spending is also worth highlighting). And Canadians for Tax Fairness point out the growing global movement ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leading the evidence

Paul MacLeod’s post-mortem of Nova Scotia’s election campaign is well worth a read. But following up on Kevin Milligan’s astute point, I’ll point out how one of the main factors in the outcome looks to hint at partisan politics taking yet another turn for the worse – even as it signals what activists may need ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – There was never much doubt that the Cons’ demolition of Canada’s long-form census was intended to ensure that we lack data needed to develop evidence-based policies – and that the effects would be most significant among the most marginalized (or exclusive) groups. And Toby Sanger, pogge and the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Arthur Haberman argues that our universal public health care system helps contribute to a more democratic society: There is something that political philosophers — those like Tocqueville and Mill in the 19th century — have come to call living democratically. By this it is meant that voting is ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Thomas Walkom writes that yesterday’s minor tinkering aside, the goal of the Cons’ temporary foreign worker program is still to drive down Canadian wages. And Miles Corak argues that the resulting distortion of employment markets shouldn’t be any more acceptable to a libertarian than a progressive: Flooding the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Ellie Mae O’Hagan and Nicholas Shaxson annihilate the claim that perpetually lowering corporate and upper-income tax rates offers any competitive advantage: Tax “competition”, it turns out, is always harmful. First, while people rarely move in response to tax changes – flighty financial capital does move. Governments “compete” ...

Accidental Deliberations: Slightly Aged Column Day

Here, on how Brad Wall’s willingness to see the long form census scrapped suggests that his government’s push toward mandatory annual standardized tests for all students can’t be explained by any real interest in evidence-based policy – and how the move looks to damage students’ education in substance rather than providing any useful information. For ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Alan Feuer writes about New York City’s brilliant use of “big data” to connect the dots in making public policy. And the examples look like a rather compelling reason why we should be looking to expand public-sector data collection and analysis as part of any remotely viable ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Michael Harris concludes that we’re currently stuck in a golden age for political falsehood and deceit: (T)here are problems with blotting out inconvenient truths with self-serving Newspeak. It’s catchier than a flu-bug in a pup tent. Quite a few pairs of pants are on fire in Ottawa these ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – While far too many in the media seem to have glossed over what the Cons’ attacks on votes in Parliament this fall actually meant, Mia Rabson nicely sums it up: (F)or the government to simply reject every single suggestion the opposition makes as an abuse of the process ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Michelle Ervin discusses Ed Broadbent’s ideas to start closing Canada’s yawning income gap: Broadbent outlined four broad prescriptions for bridging this gap, and ultimately, for creating a fairer society: investing in good jobs, strengthening income supports, increasing access to public services and reforming the tax regime to make ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Tim Harper weighs in on the Cons’ latest campaign of coordinated lies, and notes that the NDP looks to have learned one important lesson in how to respond: The NDP may be here at the federal level for the first time, but they appear to have learned the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Alice interviews Allan Gregg about his sharp criticism of anti-evidence politics, and finds some optimism on Gregg’s part that clear falsehoods will eventually be treated with due disdain: Q. So, one of your early mentors, [US pollster] Richard Wirthlin, he’s arguing that values trumped issues in the work ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that to occupy your Canada Day. – Tim Harford discusses why randomized trials as part of a genuine evidence-gathering process are a must in developing public policy. – Mike de Souza reports that the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans was already short on resources to do its job even before the Harper ...