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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jerry Dias sees the forced passage of an unamended Bill C-377 as a definitive answer in the negative to the question of whether the Senate will ever justify its own existence. And Nora Loreto emphasizes that the bill has no purpose other than to attack unions: The amendments contained in C-377 to the Income Tax Act are sweeping, broad and idiotic. If Canadians need any example that the Harper Conservatives care more about personal vendettas than good governance, the proof is wrapped up in C-377.

C-377 requires a ridiculous level of compliance from (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- The Star’s editorial board writes that five years after police committed serious human rights violations at Toronto’s G20 summit, nobody seems to have learned any lessons from the abuses. And David Lavallee tells his story of being interrogated for a “precursor to terrorist behaviour” based solely on his having filmed a pipeline for a documentary.

- Ian Gill argues that the impending federal election will may represent a last opportunity to take Canada off of a path toward environmental destruction. And Brian Kahn notes that the rest of the world is predictably shifting (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Broadbent Institute details Rhys Kesselman’s research on how the Cons’ expanded TFSAs are nothing but a giveaway to the wealthy. And Dean Beeby reports on their withholding of EI supplements from the families who most need them – paired with a complete lack of responsibility or contrition now that the problem has been discovered.

- Matt Saccaro discusses the widespread burnout among U.S. workers as huge increases in hours worked and productivity have done nothing to improve wages or living conditions over a period of decades. And Bill Tieleman slams (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Carol Goar discusses the contrasting messages being sent to Canada’s middle class in the lead up to Canada’s federal election campaign – and notes that the real decision for voters to make is whether they’re happy with marginally higher nominal incomes at the expense of greater inequality and more precarious lives. Mark Goldring makes the case for an economy oriented toward what’s best for people rather than short-term profits: Tackling inequality requires that people, not profit constitute the bottom line. We need everyone who is in a position of influence – business (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Edward Keenan weighs in on the role a basic income could play in a job market marked by increasingly precarious work: I am an enthusiastic supporter of better workplace protections and wages. I have a good, unionized, stable job. I like it. But regulation of work and workplaces isn’t likely adequate to solve the problem we face. No matter how high minimum wages are, they will not help people unable to get a job that pays them. And there are a lot of reasons to think that no matter how good workplace safeguards (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On rewriting

There’s plenty of justified outrage over Stephen Harper’s unelected Senate lapdogs choosing to tear up the Parliamentary rule book to force through an attack on unions in the form of Bill C-377. But I’m wondering whether the procedural move used to end debate might itself affect the validity of the bill.

On that front, is there any precedent for a bill becoming law after being passed as a private member’s bill in one chamber, but as a government bill in the other given that both chambers have specific rules governing the review and approval of each type of bill?

And (Read more…)

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: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Sheila Block points out the problems with the spread of low-paying, precarious jobs. And PressProgress fact-checks the CFIB’s attempt to make as many workers’ lives as precarious as possible by suppressing minimum wages and standards.

- But Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports that Ontario’s provincial government is making matters worse by handing millions of dollars to the same temp agencies who are most aggressively flouting employment standards laws. And the Star warns of the need to ensure that Toronto’s plan to fight poverty actually leads to action.

- Meanwhile, Ezra Klein points out the importance (Read more…)

wmtc: wmtc 2015-06-21 17:00:00

I stumbled on this letter to the New York Times Book Review from a few weeks ago. It’s in response to a review of two books about precarious work – one about technology threatening jobs of even the most educated people, and another about the rise of unpaid labour. Barbara Ehrenreich’s chilling review of Martin Ford’s “Rise of the Robots” and Craig Lambert’s “Shadow Work” (May 17) is the best evidence-based response I’ve seen to all the headlines announcing that a recovery is “just around the corner.” But if it isn’t, and unemployment and part-time employment can (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jeff Spross argues that in addition to ensuring that employees are fairly paid for the overtime hours they work, we should also be pushing to ensure people aren’t required to work as much to begin with. And Angella MacEwen points out that any spin about increasing wages is based almost entirely on a proportional increase in hours worked, rather than workers receiving any benefit from improved productivity.

- Meanwhile, Cory Doctorow highlights new research showing that the CEOs who manage to squeeze the most money out of businesses actually perform worse than (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Roderick Benns reports on Ryan Meili’s argument for a basic income: Dr. Ryan Meili was in Kingston, Ontario, recently to talk to more than 100 people about the importance of the social determinants of health in an event that was hosted by Basic Income Kingston. The social determinants of health influence health outcomes for people and include many components that work together, including income and income distribution, education, unemployment and job security, among others.

