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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Hassan Yussuff and other labour leaders offer their take on how we can develop a more equitable global trade system: The next challenge before us is to build on and improve all post-CETA trade and investment deals to ensure they meet a progressive trade model. We suggest several . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Eshe Nelson interviews Richard Baldwin about the future of globalization and the possibility that the worst disruptions to workers are just beginning: What happens to the chart on global income distribution during this phase of globalization? It keeps going down. It will be disruptive in the G7, but . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Karen Foster and Tamara Krawchenko discuss how policy can – and should – be designed to improve intergenerational equity: Canada trails far behind other industrialized nations in its attention to intergenerational equity. The country could do far more to report on a carefully defined intergenerational equity, track . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Scott Sinclair and Stuart Trew applaud Wallonia’s principled stance against the CETA. And Joseph Stiglitz discusses the need to set up social and economic systems which actually serve the public good, rather than favouring corporate interests: Where the trade agreements failed, it was not because the US was . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Joel Wood highlights the social cost of carbon as a crucial reason to work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions rather than insisting on doing the absolute least the rest of the world will tolerate. And needless to say, Brad Wall’s idea of an argument for the position that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– In The Public Interest studies how the privatization of services leads to increased inequality: In the Public Interest’s analysis of recent government contracting identifies five ways in which government privatization disproportionately hurts poor individuals and families… Creation of new user fees: The creation of new user fees to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Owen Jones offers his take on how the UK’s Labour Party should proceed following Jeremy Corbyn’s most recent leadership victory – and while the exact circumstances may not apply to the NDP’s upcoming leadersh… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Joseph Stiglitz discusses how entrenched inequality and unearned income hurt the economy for everybody:

We used to think of there being a trade-off: we could achieve more equality, but only at the expense of overall economic performance. It is now clear that, given the extremes of inequality being reached in many rich countries and the manner in which they have been generated, greater equality and improved economic performance are complements.

(A) key factor underlying the current economic difficulties of rich countries is growing inequality. We need to focus not on what is happening on average— as GDP leads us to do— but on how the economy is performing for the typical citizen, reflected for instance in median disposable income. People care about health, fairness and security, and yet GDP statistics do not reflect their decline. Once these and other aspects of societal well-being are taken into account, recent performance in rich countries looks much worse.

The economic policies required to change this are not difficult to identify. We need more investment in public goods; better corporate governance, antitrust and anti-discrimination laws; a better regulated financial system; stronger workers’ rights; and more progressive tax and transfer policies. By ‘rewriting the rules’ governing the market economy in these ways, it is possible to achieve greater equality in both the pre- and post-tax and transfer distribution of income, and thereby stronger economic performance.

– David Macdonald discusses Canada’s growing consumer debt levels, and notes that matters figure to get worse before they get better. And the CP reports on Canada’s high gender wage gap as another area where we’re lagging even on an international scene where there’s far more work to be done.

– Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood examines the economic fallout we could expect from the CETA, while the Canadian Labour Congress suggests a few ways to minimize the damage. But Murray Dobbin asks why we’re wasting any time on corporate power agreements when they’ve so thoroughly failed to live up to any promises to the public.

– Juha Kaakinen writes about the success of Housing First in alleviating homelessness in Finland. And Gary Bloch and John Silver point out how encouraging people living in poverty to file tax returns (and thus receive available benefits) can produce positive outcomes all around.

– Finally, PressProgress discusses Wayne Smith’s resignation as Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada due to a lack of meaningful change from the Cons’ attempts to politicize data collection and management. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Jim Hightower argues that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity – and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:Take On Wall Street is both the name and th… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Jim Hightower argues that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity – and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:

Take On Wall Street is both the name and the feisty attitude of a nationwide campaign that a coalition of grassroots groups has launched to do just that: take on Wall Street. The coalition, spearheaded by the Communication Workers of America, points out there is nothing natural or sacred about today’s money-grabbing financial complex. Far from sacrosanct, the system of finance that now rules over us has been designed by and for Wall Street speculators, money managers and big bank flimflammers. So, big surprise, rather than serving our common good, the system is corrupt, routinely serving their uncommon greed at everyone else’s expense.

The coalition’s structural reforms include:
1. Getting the corrupting cash of corporations and the superrich out of politics with an overturning of Citizens United v. FEC and providing a public system for financing America’s elections.

2. Stopping “too big to fail” banks from subsidizing their high-risk speculative gambling with the deposits of  ordinary customers. Make them choose to be a consumer bank or a casino, but not both.

3. Institute a tiny “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street speculators to discourage their computerized gaming of the system, while also generating hundreds of billions of tax dollars to invest in America’s real economy.

4. Restore low-cost, convenient “postal banking” in our post offices to serve millions of Americans who’re now at the mercy of predatory payday lenders and check-cashing chains.

– Juliette Garside reports on the EU’s efforts to get the U.S. to agree to basic reporting to rein in offshore tax evasion. And Heather Long points out Joseph Stiglitz’ criticisms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as enriching corporations at the expense of citizens.

– Amy Maxmen notes that a non-profit system can develop new drugs far more affordably than the current corporate model – and without creating the expectation of windfall profits that currently underlies the pharmaceutical industry.

