Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, a rare Saturday column on the lessons we should draw from the election of Donald Trump in how we organize and work within our political system. For further reading (beyond the writing already linked here)…– Others offering similar thoughts include Murray Dobbin, Rick Salutin, Kai Nagata and Robert Reich.– Tabatha Southey highlights how racism ...

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 of source material worth considering: The good news is that the intellectual vacuum on ...

Accidental Deliberations: On gross excesses

It shouldn’t be news to anybody interested in climate change (and the Wall government’s role in exacerbating it) that Saskatchewan has a shameful track record in polluting our atmosphere. But Joseph Heath summarizes just how embarrassed we should be: Keep in mind that the general target we want to get to, globally, is around 2 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Andrew Jackson discusses how large inheritance and accumulated capital lead to gross economic and social distortions: Inheritances are quite heavily concentrated among the most affluent families and thus compound income and wealth inequality over time. Inheritances continue to play a significant role in the accumulation of wealth in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood highlights how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will do little but strengthen the hand of the corporate sector against citizens. Duncan Cameron notes that even in the face of a full-court press for ever more stringent corporate controls, there’s plenty of well-justified skepticism about the TPP. And ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Joseph Heath discusses how the Volkswagen emission cheating scandal fits into a particular type of corporate culture: (W)hen the Deepwater Horizon tragedy occurred, or now the VW scandal, it was hardly surprising to people who follow these things. Certain industries essentially harbour and reproducing deviant subcultures. This is one ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Robin Sears discusses the hubris behind the Cons’ early election call, while Tim Naumetz notes that the extended campaign is just one more issue where the Cons are offside of the vast majority of the public. And the Guardian comments on the reasons for optimism that we’re nearing ...

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 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Ryan Meili reminds us of the harmful health impacts of inequality. And Susan Perry discusses the effect of inequality on health in the workplace in particular: The rise in income inequality over the past three decades or so is taking a major toll on the general health ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Larry Elliott writes that at least some business leaders are paying lip service to the idea that inequality needs to be reined in. But Alec Hogg points out that at least some of the privileged few are using their obscene wealth to remove themselves from the rest of ...

Alex's Blog: Why We Hate Taxes – and why we shouldn’t

A somewhat shorter version first appeared in albertaviews January/February 2015 as Taxes: a small price to pay for civilization About a year ago, my son Jordan, some friends and colleagues and I put together a book on taxes in Canada, Tax Is Not a Four-Letter Word. We had quite different views about how high taxes ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Manuel Perez-Rocha writes about the corrosive effect of allowing businesses to dictate public policy through trade agreements: (C)orporations are increasingly using investment and trade agreements — specifically, the investor-state dispute settlement provisions in them — to bring opportunistic cases in arbitral courts, circumventing decisions states deem in their ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Linda Tirado writes about life in poverty – and the real prospect that anybody short of the extremely wealthy can wind up there: I haven’t had it worse than anyone else, and actually, that’s kind of the point. This is just what life is for roughly one-third of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Rebecca Vallas, Melissa Boteach and Shawn Fremstad write about the need for a new social contract. And Drew Nelles takes a look at the role of a guaranteed basic income in ensuring a fair standard of living for everybody: Although implementing basic income would undoubtedly require a reorganization ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Robert Green looks at Quebec as a prime example of selective austerity – with tax cuts and other goodies for the wealthy considered sacrosanct, and well-connected insiders being paid substantial sums of public money to tell citizens they’ll have to make do with less: In a move ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.  – Joseph Heath responds to Andrew Coyne in noting that an while there’s plenty of room (and need) to better tax high personal incomes, there’s also a need to complement that with meaningful corporate taxes: (A) crucial part of the Boadway and Tremblay proposal is to increase the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links – #VoteOn Edition

This and that for your Thursday (and Ontario election day) reading… – Joseph Heath makes the case against Tim Hudak’s PCs in particular, and the shift from public to private goods in general: (I)t’s fairly clear what the PCs are planning. They are proposing a general shift in Ontario away from consumption of public goods ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Robert Reich calls out four fundamental lies used to push corporatist policies. But perhaps more interesting is the truth which no amount of concentrated wealth seems to be able to suppress: But the more interesting thing here is the memo’s concession of a hurdle AFP faces: That people support ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading. – Joe Conason discusses the increasingly widespread recognition that inequality represents a barrier to growth. And Heidi Moore takes a look at Thomas Piketty’s place in making that point: This is a deep point. Many American households, if they are lucky, will grow their wealth at the same rate ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Michael Harris observes that the Cons’ vote suppression tactics match the worst abuses we’d expect from the Tea Party: Stephen Harper would make a good governor of Arizona. In addition to the lies and sleaziness his government has been serving up during its majority, its sickening reliance on ...

Alex's Blog: Canada’s Dangerously Distorted Tax Conversation

“(In)visible Dialogue”. Installation by Wang King Road. 2011. Wikipedia Commons. (This post was written by Alex and Jordan Himelfarb; an abridged version appeared in the Star here.) We don’t like paying taxes. This is not big news: we don’t much like paying any bills, and there’s probably never been a time when we didn’t grumble ...

Alex's Blog: Canada’s Dangerously Distorted Tax Conversation

“(In)visible Dialogue”. Installation by Wang King Road. 2011. Wikipedia Commons. (This post was written by Alex and Jordan Himelfarb; an abridged version appeared in the Star here.) We don’t like paying taxes. This is not big news: we don’t much like paying any bills, and there’s probably never been a time when we didn’t grumble ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Thomas Walkom writes that yesterday’s minor tinkering aside, the goal of the Cons’ temporary foreign worker program is still to drive down Canadian wages. And Miles Corak argues that the resulting distortion of employment markets shouldn’t be any more acceptable to a libertarian than a progressive: Flooding the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Thomas Walkom makes the point that the hysterical response from Brad Wall and others can’t mask the fact that Thomas Mulcair is right in his analysis of the effect of a high, resource-driven dollar: Mulcair’s solution is hardly radical. He argues that the petroleum industry currently does ...