Meili described a basic income guarantee as “an exciting opportunity” and a kind of “social investment to counter inequality,” (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…)

Joe Fantauzzi: Ontario’s Common Sense Revolution at 20: A Look Back

Today marks 20 years since the Progressive Conservative Party foisted its so-called “Common Sense Revolution” on Ontario. Former PC Ontario leader Tim Hudak took to Twitter this morning to extol the virtues of this full-throated neoliberal experiment, declaring it “the most effective, courageous gov[ernment]” in his lifetime. Some remember those days differently. Here are a few […]

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- The World Bank’s latest World Development Report discusses how readily-avoidable scarcity in severely limit individual development. Melissa Kearney and Philip Levine write that poverty and a lack of social mobility tend to create a vicious cycle of despair. And James Ridgeway examines the deliberate interference aimed at preventing many of the U.S.’ poor from ever building secure lives.

- Meanwhile, Mark Thoma reminds us of the role the labour movement needs to play in ensuring greater equality across the income spectrum. And Deirdre Fulton writes that the first tentative steps (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Peter Poschen argues that the goals of protecting our climate and ensuring the availability of good jobs isn’t an either-or proposition: (C)limate change and the degradation of natural resources increasingly disrupt economic activity and destroy jobs. The International Labour Organization (ILO) puts the productivity losses generated by climate change alone at 7.2 per cent. Cost estimates by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Bank are even higher. Environmental sustainability is not an option from a labour market perspective, it is a necessity.

What is more: proactive policies to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Michel Husson and Stephanie Treillet write that reduced work hours could do wonders for the quality of life for both workers who currently have jobs, and those seeking them: The question is not so much if working hours will decrease, but how. The reduction can be general, with or without retention of monthly salary and compensatory hires; it can be targeted (precarity and part-time); or it can be extreme (unemployment).

Working-time reduction, collective and enforced by law, is an alternative to the expansion of part-time. Both fundamentally contradict each other.

There is a close link (Read more…)

In-Sights: Remembering the desperate nineties

Much of British Columbia’s recent political history has been written by a Liars Club sponsored by beneficiaries of corrupt public administrations. One fable claims that BC Liberals rescued the provincial economy in 2001 after a decade of socialist mismanagement. Yet facts assembled by Statistics Canada paint a different scenario.

I’ve previously demonstrated that the NDP (1991-2001) bested Liberal (2001-2014) results in a number of significant areas, including: Gross domestic product value growth, Job creation, Provincial debt management, Natural resource revenues.

Prior to the last election, Jim Shepard, fronting the quadrennial Concerned Citizens for BC, warned that any vote but a (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Maude Barlow and Sujata Dey point out that the job promises linked to CETA and other new trade agreements are no more plausible than the false ones made in previous rounds of corporate rights giveaways. And the Canadian Labour Congress discusses the secrecy surrounding the new set of deals including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

- Meanwhile, the International Labour Organization documents the connection between collective bargaining rights and greater equality. And lest anybody think there’s a tradeoff to be made between equality based on labour rights and growth based on corporate control, the (Read more…)

Canadian Dimension: The case for a $15 minimum wage in Alberta

Photo by Kat R

One of the planks in the Alberta NDP’s 2015 election platform was a pledge to raise the provincial minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018.

Since the May 5th election, which saw the NDP win a sizeable majority, newly minted Premier Rachel Notley and newly sworn-in Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board Joe Ceci have both reaffirmed that the new government will move forward with their plans to hike the minimum wage as promised. At a May 21 news conference, Notley declared, “Without question, that was in our platform and we (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Janelle Vandergrift reminds us that we should see ourselves as participating citizens, not mere taxpayers: Taxes are a way to pool our resources and develop common infrastructure that can have a positive impact on us all. They build our roads and bridges, pay for our police and firefighters, offer support for raising children, provide income security and housing for people who are poor, contribute to foreign aid, and help to ensure our environment is clean and safe. All of these things are much cheaper and effective when we pay for them collectively. The (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson weighs in on the need for our public policy to ensure a fair initial distribution of income and power in order to ensure that further redistribution is sustainable: The issue of how to deal with rising inequality and the squeezed middle-class has recently moved to the centre of political debate, with the various parties proposing significant policy changes. International experience suggests that a more equal Canada will require major changes to a wide range of policy levers and not just to the tax and transfer system.

Work by the OECD and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Dylan Matthews reports on Joseph Stiglitz’ work in studying what kinds of systemic changes (in addition to more redistribution of wealth) are needed to ensure a fair and prosperous economy. And Martin O’Neill discusses James Meade’s prescient take on the importance of social assets: Meade therefore came to endorse the extension of the traditional welfare state through the parallel pursuit of both the spread of private property-ownership across all members of society – his ‘property-owning democracy’, which would involve steep taxation of inheritance and capital transfers – and at the same time building (Read more…)

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: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- LOLGOP discusses the important role unions play in ensuring widespread freedom and prosperity – and why they’re thus target number one for corporatists seeking to hoard more wealth at the top: When Scott Walker promises to bring his anti-union policies that have help lead Wisconsin to the largest decline in the Middle Class of any state nationally, he’s revealing what’s long been the subtext of the conservative movement. Their goal has always been to trick the middle class to vote itself out of existence, and this requires turning workers against backbone (Read more…)