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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Andrew Jackson discusses how the rise of right-wing, prejudiced populism can be traced to the failures of global corporate governance. And Dani Rodrik argues that it’s time to develop an international political system to facilitate – rather than overriding – democratic action:

Some simple principles would reorient us in the right direction. First, there is no single way to prosperity. Countries make their own choices about the institutions that suit them best. Some, like Britain, may tolerate, say, greater inequality and financial instability in return for higher growth and more financial innovation. They will opt for lower taxes on capital and more freewheeling financial systems. Others, like Continental European nations, will go for greater equity and financial conservatism. International firms will complain that differences in rules and regulations raise the costs of doing business across borders, but their claims must be traded off against the benefits of diversity.
Second, countries have the right to protect their institutional arrangements and safeguard the integrity of their regulations. Financial regulations or labor protections can be circumvented and undermined by moving operations to foreign countries with considerably lower standards. Countries should be able to prevent such “regulatory arbitrage” by placing restrictions on cross-border transactions — just as they can keep out toys or agricultural products that do not meet domestic health standards.
 
Third, the purpose of international economic negotiations should be to increase domestic policy autonomy, while being mindful of the possible harm to trade partners. The world’s trade regime is driven by a mercantilist logic: You lower your barriers in return for my lowering mine. But lack of openness is no longer the binding constraint on the world economy; lack of democratic legitimacy is.

It is time to embrace a different logic, emphasizing the value of policy autonomy. Poor and rich countries alike need greater space for pursuing their objectives. The former need to restructure their economies and promote new industries, and the latter must address domestic concerns over inequality and distributive justice.

– William Lazonick and Matt Hopkins note that already-appalling estimates of the gap between CEOs and other workers may be severely underestimating the problem. And Iglika Ivanova laments British Columbia’s woefully insufficient changes to its minimum wage which will keep large numbers of workers in poverty.

– In one positive development for corporate accountability, Telesur reports that the International Criminal Court is now willing to take jurisdiction over land grabbing, environmental destruction and other corporate crime.

– Harry Stein writes that there are significant economic and social gains to be achieved by better funding social infrastructure.

– Finally, Jeremy Nuttall interviews Robert Fox, the NDP’s new national director, on the plan to building a more activist party – both in the sense of better engaging with existing activists, and developing a culture of ongoing action. And Robin Sears offers a long-term path for the NDP to once again lead Canada toward progressive policies. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Chris Hamby’s brilliant series on the effects of investor-state dispute settlement continues with articles on the shift in power from governments to corporations, as well as the developing market in settlement … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Chris Hamby’s brilliant series on the effects of investor-state dispute settlement continues with articles on the shift in power from governments to corporations, as well as the developing market in settlement … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- France St-Hilaire, David Green and Craig Riddell offer some needed policy prescriptions to fight inequality in Canada:As first steps toward expanding the share of the economic pie going to workers, the minimum wage … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Dani Rodrik comments on the need for a far more clear set of policy prescriptions for left-wing political parties to present as an alternative to laissez-faire corporate domination, while noting there’s no lack… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Things Are Good: Solar Sales Soaring Sixfold

Bloomberg is reporting that they anticipate a sixfold increase in star capacity thanks to the efficiency of a having a naturally-occuring ball of fire in our solar system. The sun is an abundant resource which shines its rays on us and now we have the industrial means to convert the sun’s rays into a powerful […]

The post Solar Sales Soaring Sixfold appeared first on Things Are Good.

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Solar Sales Soaring Sixfold

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.- Tom Parkin points out that the Trudeau Liberals are falling far short of their promises to fund infrastructure even while tripling their planned deficit. – Jared Bernstein highlights how top-down block grants coupl… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Michal Rozworski: Growing the middle class or adapting the elite consensus?

Today’s federal government budget is a litmus test for the new Liberal government. They campaigned on promises of “real change” from the last regime, including a willingness to increase social spending even if it meant running deficit budgets. And, in keeping with this pledge, spending is up, and the deficit is forecast at $29.4 billion. […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Growing the middle class or adapting the elite consensus?

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Andrew Jackson argues that a federal infrastructure program can and should be oriented toward developing a skilled and diverse workforce, rather than rewarding free-riding contractors who don’t contribute to … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Left Over: A New Deal for Alberta?

