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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.- Steve Hilton suggests that we should make attending Davos as much a marker of shame as being responsible for a sweatshop – though I’d argue we have a ways to go in holding people accountable even for the latter. Da… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- John O’Farrell argues that a basic income provides a needed starting point for innovation and entrepreneurship by people who don’t enjoy the advantage of inherited wealth:But in fact it is the current situation that … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.- Ian Welsh summarizes why inequality is intrinsically problematic:Even where people’s needs are met, the more unequal a society the more unhealthy everyone is and the more unhappy they are.Those who feel lowe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Ronald Inglehart discusses the political roots of inequality – and the likelihood that the forces that have allowed it to fester for decades will eventually be reversed:New political alignments, in sho… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Paul Mason weighs in on how income and wealth inequality spill over into every corner of a person’s life:It is very possible to be poor in the 21st-century welfare state. One in five children lives in poverty, … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

The Progressive Economics Forum: Is your pension in climate denial?

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns have become a focus for climate change organizing, targeting university endowments, churches, foundations and pension funds. While the motivations are primarily moral—if it is wrong to wreck the climate, it is wrong to profit from that wreckage—there are important economic arguments for divestment.

If we are to have a reasonable chance at staying below 2°C of global warming – the target for international negotiations – between two-thirds and four-fifths of proven fossil fuel reserves (those already near development) will need to stay underground, forever.

This situation is even more dire for Canada due to our economic reliance (Read more…)

Left Over: Justin Case You Forgot the Seniors…

Justin Trudeau answers B.C. voter’s widely shared Facebook letter Casandra Effe wrote to Trudeau with top 10 things she hopes he’ll do as future PM

CBC News Posted: Oct 24, 2015 10:50 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 24, 2015 11:17 AM ET

http://www.liberal.ca/realchange/

 

I went to the site, very pretty, very vague..when I typed in “Search’ re seniors, all that came up was some stuff about medical costs and veterans’ pensions..nice, but not what I asked for..and, as a senior on a fairly low pension, I would like some help with that..we (Read more…)

Left Over: Justin Case You Forgot the Seniors…

Justin Trudeau answers B.C. voter’s widely shared Facebook letter Casandra Effe wrote to Trudeau with top 10 things she hopes he’ll do as future PM

CBC News Posted: Oct 24, 2015 10:50 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 24, 2015 11:17 AM ET

http://www.liberal.ca/realchange/

 

I went to the site, very pretty, very vague..when I typed in “Search’ re seniors, all that came up was some stuff about medical costs and veterans’ pensions..nice, but not what I asked for..and, as a senior on a fairly low pension, I would like some help with that..we (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Armine Yalnizyan sees the Volkswagen emissions test cheating as a classic example of the dangers of relying on business to do anything toward the social good without facing strong and effectively-enforced regulations. And George Monbiot describes just a few of the preposterous new forms of waste we’re generating and buying rather than addressing serious social problems.

- Steve Paikin interviews Mariana Mazzucato about the proper role of an active state:

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- Paul Hanley points out that the Leap Manifesto represents an important expression of mainstream Canadian values which deserves a prominent place (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Paul Krugman theorizes that our recent pattern of economic instability can be traced to a glut of accumulated wealth chasing too few viable investments: On the surface, we seem to have had a remarkable run of bad luck. First there was the housing bust, and the banking crisis it triggered. Then, just as the worst seemed to be over, Europe went into debt crisis and double-dip recession. Europe eventually achieved a precarious stability and began growing again — but now we’re seeing big problems in China and other emerging markets, which were previously (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Vanessa Houlder reports on the OECD’s call for countries to make far more of an effort to ensure tax compliance among their wealthiest individuals.

- Scott Gilmore discovers the abusiveness of the payday loan industry by accident due to a lender’s confusion between him and an actual borrower: Regulations vary. Manitoba limits prices at $17 for every $100 borrowed. In Ontario it is $21. It sounds reasonable, but that is an annual percentage rate of over 540%, twice the traditional vig charged by loan sharks. Stan Keyes, the former federal cabinet minister (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: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jerry Dias discusses how the Cons have pushed Canada into an avoidable recession by slashing useful funding in order to send out pre-election baubles: How far has Canada’s economic star fallen? Only recently Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted that Canada’s economy was “the envy of the entire world.” That claim was always overstated. Now it is downright ludicrous.

The Bank of Canada cut interest rates for the second time this year, but few expect this to pull us out of the tailspin. After all, Canadians are already tapped out: household debt now (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Friday reading.

- Matthew Melmed examines how poverty early in life is both disturbingly widespread, and likely to severely affect a child’s future prospects.

- Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis track the extreme gap in wage growth for CEOs as opposed to workers. Robert Skidelsky argues that we can’t rely on employment relationships to fully address poverty and inequality given the number of current jobs that will be mechanized out of existence before long. But on the bright side, Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on Unifor’s success in achieving significant improvements in wages and schedule predictability for retail (Read more…)

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…)

Parchment in the Fire: ‘Making us poorer won’t save Greece’: how pension crisis is hurting its people | World news | The Guardian

‘Making us poorer won’t save Greece’: how pension crisis is hurting its people | World news | The Guardian.

Filed under: Austerity Tagged: Austerity, Eurozone Crisis, Greece, pensions

Montreal Simon: The Real Reason the Con Clown Peter MacKay Resigned

Greg Perry/Toronto StarOh boy. I should have figured it out. I should have known the real reason Peter MacKay decided to resign just a few months before an election.Suddenly decided to ride off gently, or clatter off noisily into the sunset.He may have wanted to spend more time with his young family, or spend more time fishing.But I bet this reason was foremost in his mind, or his wallet. Read more »

Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: Pension tensions and privatizations

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/podcast150501-pensions-and-privatization.mp3

 

I have two guests on two different topics today. First up: Kevin Skerrett, a pension researcher at the Canadian Union of Public Employees. I spoke with him about the role of pensions in financialized capitalism. Don’t let the word pensions scare you off, this is a conversation that gets to the heart of how workers relate to the market and to each other as well as the role of labour unions in a changing neoliberal economy. See this article by Kevin and the linked videos of a speaker series for more.

From pensions, the episode moves (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Lydia DePillis and Jim Tankersley write that U.S. Democrats are recognizing the need for concerted pushback against the Republican’s attacks on organized labour – and rightly framing the role of unions in terms of reducing the inequality the right is so keen to exacerbate.

- And another obvious advantage to greater labour power would be a stronger push against the extractivist ideology that’s turning pensions and public utilities into corporate cash cows at our expense. 

- Sean McElwee and Catherine Ruetschlin discuss the multi-generational impact of systemic discrimination – while (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson link inequality and climate change as massive problems which are generated by political choices (and thus amenable to correction through the political system): Rising inequality is no more natural than global warming. And just as with global warming, our biggest fear should be that it becomes increasingly self-reinforcing — not because of some “natural” economic process, but because economic power begets political power, which can be used to further increase economic advantage. Look around, and the evidence that this is a real threat abounds. To cite just (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Lee-Anne Goodman reports on studies from both the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PDF) and the Broadbent Institute (PDF) showing that enlarged tax-free savings accounts stand to blow a massive hole in the federal budget while exacerbating inequality. And PressProgress documents and refutes the pitiful response from the right.

- But then, I suppose we shouldn’t expect the Cons’ actions on TFSA to differ from their usual mismanagement. And Scott Clark and Peter DeVries write that the Cons’ tax baubles in general have accomplished nothing useful, while Ricarda Acuna notes that Alberta (as the exemplar (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the work done by the Broadbent Institute and Mariana Mazzucato to highlight the importance of publicly-funded innovation: According to a 2014 report by the International Monetary Fund, Canadian companies have been accumulating “dead money” at a faster rate than any other G7 country, rather than reinvesting profit into things like human capital or research capacity — suggesting that the rewards of innovative success are being captured by an increasingly narrow sliver of society, even when public money may well have been an early catalyst for achievement.  But in (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Nicholas Kristof discusses how U.S. workers have suffered as a result of declining union strength. And Barry Critchley writes that Canada’s average expected retirement age has crept over 65 – with that change coming out of necessity rather than worker choice.

- Alex Andreou rightly slams the concept of “defensive architecture” intended to eliminate the poor from sight rather than actually addressing poverty: “When you’re designed against, you know it,” says Ocean Howell, who teaches architectural history at the University of Oregon, speaking about anti-skateboarding designs. “Other people might not see it, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The OECD reports on the relationship between equality and growth, and concludes that rising inequality is as toxic for economic development as it is for our social fabric. And David Rider discusses how increasing inequality is manifesting itself in several Toronto neighbourhoods.

- Meanwhile, Daniel Tancer finds finds that Canada’ workers receive a significantly lower share of income than in other developed countries: Our modern economy is anything but egalitarian, and labour’s share of income has been shrinking for decades as business profits soar while wages stagnate.

On this measure, Canada is (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Chris Matthews takes note of the gross growth of inequality in the U.S. Dean Baker notes that much of the wealth built on what’s branded as “innovation” reflects little more than successful attempts to evade health, safety and consumer protection laws. And Mike De Souza explores how the notorious ALEC pushes climate denial and other anti-social policies with an alarming amount of support from businesses who (once challenged) claim not to know who they’re funding.

- Meanwhile, Digby points out that the corporatist right is downright eager to work people to the (Read more…)