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Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Lawrence Summers discusses the economic damage being done by a top-heavy income spectrum – as the effect of major stimulus programs may have been wholly outweighed by the decline in middle-class incomes.

– Meanwhile, Canadians for Tax Fairness points out the impending tax court case which will . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- George Monbiot observes that while few people would want to drive animals to extinction directly, we’re all too often eager to settle for a consumerist culture which produces exactly that result. – Car… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Naomi Klein writes about the racism and dehumanization behind climate change denialism and inaction. And George Monbiot reminds us of the dangers of overheating oceans, while Michael Wines interviews Todd Halih… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Erin Seatter interviews Adam Lynes-Ford about Brian Day’s latest attack on universal Medicare. And Ricochet’s editorial board highlights how Day is ultimately fighting only to exacerbate inequality:

Discrimination against racialized and Indigenous patients fosters health disparities across our country and sometimes leads to death.

Poverty hurts Indigenous people in particular, and it’s understandable if you think the wide income gap between them and other groups in our country means privatized health care will leave them behind.

But fret not. Privatization will give them the kick they need to find their bootstraps. Want health care? Make money. Want a physician to check for diabetes instead of assuming you’re drunk? Hand over dollar bills, preferably the red or brown ones. Just throw yourself into the capitalist economy, and you’ll soon get past all that labour discrimination and be able to fork out the cash to be treated right.

Like Ali, and like the founding father of oppressive medicare, Tommy Douglas, Day used to be a boxer too.

“If you’re competitive and you think you’re right, you want to keep going until there’s a final outcome,” said Day.

That’s why he won’t stop until universal health care is down for the count.

– Oliver Milman discusses the climate effects of rapidly increasing ocean temperatures. And Merran Smith and Dan Woynillowicz comment on the need for Canada to pull its weight in shifting to clean renewable energy, while Jackie Wattles and Matt Egan point to Oklahoma’s rash of earthquakes as yet another consequence of insisting on chasing fossil fuels against all rational analysis.

– But Ethan Lou reports that the Trudeau Libs are instead aiming to grease the skids for foreign-owned oil development.

– Tammy Robert exposes the Wall government’s use of federal immigration funding (backed by provincial guarantees) to inflate a housing bubble. And the Leader-Post’s editorial board questions why the Saskatchewan Party is picking the pockets of school divisions and health regions.

– Finally, Kiran Rana takes note of the difficult job market facing new university graduates. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Armine Yalnizyan writes that the response to the European Commission’s finding that Apple has dodged $20 billion in taxes may tell us all we need to know about the relative power of governments and corporations:The E… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Armine Yalnizyan writes that the response to the European Commission’s finding that Apple has dodged $20 billion in taxes may tell us all we need to know about the relative power of governments and corporations:

The EC is also investigating state support received by Amazon and McDonalds in Luxembourg, a tax haven. Expect more costly court battles about the appropriateness of laws and systems of governance.
Since the 2008 economic crisis, giant corporations have gone from being “too big to fail” to “too big to pay.”
But as the big tax avoiders get feisty, so too are voters. The Panama Papers have made people aware of the hypocrisy: when those with deep pockets don’t pay, everyone else pays more. Governments are legitimately worried about their finances, and more focused on tax fairness than in decades. But as corporations both fight and rewrite the rules, occasionally cash-starved, debt-ridden nations are being enlisted to support their agenda.
The Apple story is huge. It could presage the end of tax competition, as nations co-ordinate attempts to combat absurd levels of tax-dodging. Or it could signal growing dominance of corporate power over state power. High stakes, to be sure, in the evolution of 21st-century globalization.

– Meanwhile, Allan Sloan discusses how Mylan’s profiteering in ratcheting up the price of EpiPens has been paired with glaring tax avoidance. And the NDP points out the conspicuous lack of any public benefit from the Libs’ and Cons’ track record of corporate tax slashing in Canada.

– Alex Hemingway writes about the costs of privatizing public infrastructure. And Thomas Walkom highlights the Libs’ options in reviewing Canada Post’s future – which include taking an obvious opportunity to better meet a large number of social needs through a postal banking system.

– Bloomberg View rightly argues that fossil fuel subsidies are about the dumbest possible type of public policy. And Samantha Page offers another reason why that’s so by pointing out the devastating health effects of oil and gas production and distribution.

– Finally, Simon Enoch offers a much-needed warning to the rest of Canada as to what Saskatchewan faces with Brad Wall in power. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Erika Hayasaki surveys the developing body of research on how poverty and deprivation affect a child’s long-term brain development:

Early results show a troubling trend: Kids who grow up with higher levels of violence as a backdrop in their lives, based on MRI scans, have weaker real-time neural connections and interaction in parts of the brain involved in awareness, judgment, and ethical and emotional processing.

…Though it’s still largely based on correlations between brain patterns and particular environments, the research points to a disturbing conclusion: Poverty and the conditions that often accompany it—violence, excessive noise, chaos at home, pollution, malnutrition, abuse and parents without jobs—can affect the interactions, formation and pruning of connections in the young brain.

