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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– David MacDonald examines how Canada’s tax expenditures systematically favour higher-income individuals over the people who actually have a reasonable claim to public support: This study finds that Canada’s personal income tax expenditures disproportionately benefit the rich and cost the federal treasury nearly as much as it collects in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Anthony Hilton writes that stronger protections for workers tend to increase productivity. And Fiona McQuarrie makes clear that we don’t have to settle for an economy where workers face constant fear and insecurity as a result of precarious work: (J)ob churn and precarious employment incur other costs. High . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Baratunde Thurston makes the point that even beyond income and wealth inequality, there’s an obviously unfair distribution of second chances in the U.S. depending on one’s race and class. Denis Campbell reports on the link between poverty and childhood obesity, while Jen St. Denis highlights how poverty . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Michael Harris argues that it’s long past time for the Trudeau Libs to start living up to their oft-repeated promise of real change – rather than merely slapping a friendlier face on the same old regressive C… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– David Dayen and Ryan Grim write that “free trade” agreements are in fact turning into little more than cash cows for hedge funds and other big-money speculators:

Under this system, a corporation invested in a foreign country can appeal to arbitration panels, consisting of three corporate lawyers, if that country enacts a law or regulation that violates a trade agreement or discriminates against the company. The ISDS courts can then award billions of dollars to the corporation to compensate it for the loss of expected future profits.

The problem is that these courts can also be used by speculators, who buy up companies for the sole purpose of filing an ISDS claim, or who finance lawsuits from corporations for a piece of the claim award.

“ISDS allows a small group of ultra-rich investors to extract billions of dollars from taxpayers while they undermine financial, environmental and public health rules across the world,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an early opponent of ISDS, told HuffPost. “Our trade deals should not include ISDS in any form.”

The use of ISDS as a moneymaking engine, rather than for its initial purpose ― to protect foreign investors from having their factories expropriated or their businesses nationalized ― raises the question of whether there’s a better system available.

“Why should hard-won sovereign advances, like rules against polluting or consumer protections, be at risk when the obvious solution is for the investors to put their skin, not ours, in the game?” wondered Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden and a critic of TPP. “The simple solution is to have them self-insure against investment losses.”

– Mike Balkwill highlights the need to stop consulting endlessly about poverty, and instead take action by ensuring people have enough resources to meet at least their basic needs. Ann Hui reports on the especially dire circumstances facing First Nations families in Northern Ontario who have to spend upwards of half of their income on overpriced food. And Miguel Sanchez criticizes the Wall government’s attack on benefits to people with disabilities in Saskatchewan.

– Nicole Thompson points out how the Libs’ changes to the temporary foreign worker program are actually making matters worse for caregivers by eliminating any right to apply for permanent resident status. And Martha Burk documents how workers can lose out when employers force them to accept payroll cards rather than paycheques.

– Erich Hartmann and Alexa Greig argue that it’s long past time for Canada’s federal government to provide stable funding for health care in partnership with the provinces, rather than contributing only as much as it wants to at any given point. And Tom Blackwell reports on the dangers of relying on private providers by highlighting how they inevitably leave the public system to deal with complications.

– Finally, Tom Parkin notes that we should base our discussion of electoral reform on the actual experience of similar countries, not the obviously-false claims of people wanting to fearmonger us into accepting the status quo. And Andrew Coyne draws a parallel to the census as an argument for mandatory voting. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Thomas Walkom discusses Mel Hurtig’s philosophy of economic nationalism, while noting that Canada stands out as an exception in lacking a strong movement toward greater internal planning and economic control. … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Mark Karlin interviews Richard Wolff about the relationship between unfettered capitalism and poverty:How is poverty an inevitable by-product of capitalism? Doesn’t this make all these charitable drives “to … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, contrasting Brad Wall’s giveaway of public money to subsidize take-out meals against his choice to make healthy food less accessible to the people who need it most in Saskatoon’s inner city.For further reading…- The Star-Phoenix reported on the… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- The Ontario Association of Food Banks discusses the long-term damage done by childhood poverty and deprivation:When facing a very tight budget, food is often the budget line that gets cut in order to a… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.- Don Pittis rightly notes that there can be a significant difference between an economy trumpeted as growing due to share prices and profits, and one which actually provides benefits to workers – and that the U.S. l… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- The Star-Phoenix duly calls out the Wall government’s short-sighted slashing of funding for homeless shelters:Regardless of how the government frames the changes, access to services is being denied to some of th… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- PressProgress highlights the disturbingly large number of Canadians spending more than half their income on a restrictively-defined set of basic necessities. And Elaine Power points out what a basic income could … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Sally Goemer writes that extreme inequality is a cause of economic instability for everybody. And Tom Powdrill discusses the importance of organized labour in ensuring the fair sharing of income, while Steven H… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Ben Oquist laments the fact that trickle-down economics and destructive austerity remain the norm in Australia no matter how thoroughly they’re proven to fail. Alvin Powell discusses the burgeoning inequality of oppo… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Lana Payne reminds us that wealth will never be fairly distributed without public action to ensure it doesn’t get concentrated with the lucky few:More and more of the income pie is going to the top one per cent . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On priorities

I’ve written before about the Saskatchewan Party’s assumption that actually meeting the basic needs of inmates wasn’t a core function of the provincial correctional system.Well, the choice to turn food service into a corporate profit centre has produce… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On priorities

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Lana Payne discusses Jordan Brennan’s research showing that corporate tax cuts have done nothing to help economic growth (but all too much to exacerbate inequality). And Andrew Jackson sets out the main fisca… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Les Leopold rightly argues that financial and political elites won’t offer a more fair distribution of wealth or power unless they’re forced to do so:Right now, we lack a robust mass movement with the power to reclai… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.- Upstream offers a summary of the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s latest report, with particular emphasis on growing inequality in health metrics due to social factors despite increased funding into the … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– I’ll start in on my own review of the NDP’s election campaign over the next few days, focusing on what I see as being the crucial decisions as the campaign played out. But for those looking for some of what’s been written already, I’ll point out recaps and . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Roheena Saxena points out that personal privilege tends to correlate to selfishness in distributing scarce resources. And that in turn may explain in part why extreme top-end wealth isn’t even mentioned in a new inequality target under development by the UN.

– Or, for that matter, the Calgary . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Michal Rozworski highlights the deeper economic issues which are receiving minimal attention compared to deficits and minor amounts of infrastructure spending in Canada’s federal election: In the long term, two decades of Liberal and Conservative austerity have left Canada with a revenue problem, rather than a spending problem.

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Robert Reich discusses the unfairness of requiring workers to take all the risk of precarious jobs while sharing few of the rewards: On demand and on call – in the “share” economy, the “gig” economy, or, more prosaically, the “irregular” economy – the result is the same: no predictable earnings . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Alex Munter discusses the connection between public health and economic development, along with the need to take a far longer-term view of both. And PressProgress points out Matthew Stanbrook’s message (PDF) that the Cons are undermining Canada’s medical system through malign neglect.

– Doreen Nichol comments . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Philip Berger and Lisa Simon discuss the health and social benefits of a guaranteed annual income: At the community level, poverty also has deep and lasting impacts — some visible, some not. We’ve seen these visible impacts in Simcoe County Ontario, where one of us works. One in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links