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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Sherri Torjman comments on the importance of social policy among our political choices, while lamenting its absence from the first leaders’ debate: (M)arket economies go through cycles, with periods of stability followed by periods of slump and uncertainty. Canada has weathered these economic cycles, and even major recessions, largely because of our social-policy initiatives. Income-security programs, in particular, are vital economic measures. The problem is that most of these have withered and shrunk in recent years and are in need of major repair.

Why is social policy so important to the economy? (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Howard Elliott writes about the need for senior levels of government to help address the housing needs facing Canadian communities. And the report from Saskatchewan’s advisory group on poverty reduction includes housing among its key priorities as well (while also favouring work on a basic income).

- Meanwhile, Armine Yalnizyan reminds us that the Cons’ destruction of the census is making it far more difficult to identify and address social problems.

- Justin Ling documents the latest example of Stephen Harper’s utter contempt for the concept of accountability, as national media outlets (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Martha Friendly examines what a “national child care program” actually means. And Jim Stanford makes a compelling economic case as to why Canada needs one: In the case of early childhood education, however, this standard claim of government “poverty” is exactly backwards.  Because there is overwhelming and credible economic evidence that investing in universal ECE programs is actually a money-maker for governments.  In this case, the argument is truly not whether government can afford to provide universal quality care.  In reality, especially at a moment in history when economists worry (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- David Cay Johnston observes that the U.S.’ extreme inequality goes far beyond money alone. And Jesse Myerson notes that a basic income can be supported based on principles held across the political spectrum, while making the case as to how it should be developed to serve as a counterbalance to the abuses of capitalism: The engine fueling capitalism’s indefinite tendency to expand is mass dependence on the market to secure the means of subsistence. Because the majority of us have to work in order to afford the trappings of dignity, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Michael Hiltzik discusses how corporate apologists are trying (but failing) to minimize the existence and importance of income inequality. Lawrence Martin notes that the rest of Canada’s economic indicators are similarly signalling that Conservative dogma is of absolutely no use in the real world. And Michael Geist observes that among the new “caretaker” rules is a provision allowing the Cons to keep trying to inflict the TPP as their parting shot at Canada even if their election plans are going nowhere.

- Michael Harris points out just a few of the whoppers which (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Matthew Brown and Matt Volz report on the latest oil train derailment in North Dakota. Justin Giovannetti discusses how fracking is leading to regular earthquakes in previously-stable parts of Alberta – which looks doubly dangerous given the presence of pipelines in the affected area. Garret Ellison examines Enbridge’s blithe disregard for the safety of 60-year-old pipelines which it wants to keep operating indefinitely. And Chris Mooney comments on the link between climate change and wildfires.

- All of which leads nicely to Tzeporah Berman’s point that we need to start a real (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- tcnorris highlights how the Cons’ gratuitous cuts are undermining their hopes of staying in power. And Eric Pineault discusses the costs of austerity for Quebec in particular and Canada as a whole: (C)utting into spending slows down growth and keeps the economy in a stagnation trap. The resulting underemployment equilibrium puts a lot pressure on household revenues just as those same households are getting into debt. We are thus faced with a second paradox: in a stagnating economy, trying to use austerity to reduce public debt also translates into an increased burden of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- PressProgress makes the case that we can’t afford to risk another term of government neglect by the Harper Cons. Jeremy Nuttall discusses how the Cons’ fixed election date and anti-social economic policies each figure to cause direct damage to Canada’s economy in the course of a downturn. And Michael Harris discusses the utter implausibility of the Cons’ spin on the economic and security alike.

- Meanwhile, Sophia Harris tells the stories of a few of the Canadians already suffering the consequences of an anti-worker government. And Roderick Benns interviews Toni Pickard about the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Jeffrey Sachs writes about the need to shape a more moral, less exploitative economy. So needless to say, the Cons are instead working on promoting corruption.

- Mark Weisbrot discusses how the Troika’s attempt to impose continued austerity on Greece in the face of public resistance can’t be seen as much more than an attempt at coercive regime change. And John Nichols reports on just a few of the voices rightly lauding the refusal of Greece’s electorate to go along with that plan.

- Scott Eric Kaufman talks to Erik Loomis about (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Daniel Marans reports on Bernie Sanders’ push for international action against austerity in Greece and elsewhere. And Binoy Kampmark documents the anti-democratic and antisocial ideology on the other side of the austerity debate.

- Noah Smith writes that while there’s no discernible connection between massive pay for CEOs and actual corporate performance, there’s a strong link between who an executive knows and how much the executive can extract.

- The CP reports on UNESCO’s push to study the impact of the tar sands on Wood Buffalo National Park. And Tavia Grant breaks (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, the Terrorists, and the Canadian Demockery

Well it's been three days since Stephen Harper and his Cons teamed up with the beasts from ISIS to make that ghastly attack ad.And even though it starts with the sinister ISIS national anthem, and goes downhill from there, they still haven't been arrested for promoting terrorist propaganda. The Anti-terrorism Act makes it an indictable offence to knowingly advocate or promote terrorism in general, and allows a judge to issue a warrant to seize terrorist propaganda. Under the law, “terrorist propaganda” means any writing, video or audio that promotes the commission of terrorism offences in general or counsels (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: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Sam Becker discusses the economic harm done by growing inequality, while Alexandra Zeevalkink previews Katharine Round’s upcoming documentary on the issue. And Carol Goar argues that Canadians are eager for leadership to ensure that everybody shares in our country’s wealth.