Two recent influential reports cracked open a public conversation on the matter. In one, researchers found that impoverished children had less gray matter—brain tissue that supports information processing and executive behavior—in their hippocampus (involved in memory), frontal lobe (involved in decision making, problem solving, impulse control, judgment, and social and emotional behavior) and temporal lobe (involved in language, visual and auditory processing and self-awareness). Working together, these brain areas are crucial for following instructions, paying attention and overall learning—some of the keys to academic success.

The second key study, published in Nature Neuroscience , also in 2015 , looked at 1,099 people between ages 3 and 20, and found that children with parents who had lower incomes had reduced brain surface areas in comparison to children from families bringing home $150,000 or more a year.

“We have [long] known about the social class differences in health and learning outcomes,” says Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. But neuroscience has now linked the environment, behavior and brain activity—and that could lead to a stunning overhaul of both educational and social policies, like rethinking Head Start–style programs that have traditionally emphasized early literacy. New approaches, he says, could focus on social and emotional development as well, since science now tells us that relationships and interactions with the environment sculpt the areas of the brain that control behavior (like the ability to concentrate), which also can affect academic achievement (like learning to read). 

– Adria Vasil discusses the worldwide trend of water being made available first (and for inexplicably low prices) to for-profit bottlers over citizens who need it. And Martin Regg Cohn examines how the story is playing out in Ontario in particular.

– Mike De Souza reports on how the National Energy Board, rather than acting as a neutral regulator, misled Denis Coderre to try to take free PR for both the NEB itself and fossil fuel development in general. And Carrie Tait points out how the Husky oil spill is raising questions about Saskatchewan’s fully captured regulatory system. 

– Ian MacLeod reports on a sudden and unexplained increase in CSE interception of private communications.

– Finally, Andray Domise discusses what Colten Boushie’s shooting and its aftermath say about the blight of racism in Canada. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Owen Jones discusses the UK’s experience with privatized rail as yet another example of how vital services become more costly and worse-run when put in corporate hands.- Sean McElwee highlights still more resea… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Owen Jones discusses the UK’s experience with privatized rail as yet another example of how vital services become more costly and worse-run when put in corporate hands.- Sean McElwee highlights still more resea… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Norman Farrell highlights how following the reversal of the HST transition, B.C. businesses haven’t given up on their goal of making sure that only individuals pay consumption taxes. – Jordan Press and… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Rachel West charts how higher wages and improved social supports can reduce crime rates and their resulting costs.- Lana Payne comments on the glass ceiling still limiting the wages and opportunities availabl… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Atrios offers a reminder as to how means-testing tends to make social programs more vulnerable to attack without making our overall tax system more progressive:We already means test through the tax cod… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Larry Elliott discusses how the rise of Donald Trump and other exclusionary populists can be traced to the failed promises of neoliberal economics:The fact is that the US middle class, which in Britain we would c… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Branko Milanovic argues that there’s plenty of reason to be concerned about inequality even if one puts aside a utilitarian comparison of individual needs and benefits:(I)nequality of opportunity affects negati… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here (via PressReader), on how the North Saskatchewan River oil spill may not lead directly to a needed reevaluation of the risks of pipelines – but a public expectation that we’ll shift away from dirty energy may be more significant in the long run.Fo… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Lana Payne comments on the combination of low wages and nonexistent security attached to jobs for younger workers. And Catherine Baab-Muguira examines the spread of the side hustle economy as a means of bare sur… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Aditya Chakrabortty sums up George Osborne’s legacy – and give or take a Brexit vote, it looks awfully familiar for corporatist governments in general:The multi-million-pound spending spree wasn’t justifiable, … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here (via PressReader), questioning why so many of our political leaders spend so much time talking about pipelines which are neither economically necessary nor environmentally sustainable.For further reading…- J. David Hughes’ study cited in the col… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- J. David Hughes discusses the ultimate problem with new pipeline construction, as it’s incompatible with any reasonable effort to meet even Canada’s existing commitments to rein in greenhouse gas emissions:Under … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Reuters reports on Tidjane Thiam’s recognition that inequality and underfunded education likely played roles in the Brexit vote’s outcome. And David Blanchflower rightly argues that the UK will need economic st… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Andrew Leach’s after-the-fact addendum to his review of Alberta’s climate change policy offers an important reminder as to the costs of inaction on climate change – and the message is one which applies equall… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Alberta Politics: OMG! Energy industry faces ‘existential threat’ from Hollywood, ‘ever-growing matrix of activists’

PHOTOS: Brad Wall, increasingly the Mr. Disagreeable of Confederation. Below: Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir as dreamed of by supporters of the Saskatchewan Party of Alberta. Actual Calgary beaches may not appear exactly as illustrated, either with reg… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: OMG! Energy industry faces ‘existential threat’ from Hollywood, ‘ever-growing matrix of activists’

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Andre Picard writes about the devastating effects of widespread social isolation, particularly given its connection to poverty: All told, it is estimated that about six million Canadians live an isola… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Rick Salutin argues that we need to say no to any more trade agreements designed to privilege corporations at the expense of the public. Will Martin reports on the IMF’s long-overdue recognition of the failures of ne… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links