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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Dennis Raphael and Toba Bryant write about the devastating health effects of income inequality in Canada: Imagine the response, from industry, government and the public, if a plane was crashing every day. If there were something that killed as many people in a day as this kind of disaster, you’d expect it to provoke a similarly concentrated response.

A recent report by Statistics Canada highlights a preventable cause of premature death that is having exactly that kind of impact. This study demonstrates that income inequality is associated with the premature death of 40,000 (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jonas Fossli Gherso discusses the unfortunate (and unnecessary) acceptance of burgeoning inequality even by the people who suffer most from its presence. And Ryan Meili interviews Gabor Mate about the ill health effects of an economic system designed to keep people under stress: (T)he very nature of the system in which people live their lives is a significant source of illness. Now there are obvious factors like environmental pollution, toxins, and then of course there are the social determinants of health that you write about in A Healthy Society: the impact of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.

- Lana Payne examines the Cons’ economic record and finds it very much wanting: Inequality has deepened under Mr. Harper’s watch, job quality has declined, wages have stagnated, economic growth has been anemic, social protections have been reduced while corporate profits and CEO pay soar.…(E)mployment and labour force participation rates are lower today than they were in 2006, part-time employment is up, corporate taxes are significantly lower (22.1 per cent in 2006, 15 per cent today) business capital investment saw no increase and has been static at 19.1 per cent of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A return to civility? An end to Internet anonymity? Please! The leaders of all Parliamentary parties need protection now

Political discourse in Canada, as seen by the National Post, that well known champion of common courtesy. Below: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

The National Post is shocked, just shocked, at the tone of the public commentary responding to the threatening break-in at Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa home while his wife and small children slept.

“Canadian political dialogue is devolving into a mosh pit where even the vilest personal attacks are more or less routine,” lamented political columnist Michael Den Tandt in the Post yesterday, apparently in response to some of the ferocious debate that reports of the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Michael Den Tandt and Jonathan Kay both point out the willingness of conservative (and Conservative) supporters to brush off the obvious misdeeds of their political leaders. And Glen Pearson rightly concludes that the responsibility to elect deserving leaders ultimately lies with voters: We are guilty of asking to little of ourselves. We find it remarkably easy, natural even, to blame our representatives and yet we put them there. They have no real answers to our unemployment situation, but we either continue to support them because of the party we serve or because we (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Jordon Cooper writes about the dangers of growing income inequality in Saskatchewan and around the world: Income inequality is driven largely by market forces. Technology has changed the job market, and globalization has moved markets overseas or driven down wages.

It’s also driven by actions of governments. They have tried to weaken organized labour for decades, which hurts the workers unions represent. Other institutional factors include stagnating minimum wage rates that hurt those at the bottom, while decreasing marginal tax rates are credited for the increases of top wage earners.

The problems are (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Eric Dolan discusses Paul Piff’s research showing that wealth tends to lead to antisocial behaviour – and that even the beneficiaries of a rigged Monopoly game are quick to take on an air of entitlement: Across multiple studies, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have found that being in the upper-class predisposes individuals to acting unethically.

Studies conducted by psychology professor Paul Piff found those who drive luxury cars were less likely to stop for pedestrians, those with more money were more likely take candy from children, and the wealthiest among (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Friday reading.

- Michael Moss writes about the amount of time and money spent by corporate conglomerates to push consumers toward eating unhealthy food: The public and the food companies have known for decades now — or at the very least since this meeting — that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on

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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Cons’ choice to start charging emergency-stricken communities for disaster relief work by the Canadian Forces.

For further reading, see the initial report from Lee Berthiaume, as well as Michael Den Tandt’s criticism of the move.

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- David Suzuki makes the case for evaluating our well-being through Gross National Happiness rather than GDP alone: There’s more to happiness than just having a clean environment – and Bhutan has yet to get there. According to research for the UN Conference on Happiness, “The happiest countries in the world are all in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Netherlands).” Although these countries are wealthy, the study points out that money isn’t the only factor, as happiness is decreasing in countries like the U.S. “Political freedom, strong social networks and an

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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Steven Hoffman highlights the Cons’ utter refusal to recognize that foreign aid – as defined by global treaties – doesn’t mean the same thing as corporate giveaways: Reports and commentary on Canada’s new foreign aid policy reveal the extent to which international development means different things to different people. Some see it as public charity, others as the way a country projects its values to the world. Still others, including International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino, argue that it’s “a part of Canadian foreign policy” and the fulfilment of “a duty and a responsibility

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Accidental Deliberations: On precedence

There’s not much doubt that Canada’s debates over the FNOOC/Nexen takeover bid and FIPPA investor privilege treaty with China have become intertwined. But it’s worth noting that some observers seem to be misreading how the two will relate to each other… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On precedence

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Friday reading.

- Timothy Noah writes that since Republicans haven’t been able to convince the American public that inequality is desirable or acceptable, they’re taking another angle: engaging in inequality denialism to try to pretend a growing problem doesn’t exist.

- Tim Harper discusses the importance of Kevin Page’s attempts to get accurate fiscal information out of the Con government. And Andrew Coyne points out that the federal government’s budget bears little relationship to the estimates which are supposed to keep MPs and the public informed as to what’s going on – with even government ministers

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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- In the surest sign yet that the Robocon scandal involved a calculated decision by political operatives rather than having anything to do with mere overzealous volunteers, the Star reports that call centre staff hired by the Cons to perform live calling actually tried to correct the false information supplied to them by the party. [Update: And Susan Delacourt rightly zeroes in on the script as a major piece of the puzzle.] Meanwhile, Exigenomicon distinguishes between the two scams at play; Scott wonders whether there’s any prospect of outright dismissing Stephen Harper from

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