– Jordan Press offers a preview of a federal strategy for homeless veterans featuring rental subsidies and the building of targeted housing units – which leads only to the question of why the same plan wouldn’t be applied to address homelessness generally.

– Alan Shanoff comments on the many holes in Ontario’s employment standards (which are generally matched elsewhere as well).

– Finally, Dougald Lamont highlights the many ways in which the Fraser Institute’s anti-tax spin misleads the media about how citizens relate to Canadian governments.

[Edit: fixed wording.] . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on a new Ontario study recommending a strong investment in child care to reduce the gender wage gap. – Allan Moscovitch, Nick Falvo and David Macdonald offer a useful primer on social suppo… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on a new Ontario study recommending a strong investment in child care to reduce the gender wage gap. – Allan Moscovitch, Nick Falvo and David Macdonald offer a useful primer on social suppo… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– David Dayen wonders whether the Obama administration’s decision to end the use of private prisons might represent the needed start of a movement away from relying on poor corporate services as a substitute for public action:

Private prisons experienced more safety and security incidents. They had higher rates of assaults, inadequate medical checkups and compliance, eight times as many incidents of contraband cell-phone smuggling, and often housed new inmates in solitary confinement units, seemingly for lack of space. The report also detailed several grisly incidents since 2008: three riots in one Reeves County, Texas facility in two months; the death of a corrections officer in a riot in Natchez, Mississippi; and the closure of the Willacy County (Texas) Correctional Center, after inmates burned it to the ground.

It’s not hard to figure out why this happens. Private companies win contracts to manage federal prisons by undercutting the Bureau of Prisons’ operational costs. Unlike the government, private prison companies must also take their profit margins out of their budgets. The only way to make that work is to massively drop labor costs, corresponding to a severe degradation of the quality of prison management.

That reflects the problem with privatization as a whole. Private companies must carry out a government function—be it water, parking meters, mass transit, or K-12 schools—at a lower cost than the government can provide it, while taking their profit off the top. Time and again, the results reveal that to be impossible, at least if you want to provide the same quality of service. Yet we keep privatizing. Whether it’s Republicans expanding Medicaid or cash-strapped cities handing over bus service to Uber and Lyft, eventually costs shift from taxpayers to the users of the services, oversight becomes impotent as officials grow reliant on outsourcing contracts, and attempts to maximize profits lead to service breakdowns.

– But CBC reports that the worst is yet to come in Saskatchewan as Brad Wall has publicly put SaskTel up for corporate raiding.

– Jacki Andre discusses the hidden costs of living with a disability – which make it particularly unconscionable for Wall’s Saskatchewan Party to be trying to squeeze pennies out of people who rely on already-inadequate disability benefits.

– Floyd Perras highlights the multiple factors that contribute to (and exacerbate) homelessness. And Rocca Perla comments on the need to include social determinants of health within medical treatment of patients.

– Pat Rich describes the Canadian Medical Association’s rude awakening in finding out that Lib Health Minister Jane Philpott has no interest in its key priorities for improved care. And Alison points out how the Libs are conspicuously trying to wriggle out of their promise to end the unfairness of first-past-the-post politics.

– Finally, Anna MacDonald makes the case for stronger transparency as a means of limiting the harm of global arms dealing. But if there was any doubt that the Trudeau Libs are firmly on the side of weapons proliferation, Helene Laverdiere points out their inexplicable decision to stand against nuclear disarmament. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- David Dayen wonders whether the Obama administration’s decision to end the use of private prisons might represent the needed start of a movement away from relying on poor corporate services as a substi… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Danyaal Raza discusses how climate change is manifesting itself in immediate health problems. And John Vidal highlights the latest research on the rapid melting of Arctic ice – making it particularly appallin… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- PressProgress points out that a large number of Canadians are justifiably concerned about our economy, with a particular desire to rein in income and wealth inequality. And Guy Caron notes that there’s no reason for … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Paul Krugman rightly points out that it’s to be expected that Republican establishment figures would line up behind Donald Trump since he shares their top priority of handing still more money to the richest f… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon 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: 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 cod… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Branko Milanovic argues that there’s plenty of reason to be concerned about inequality even if one puts aside a utilitarian comparison of individual needs and benefits:(I)nequality of opportunity affects negati… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- J. David Hughes discusses the ultimate problem with new pipeline construction, as it’s incompatible with any reasonable effort to meet even Canada’s existing commitments to rein in greenhouse gas emissions:Under … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Albert van Senvoort points out that poverty is more difficult to escape in Canada today than it was two decades ago. And Jean Swanson discusses the desperate need for more action from all levels of government… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Yvan Guillemette discusses the need for public-sector investment in economic development to make up for the massive amounts of private capital sitting idle. And Daniel Kahnemann challenges the theory that cor… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Hamilton Nolan interviews Branko Milanovic about inequality on both a national and international scale – and how there’s little reason to take heart in reductions in the latter if it’s paired with increases in t… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Alex's Blog: GREAT NEWS ON THE HOMELESSNESS FILE

June 01, 2016 09:00 ET Former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow Elected Co-Chair of Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Board of Directors CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – June 1, 2016) – The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) today announced the election of former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow to Co-Chair the CAEH Board of Directors. Romanow will share … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Alex’s Blog: GREAT NEWS ON THE HOMELESSNESS FILE