Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

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 analysis from Charlie Demers, Tim Ellis, Hassan Arif, Evan Dyer, Jenn Jefferys, Christopher Majka, Gerald Caplan, Jim Quail, Elizabeth McSheffrey and Paul Dechene – while noting that I’ll be challenging and/or expanding on some of their analysis (Read more…)

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 Board of Education’s continued provision of free lunches to executives while students lack food and supplies. Meanwhile, Laurie Monsebraaten reports on the spread of hunger in Toronto’s suburbs, while Karena Walter points out the need for more action on poverty in Canada’s federal election.

- (Read more…)

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.

As the Broadbent Institute points out, if the federal government took in as much revenue relative to the economy as it did a decade ago (when taxes were already low), it would have an additional $41 billion to spend per year. This is what it (Read more…)

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 or hours.

It’s the biggest change in the American workforce in over a century, and it’s happening at lightening speed. It’s estimated that in five years over 40 percent of the American labor force will have uncertain work; in a decade, most of us.…Courts are (Read more…)

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 on the relationship between low-wage, precarious work and food insecurity. Michal Rozworski points out how the NDP’s plan for a $15 federal minimum wage will have an impact far beyond the people who receive that wage directly, while James Armstrong reports that there’s serious reason to (Read more…)

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 four single-parent families experience moderate or severe food insecurity at some point every year. A family of four receiving Ontario Works would have to spend 93% of their monthly after-tax income on rent and nutritious food alone, leaving little remaining for all other necessary expenses.

(Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Roderick Benns interviews Chantelle Scott about the role a basic income could play in fostering business development: Scott says she would have preferred to have been able to take some business courses and learn more before jumping into opening a store – but she couldn’t afford to wait.

“There is pressure when you are on EI or Alberta Works, and there is fear. The programs inhibit job growth because you always know you will lose most of the support if you find a job, and if it is a bad job you are (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Saturday reading.

- Joseph Heath looks at the spread of the McMansion as an ugly example of competitive consumption which benefits nobody. And Victoria Bateman discusses the need to question the assumptions underlying laissez-faire policymaking: Science and technology are central to rising prosperity, but, as cases such as the internet and GPS technology demonstrate, progress is just as much a result of state funding and risk taking as it is of private sector endeavour. Since the Enlightenment, innovation has been a collective endeavour – and long may it continue. However, this comes with two warnings. Firstly, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Genevieve LeBaron, Johanna Montgomerie, and Daniela Tepe-Belfrage write that inequality is getting worse in the UK based on class, gender and all kinds of other grounds, while a supposed “recovery” isn’t benefiting anybody except the people who least need it: (E)conomic policies associated with ‘recovery’ in the UK have deepened inequality and exclusion along the overlapping lines of class, gender, race, ability, age and sexuality. Sweeping welfare reforms, for instance, are disproportionately targeting women and low-income couples with children, with particularly dire consequences for single mothers. The newly imposed ‘bedroom (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Jim Pugh argues that we should take a serious look at a basic income, while Livia Gershon examines how even a small amount of guaranteed income has made an immense difference in the lives of families in one North Carolina town. And Walter Frick observes that strong social supports are exactly what people need to be able to take entrepreneurial risks: In a 2014 paper, Olds examined the link between entrepreneurship and food stamps, and found that the expansion of the program in some states in the early 2000s increased the chance (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Merry Xmas to all!

And to all, a reminder that you’d best get your holiday dinner inspected for yourself, because the Harper government isn’t so much on the job.

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Walden Bello discusses the need for our political system to include constant citizen engagement, not merely periodic elections to determine who will be responsible to implement the wishes of the elite: Even more than dictatorships, Western-style democracies are, we are forced to conclude, the natural system of governance of neoliberal capitalism, for they promote rather than restrain the savage forces of capital accumulation that lead to ever greater levels of inequality and poverty. In fact, liberal democratic systems are ideal for the economic elites, for they are programmed with periodic electoral exercises that (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Reviewing Darrell West’s Billionaires, Michael Lewis discusses how extreme wealth doesn’t make anybody better off – including the people fighting for position at the top of the wealth spectrum: A team of researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute surveyed 43,000 Americans and found that, by some wide margin, the rich were more likely to shoplift than the poor. Another study, by a coalition of nonprofits called the Independent Sector, revealed that people with incomes below twenty-five grand give away, on average, 4.2 percent of their income, while those (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On inconsistent statements

Shorter Leona Aglukkaq: It’s libellous to suggest that I privately demanded that Sam Tutanuak apologize for exposing the fact that my constituents are going hungry. But while I have your attention, I may as well take the opportunity to publicly demand that Sam Tutanuak apologize for exposing the fact that my constituents are going hungry.

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jeremy Warren reports on the latest Canadians for Tax Fairness events working to ensure that Cameco and other megacorporations pay at least their fair share. And Sheila Block and Kaylie Tiessen point out that Ontario could do plenty to reduce its deficit by reining in regressive tax giveaways.

- APTN documents the devastating reality that people who can’t afford overpriced food in Northern communities are having to forage through garbage dumps in order to scrape by. And naturally, Leona Aglukkaq and the Cons are concerned…that anybody’s finding out about that fact, leading (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- The Globe and Mail reminds us why we should demand the restoration of an effective census, while Evidence for Democracy is making a public push toward that goal. And Tavia Grant discusses how the destruction of effective data collection is affecting Canadian workplace: Reliable, complete and up-to-date labour market data is a crucial component of government policy, influencing everything from educational priorities to immigration.

Yet, fallout from faulty or missing labour market information has made headlines on a number of issues this year alone. It’s been hard to pinpoint the size of the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Olga Khazan writes about the connection between lower incomes and obesity in the U.S. And Truthout discusses how poverty and other stressors can directly affect individual and communal genetics for generations: (A) study by researchers at University College London’s Institute of Child Health found that, thanks to epigenetics, children whose parents and grandparents were born into poverty can, themselves, carry the scars of that past poverty with them for the rest of their lives. That’s because children born to families who’ve lived generations in poverty inherit genes configured to help them (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the need to take downside risks into account in discussing industrial development – especially when our water, land and lives are at stake.

For further reading…- The CP and Jenni Sheppard report on the many warning signs which should have identified the causes of the Mount Polley spill before it turned a town’s water toxic. Stephen Hume rightly concludes that the spill can be traced to a lax regulatory culture. Alison Bailey’s report points out that similar ponds set up for larger mining projects could cause even more damage. And Nature Canada discusses the deliberate choice (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ralph Surette highlights the dangers of a pollution-based economy which fails to account for the damage we’re doing to our planet and its ability to provide food for people: This is something to behold. A more-or-less hurricane in early July. Has anyone ever seen such a thing?

This is climate change, and it’s getting worse. And whereas the news of the day is about people with the power out, the long-term story is about the hit to agriculture, now and in future, here and worldwide — keeping in mind that farming is more (Read more…)