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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Kevin Carmichael compares the federal parties’ promises to help parents and concludes the NDP’s child care plan to hold far more social and economic benefit, while Natascia Lypny likewise finds that parents are more interested in actual affordable child-care spaces than tax baubles. CTV reports on the NDP’s promise to extend parental leave under EI as an added help to new parents. And David MacDonald offers five reasons why we need to ensure better opportunities for indigenous families and children.

- Nathan Liewicki reports on the Council of Canadians’ town hall on protecting (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On contrasting activities

Thomas Walkom rightly notes that this fall’s election has seen somewhat more discussion of government acting in the public interest than we’ve seen in some time. But it’s worth drawing a distinction between the varieties of intervention on offer from the NDP and the Libs respectively.

As much as the latter have tried to suggest that running immediate deficits is the sole measure of progressivism, the real difference between the two lies in their longer-term plans.

For the NDP, the goal of an active government is to build up a stronger social safety net over time. Immediate funding for child (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Public health care: We have it, Americans still don’t, they wish they did – there’s a lesson in that

PHOTO: Sorry, no relevant photos tonight. Just this shot of a typical American public servant crossing the rotunda of the New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe, deep in thought. She is doubtless wishing the United States had Canada’s system of health care. SANTA FE, N.M. The economy, Harper Fatigue Syndrome or however one should […]

The post Public health care: We have it, Americans still don’t, they wish they did – there’s a lesson in that appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Weinberg discusses the need to focus on inequality in Canada’s federal election, while Scott Deveau and Jeremy Van Loon take note of the fact that increased tax revenue is on the table. The Star’s editorial board weighs in on the NDP’s sound and progressive fiscal plan. And Matthew Yglesias includes the rise of the NDP as part of the growth of a new, international progressive movement.

- Rank and File interviews Michael Butler about the privatization of health care in Saskatchewan, as well as the role of the federal government in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ira Basen discusses the Canadian federal election campaign’s focus on the middle class – as well as the reality that the economic security which looms as the most important priority within that group will require more government action than the limited policies currently on offer. And Tavia Grant comments on how precarious work is being addressed by Canada’s federal parties.

- Meanwhile, Andrew Jackson discusses a new Centre for Spatial Economics study showing the positive economic effects of a long-term infrastructure plan.

- Dave Seglins, Harvey Cashore and Frederic Zalac report on how (Read more…)

Wise Law Blog: Health Care Practitioners: Please Don’t Keep Notes About Your Patients’ Discussions With Their Lawyers

Today’s tip is for health care practitioners whose patients are involved in litigation.We recognize that it might be natural, and even good practice, for medical practitioners to ask their patients how their lawsuits are going.Particularly for those practitioners who provide counselling, these discussions may be essential to your work.Lawsuits can weigh heavily upon the psyches of those who find themselves involved in the legal system. The litigation itself can be very foreign and stressful. The future may in a very real way hinge on the outcome of their lawsuits. There may even be stressful issues between your patients (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Wise Law Blog: Health Care Practitioners: Please Don’t Keep Notes About Your Patients’ Discussions With Their Lawyers

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…)

Politics Canada: Do Canadians deserve to lose universal health care, CBC and democracy?

When I see polls like the one today from Nanos which has the Conservative Party of Canada led by Stephen Harper in first place, I have to ask myself, “do Canadians deserve to lose universal health care? Do we deserve to lose the CBC? Do we deserve the erosion of our democracy, through so many actions they get too numerous to count (creation of a secret police force, government spying on citizens, electoral fraud in last two elections, first past the post system, unfair elections act, rewriting the rules to favour the party with the most money, giant (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Pot: Decriminalize or Legalize?

On the campaign trail, Prime Minister Harper repeated assertions that relaxing pot laws will lead to terrible, horrible things: ““When you go down that route, marijuana becomes more readily available to children, more people become addicted to it and the health outcomes become worse.” The Conservative response is to escalate the “war on drugs,” even though this moral crusade has utterly failed in its attempts to eradicate drug use, while wasting public resources on law enforcement and the justice system.

This fear mongering is far behind the times. Social acceptance of pot, in spite of decades of negative propaganda, (Read more…)

Politics Canada: Why Harper doesn’t tell Canadians what he’s doing

Stephen Harper has done many things since becoming the worst prime minister in Canadian history. One of the main difficulties I have his willingness to take actions that he has never discussed, or won a mandate for from the electorate.

If he wishes to make a case for privatized health care in place of our current government run health insurance he should do so. Make his argument on how his idea could be more effective and cost less and let the voters decide.

He does not though, instead he cuts $36 billion from health care and buries the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Chantal Panozzo discusses the lack of work-life balance which serves as the default in the U.S. – and notes how preposterous precarious work looks once a person has experienced an alternative: Before I moved to Switzerland for almost a decade, American Reality was all I knew. I was living in a two-bedroom apartment making $30,000 a year in a job where I worked almost seven days a week with no overtime pay and received 10 days of paid time off a year.

In other words, for the hours worked, I was making (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Shannon Gormley points out how the Cons’ actions to strip voting rights from Canadians abroad sticks out like a sore thumb compared to an international trend of recognizing that citizenship doesn’t end merely because a person crosses a border. And Peter Russell and Semra Sevi lament that it’s too late to reverse the damage before this fall’s federal election, while the Star makes the broader point that we should be encouraging rather than limiting voter participation.

- Andrew Nikiforuk exposes how the U.S.’s green light to fracking has led to far (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Matthew Brown and Matt Volz report on the latest oil train derailment in North Dakota. Justin Giovannetti discusses how fracking is leading to regular earthquakes in previously-stable parts of Alberta – which looks doubly dangerous given the presence of pipelines in the affected area. Garret Ellison examines Enbridge’s blithe disregard for the safety of 60-year-old pipelines which it wants to keep operating indefinitely. And Chris Mooney comments on the link between climate change and wildfires.