- Meanwhile, Laura Cattari points out the importance of giving people living in poverty a voice in policy decisions. And Erik Loomis highlights the consequences of failing to do so, as an imbalance in political influence has resulted in U.S. corporations being able to use poor areas both domestic and foreign as (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On damaging positions

I haven’t commented yet on the latest wave of federal polls primarily because I don’t see them radically changing my existing take on Canada’s impending election. But I’ll briefly address what looks like an overreaction to the latest numbers by Michael Harris.

By way of context, here’s my previous analysis as to how the Cons have done in attacking Trudeau: Justin Trudeau’s honeymoon as Liberal leader has come to an end, due to both the usual Conservative barrage of attack ads and his own missteps (most notably his ill-advised support for the Conservatives’ draconian terror bill).

But unlike his predecessors, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Sean McElwee examines new evidence of the deliberate choice of past U.S. governments dating back to Ronald Reagan to completely discount the policy preferences of anybody but the rich: In a new book, political scientists James Druckman and Lawrence Jacobs examine data on internal polling from U.S. presidential archives and other existing research to determine how presidents use their knowledge of public opinion to craft policies. What they found is disturbing: Presidents tend to focus on the opinions of the wealthy and well-connected insiders, ignoring the views of most (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Heather Boushey writes about the Great Gatsby Curve showing a direct correlation between equality and social mobility – and conversely, that high inequality severely limits opportunity for large numbers of people. And Vikas Bajaj discusses how high inequality also harms overall economic development.

- But of course, we’ll never get policies to address those problems without a government willing to highlight the need for change and acknowledge that there are no non-controversial answers – as Sadiq Khan points out in discussing the U.K. Labour Party: (I)nsecurity reaches right up the income scale, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Michael Schwartz and Kevin Young make the case for a greater focus on influencing corporations and other institutions first and foremost – with the expectation that more fair public policy will be possible if a dominant business sector doesn’t stand in the way. David Wessel points out that many states’ tax systems are set up to exacerbate inequality. And Matthew Yglesias notes that a typical set of slap-on-the-wrist fines against banks for massive market manipulations call into question whether the U.S.’ current regulatory structure is anywhere close to sufficient to protect (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Michael Harris’ Moving Mother’s Day Story

Well today is Mother's Day which is a good day for florists, and yet another good excuse to tell your Mum you love her.And I see that Stephen Harper is using the occasion to make us believe that he's on their side.

Today we celebrate all mothers across Canada for their dedication, unconditional love & support for their families. http://t.co/5AxJJcTzuz

— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) May 10, 2015

But I'd rather think that Mother's Day is every day of the year, and remember all the mothers, especially single mothers, he has done nothing to help.Or as Michael Harris (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- PressProgress weighs in on corporate Canada’s twelve-figure tax avoidance, while noting that the Cons’ decision to slash enforcement against tax cheats (while attacking charities instead) goes a long way toward explaining the amount of money flowing offshore. And Oxfam is working on its own Canadian fair tax campaign.

- Robert Frank highlights the complete disconnect from reality which results in most American millionaires claiming that they’re in the middle class, rather than representing a privileged few. And Stephen Gordon writes that there’s a similar sleight of hand at work in the Libs’ “middle (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Barrie McKenna takes a look at how the Cons are pushing serious liabilities onto future generations in order to hand out short-term tax baubles within a supposedly-balanced budget, while Jennifer Robson highlights the complete lack of policy merit behind those giveaways. And Ian McGugan writes that even as they’re trumpeted as attempts to improve saving none of the Cons’ plans have anything to do with actually improving retirement security, especially for the people who need it most: Our reliance on private savings to fund our retirements makes Canada an outlier among developed countries. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Michael Harris on the Case Against Duffy and the Case Against Harper

If you've been following the trial of Mike Duffy, you know that the prosecution is having trouble making its case that he broke the rules, because it seems the Senate didn't have any.And that the judge is getting impatient. But as Michael Harris points out while the case against Duffy is in shambles. Three weeks into the trial, Judge Charles Vaillancourt spoke for a lot of Canadians when he stung the Crown with a comment about the administrative swampland of Senate expenses and the unfocussed case against Duffy. So far, the Crown’s evidence, (and there is a long (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: This Deserves To Be Watched Regularly Until October

Journalist Michael Harris (Party of One) recently appeared on Steve Paikin’s TVO show, The Agenda. People shuold watch this on a regular basis to be reminded regularly of Stephen Harper’s anti-democratic and contemptuous ways.

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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jim Stanford kicks off the must-read responses to the Cons’ budget with a modest list of five points deserving of public outrage, while PressProgress identifies seven points where the Cons’ spin is far out of touch with reality. Citizens for Public Justice notes that climate change and poverty are among the important issues which don’t rate so much as a mention in the Cons’ plan for an entire term in office, while Jorge Barrera reports that First Nations were also conspicuously omitted other than some cynical re-announcements. Angella MacEwen points out that any (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Lonnie Golden studies the harm done to workers by irregular schedules. And Matt Bruening comments on how Missouri, Kansas and other states are passing draconian restrictions on benefits by trying to get the middle class to envy the poor.

- Meanwhile, Scott Santens expands on the connection between increasing automation and a basic income which could ensure that people displaced from jobs by technological advancement aren’t left without a livelihood. And Sara Mojtehedzadeh talks to Guy Standing about a basic income as a means of relieving against reliance on precarious work: What is (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- PressProgress documents how the Cons are driving Canada’s economy into the ditch. And Michael Babad reports that economists with a better grounding in reality than Stephen Harper are begging the provinces not to impose the austerity demanded by the Cons.

- Kara Santokie writes that if the Cons’ balanced-budget legislation has any effect at all, it will be to attack Canada’s social programs when they’re needed most. And Louis-Philippe Rochon sees the false balance bill as standing out even among the Cons’ bad ideas.

- Dylan Matthews questions whether workers present and (Read more…)