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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Andrew Jackson writes that the Libs’ fall economic statement represents a massive (and unjustified) shift away from promised infrastructure funding even while planning to privatize both existing operations and future developments. And Joie Warnock highlights why it would represent nothing short of scandalous mismanagement for the Wall . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Deceptive by definition

The Saskatchewan Party’s introduction of new legislation (Bill 40, PDF) to define massive Crown sell-offs as not being “privatization” has received plenty of due attention. But it’s worth taking a close look at exactly what the Wall government is doing – and how it reflects an attempt to sneak the change through the back door . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Deceptive by definition

Canadian Political Viewpoints: Moving the Goal Line

SOURCE: CBC News: Opposition Vows to Fight Government on What in Means to “Privatize”

SOURCE: CJME News: Government of Sask. Changes Definition of “Privatize” when it Comes to Crown Corps.

There’s going to be a fair amount of sources linked in the body of this post, and I do encourage you all to read those . . . → Read More: Canadian Political Viewpoints: Moving the Goal Line

Accidental Deliberations: On cost comparisons

Following up on yesterday’s column, let’s take a moment to examine just how foolish the Wall government’s insistence on trying to sell off SaskTel is even as a matter of pure dollars and cents.Again, I’ve previously calculated the benefit to Saskatchew… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On cost comparisons

Accidental Deliberations: On cost comparisons

Following up on yesterday’s column, let’s take a moment to examine just how foolish the Wall government’s insistence on trying to sell off SaskTel is even as a matter of pure dollars and cents.Again, I’ve previously calculated the benefit to Saskatchew… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On cost comparisons

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how we shouldn’t believe any of the unenforceable promises Brad Wall and his government will make to try to pitch a SaskTel selloff – and how citizens stand to lose out from a sale.For further reading…- CBC reported on Wall’s going out of hi… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how we shouldn’t believe any of the unenforceable promises Brad Wall and his government will make to try to pitch a SaskTel selloff – and how citizens stand to lose out from a sale.For further reading…- CBC reported on Wall’s going out of hi… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– David Dayen wonders whether the Obama administration’s decision to end the use of private prisons might represent the needed start of a movement away from relying on poor corporate services as a substitute for public action:

Private prisons experienced more safety and security incidents. They had higher rates of assaults, inadequate medical checkups and compliance, eight times as many incidents of contraband cell-phone smuggling, and often housed new inmates in solitary confinement units, seemingly for lack of space. The report also detailed several grisly incidents since 2008: three riots in one Reeves County, Texas facility in two months; the death of a corrections officer in a riot in Natchez, Mississippi; and the closure of the Willacy County (Texas) Correctional Center, after inmates burned it to the ground.

It’s not hard to figure out why this happens. Private companies win contracts to manage federal prisons by undercutting the Bureau of Prisons’ operational costs. Unlike the government, private prison companies must also take their profit margins out of their budgets. The only way to make that work is to massively drop labor costs, corresponding to a severe degradation of the quality of prison management.

That reflects the problem with privatization as a whole. Private companies must carry out a government function—be it water, parking meters, mass transit, or K-12 schools—at a lower cost than the government can provide it, while taking their profit off the top. Time and again, the results reveal that to be impossible, at least if you want to provide the same quality of service. Yet we keep privatizing. Whether it’s Republicans expanding Medicaid or cash-strapped cities handing over bus service to Uber and Lyft, eventually costs shift from taxpayers to the users of the services, oversight becomes impotent as officials grow reliant on outsourcing contracts, and attempts to maximize profits lead to service breakdowns.

– But CBC reports that the worst is yet to come in Saskatchewan as Brad Wall has publicly put SaskTel up for corporate raiding.

– Jacki Andre discusses the hidden costs of living with a disability – which make it particularly unconscionable for Wall’s Saskatchewan Party to be trying to squeeze pennies out of people who rely on already-inadequate disability benefits.

– Floyd Perras highlights the multiple factors that contribute to (and exacerbate) homelessness. And Rocca Perla comments on the need to include social determinants of health within medical treatment of patients.

– Pat Rich describes the Canadian Medical Association’s rude awakening in finding out that Lib Health Minister Jane Philpott has no interest in its key priorities for improved care. And Alison points out how the Libs are conspicuously trying to wriggle out of their promise to end the unfairness of first-past-the-post politics.

– Finally, Anna MacDonald makes the case for stronger transparency as a means of limiting the harm of global arms dealing. But if there was any doubt that the Trudeau Libs are firmly on the side of weapons proliferation, Helene Laverdiere points out their inexplicable decision to stand against nuclear disarmament. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- David Dayen wonders whether the Obama administration’s decision to end the use of private prisons might represent the needed start of a movement away from relying on poor corporate services as a substi… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Premier Phonying It In, With Respect to SaskTel

“Will [the Act] be changed with respect to [SaskTel]? No.” – Wall (March 2016) “There’s something we signed on to called the Crown Corporation Protection Act, or to that effect. Basically, it protects Crowns from being privatized,” he said. “If elected, we will make one change to that: that’s to the liquor retailing in the province. And we’ve already announced that.” That […] . . . → Read More: Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff: Premier Phonying It In, With Respect to SaskTel

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- France St-Hilaire, David Green and Craig Riddell offer some needed policy prescriptions to fight inequality in Canada:As first steps toward expanding the share of the economic pie going to workers, the minimum wage … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: On risk factors

Yes, “grasping at straws” is the right analysis of the Sask Party’s attempt to make excuses to gift SaskTel to the corporate sector. But it’s also worth noting something those straws have in common.Presumably any risk to SaskTel can be paired with an o… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On risk factors

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 . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Reused column day

For those wondering, my Leader-Post column was on hiatus last week, but will return this week.

In the meantime, I’ll point back to this post and column as introductory reading for Janet French’s new report on SaskTel’s disclosure of customers’ personal information to government authorities. (And I’ll add here one comment which didn’t make it . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Reused column day

Accidental Deliberations: On public priorities

I’m not sure whether last week’s column played a role, but there have been an awful lot of attacks on Saskatchewan’s Crowns since then at a time when the parties don’t seem to be highlighting the issue. So let’s sum up the arguments being made to undermine the public enterprises that are serving Saskatchewan so . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On public priorities

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, looking at a $396 million annual benefit in the form of lower wireless rates for Saskatchewan residents serves as a prime example of the value of public enterprise – and pointing out a few other public options which could help ensure that the interests of citizens are better reflected in the marketplace.

For further . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Andrew Jackson writes that increases in Canadian inequality have been the result of deliberate policy choices: In an important recent book, Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics, Keith Banting and John Myles argue that, while rooted in the market, politics has also been a major force . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Kathleen Geier makes the case for greater progressive activism at lower levels of government – and the point applies with equal force in Canada:

(T)hose of us who want to build a more progressive America would be well-advised to pay relatively less attention to presidential races and . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your day.

– Common Dreams discusses the prevalence of inherited wealth among the U.S.’ richest individuals (as pointed out by a report by United for a Fair Economy): Forbes claims that their list of the 400 richest people is ‘the definitive scorecard of wealth’ in the United States, but UFE rebuffs . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links