- All of which leads nicely to Tzeporah Berman’s point that we need to start a real (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Friday reading.

- Matthew Melmed examines how poverty early in life is both disturbingly widespread, and likely to severely affect a child’s future prospects.

- Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis track the extreme gap in wage growth for CEOs as opposed to workers. Robert Skidelsky argues that we can’t rely on employment relationships to fully address poverty and inequality given the number of current jobs that will be mechanized out of existence before long. But on the bright side, Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on Unifor’s success in achieving significant improvements in wages and schedule predictability for retail (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Response to Johann Hari’s TED Talk on Addiction

This is a guest blog post from Doug Chaudron:

British journalist Johann Hari recently gave a TED talk, provocatively titled “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.” See the 15-minute talk, and find Hari’s biography, at

Some key points made by Mr. Hari in his talk include these: Current approaches to treatment don’t seem to work well; taking “addictive” drugs doesn’t always result in addiction; rats given appealing alternatives to drug use rarely become drug users; creating social connectedness and opportunities might work better than punishing addicts.

The speech is quite engaging, and for (Read more…)

My journey with AIDS...and more!: ‘Times Have Changed’ at 40 Wellesley St.E. #HIVnow

The latest ambitious awareness campaign by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), #HIVnow, “asks big questions, puts forward honest answers and issues clear calls to action”. The “Times have changed” theme comes to mind as I watch the slow demolition of 40 Wellesley Street East, a medical offices building where I learned of my HIV […]

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jim Stanford discusses the need to inoculate citizens against shock doctrine politics, as well as the contribution he’s hoping to make as the second edition of Economics for Everyone is released: I suppose it is fitting (if tragic) that this new edition is being released into an economic environment that is still marked by fear, fragility and hardship. And this highlights a key theme of Economics for Everyone – and one of my key personal motivations as an economist whose career has been rooted in trade union and social justice settings (rather than (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sam Becker discusses the economic harm done by growing inequality, while Alexandra Zeevalkink previews Katharine Round’s upcoming documentary on the issue. And Carol Goar argues that Canadians are eager for leadership to ensure that everybody shares in our country’s wealth.

- Meanwhile, Laura Cattari points out the importance of giving people living in poverty a voice in policy decisions. And Erik Loomis highlights the consequences of failing to do so, as an imbalance in political influence has resulted in U.S. corporations being able to use poor areas both domestic and foreign as (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Elias Isquith talks to David Madland about the connection between increasing inequality and the breakdown of trust in the U.S. political system. CBC and Larry Elliott follow up on the IMF’s findings about the economic damage done by income and wealth disparities. And Philip Longman thoroughly examines the cross-generational inequality which is putting every generation after the Baby Boomers at a severe disadvantage: Start, for example, with the twentysomethings of 1979. They had a lower real income in 1979 than twentysomethings did in 1969. And as fiftysomethings now, they not only make (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- PressProgress points out that neither the public nor a group of the world’s leading economists sees the slightest value in balanced-budget gimmicks which override sound public decision-making. And Paul Krugman observes that the entire conservative economic strategy is based on overinflating bubbles, then letting somebody else clean up the resulting mess.

- Matthew Weaver highlights the use of “poshness tests” to screen out working-class applicants seeking work with key UK employers as a particularly stark example of how prestige and wealth have less and less to do with individual achievement. And Anna (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- David Cay Johnston looks into new research showing just how much distance the U.S.’ highest-income .001% has put between itself and the rest of the country’s citizens: (F)or the first time ever, the IRS offers a close look at the top .001 percent of taxpayers. It shows that incomes in this rarefied air — the top 1,361 households — are soaring while their tax burdens are falling.

The differences in income-growth rates from 2003 to 2012 between the top .001 percent and the rest of the top 1 percent are akin (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Guy Standing discusses the political and social importance of Canada’s growing precariat, as well as the broader definition of inequality needed to address its needs: The assets most unequally distributed are fourfold. First, socio-economic security is more unequally distributed than income. If in the precariat, you have none. How will politicians ensure that everybody has enough security to give them reasonable control over their lives? Second, there is inequality of control of time. If in the precariat, you have no control, and must do this and that all the time, under stress, (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s shattered Tories have a tougher task ahead than the ‘inexperienced’ NDP

PHOTOS: A really smart guy tries to figure out a way back to power for Alberta’s post-Prentice Progressive Conservatives. Actual PC strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Doesn’t look like it’s going that well. Below: NDP Health and Seniors Minister Sarah Hoffman; Bill Moore-Kilgannon, her new chief of staff. A lot of ink has […]

The post Alberta’s shattered Tories have a tougher task ahead than the ‘inexperienced’ NDP appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Citizens for Public Justice provides a useful set of fact sheets on the importance of tax revenues in funding a civilized society. And Daphne Bramham follows up with a look at what we’ve lost from tax cuts – and the public demand for more tax fairness: Tax cuts during the past decade have meant that $45 billion has been trimmed from government spending and programs each year since 2006 and almost 30,000 jobs have been lost.

One reason Canadians willingly pay taxes is they believe it’s a fair system. But as the fact (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Evening Links

This and that for your Saturday reading.

- Keith Banting and John Myles note that income inequality should be a major theme in Canada’s federal election. And Karl Nerenberg points out that voters will have every reason to vote for their values, rather than having any reason to buy failed strategic voting arguments.

- PressProgress charts the devastating effect of precarious employment in Canada. And Wayne Lewchuk writes about the precarity penalty, and the need for public policy to catch up to the reality facing workers: Uncertain future employment prospects can increase anxiety at home.  Lack of benefits can (Read more…)