Oilpatch worker urges Justin Trudeau to help Alberta in widely shared Facebook post ‘Please start helping our own people through these tough times’ By Andrea Huncar, CBC News Posted: Jan 15, 2016 3:21 PM MT Last Updated: Jan 15, 2016 3:39 … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Left Over: A New Deal for Alberta?

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Errol Mendes points out that any commitment to securing human rights in our foreign policy is currently limited by the lack of any systematic attempt to see how those rights are being treated. And Rick Mercer… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Hugh MacKenzie reminds us how quickly Canada’s richest CEOs will exceed the income of the average Canadian worker on the year’s first work day. And James Surowiecki takes a look at how the U.S.’ corporate sec… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Andrew Jackson makes the case for a federal budget aimed at boosting investment in Canada’s economy:Public infrastructure investment has a much greater short term impact on growth and jobs per dollar spent than … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Things Are Good: The Importance of Infrastructure Changes for a Sustainable World

With COP21 happening this week in Paris there are many approaches to fighting climate change being discussed. No matter what approach is used there will have to be structural changes in how energy is delivered and how goods are transported. Over at Gizmodo they took a look at how quickly we can transition to a […]

The post The Importance of Infrastructure Changes for a Sustainable World appeared first on Things Are Good.

. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: The Importance of Infrastructure Changes for a Sustainable World

Accidental Deliberations: On dramatic conclusions

Presenting a one-act play starring Saskatchewan’s Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, along with one of her party’s most troublesome adversaries.

Reality: How can you possibly justify spending more public money on highways to get less done?

Nancy Heppner: There’s a perfectly good explanation for that. It’s because we’re spending on the…(flips pages in the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On dramatic conclusions

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here (via PressReader), arguing that there’s no longer any escaping the fact that Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party can’t be trusted to be either honest or reasonable about its biggest and costliest decisions.

For further reading…– Mike McKinnon reported here on the glaring gap between what Brad Wall knew about the failings of the Boundary Dam . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On contrasting activities

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

The Disaffected Lib: The Point of No Return?

A friend sent me a link to a Rolling Stone article, “The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares are Already Here.” It’s a relatively complete and accurate synopsis of the state of our climate-changed world today.  Fair warning – it’s a dismal read that you may find upsetting before you sit down to . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: The Point of No Return?

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, reminding us that it’s our communities who ultimately pay the price for the poorly-thought-out election announcements from senior levels of government that we’ve seen so frequently recently.

For further reading…– CTV reported on last week’s Evraz Place expansion announcement, while the Leader-Post offered an all-too-obvious example of cheerleading for a shiny new project while . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party is trumpeting the “success” of a hiring freeze in which the entire government saved $8 million in a quarter – or roughly $32 million per year – by not hiring staff.

Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party has increased the cost of consultants in the Ministry of Highways alone by roughly $50 million . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Juxtaposition

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Margot Sanger-Katz writes about the connection between inequality and poor health. Nicolas Fitz reminds us that even people concerned about inequality may underestimate how serious it is. And BJ Siekierski asks what will happen to Canada’s economy in terms of both growth and equity as unsustainable resource . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Elizabeth Renzetti makes clear that we can’t count on one-time crowdsourcing to perform the same function as a social safety net: This is the problem with the wildly popular new online world of what you might call misery fundraising: It semi-solves one small problem while leaving the system . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Things Are Good: Energy From Drinking Water

Drinkable water right from a tap in your home is a relatively new and amazing thing. Just when you thought water delivery systems couldn’t get any better a company has converted pipes into energy generators. Their new pipes can capture energy from water as it flows to its destination to provide a small amount of . . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Energy From Drinking Water

reeves report: Loopholes threaten Ontario Greenbelt

The Greenbelt Alliance wants better protection for the ecologically sensitive area, which remains at risk from sprawl, mega-highways and contaminated soil.

Map of Greenbelt and other protected lands in Southern Ontario.

SOUTHERN ONTARIO’S 7,200 square kilometre Greenbelt and the prime farmland and headwaters it contains remain at significant risk from expanding urban . . . → Read More: reeves report: Loopholes threaten Ontario Greenbelt