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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Paul Krugman writes about the effect of a precarious labour market on even the relatively few workers who enjoy relatively secure employment: (T)hese are lousy times for the employed, too. Why? Because they have so little bargaining power.

Leave or lose your job, and the chances of getting another comparable job, or any job at all, are definitely not good. And workers know it: quit rates, the percentage of workers voluntarily leaving jobs, remain far below pre-crisis levels, and very very far below what they were in the true boom economy of (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, asking whether growth and stable employment are part of the deal when the Saskatchewan Party offers massive handouts to the resource sector – and if so, how to handle the fact that PCS is pocketing tax incentives while slashing jobs.

For further reading…- The Wall government’s own press release touting its potash giveaways is here. Needless to say, there’s no mention as to why we’d want to keep giving royalties away if they’re not linked to growth.- Simon Enoch’s list of Saskatchewan Party corporate subsidies is always worth a look.- Murray Mandryk is duly skeptical (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Glen Pearson theorizes that inequality will be the defining theme of the current political era. Tavia Grant and Janet McFarland document the extreme (and continually-increasing) disparity between the top 1% and the rest of the world. And Eduardo Porter writes that education can only go so far in creating fair opportunities for everybody in the face of political and economic structures designed to leave most people behind.

- David MacDonald highlights the fact that the Cons’ needless program cuts and their brand-new fire sale of public assets both reflect utter mismanagement rather (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Simon Enoch nicely challenges the City of Regina’s blind faith in “risk transfer” by pointing out how that concept has typically been applied elsewhere: So what price should we put on such a risk transfer? This is where things can get dicey. How risks are monetized can be notoriously subjective, with empirical evidence rarely provided to “substantiate the risk allocations, making it difficult to assess their accuracy and validity.” The recent revelations from the Ontario Auditor-General’s report into the Brampton P3 hospital certainly supports this assessment, noting that “the “value for money” assessment (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Polly Toynbee discusses how the UK’s attacks on social programs are based on gross ignorance about what social spending does (and who it helps): The Citizens Advice Bureau reports a rise of 78% in the last six months in people needing food banks to keep going. Many have jobs, but their pay doesn’t see them to the end of the week. The CAB chief executive says millions of families face a “perfect storm” with benefit cuts, low wages, short hours and the high cost of living. Even in apparently well-to-do areas, community halls (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the City of Regina’s wastewater treatment referendum campaign is based on either a major omission as to the costs of privatizing services, or a dangerous assumption that the City doesn’t need to have any idea how its own treatment plant works.

For further reading…- I take my math and assumptions from the report (PDF) endorsed by City Council – which includes the following privatized payment model (emphasis added): h. In principle, a commitment to providing a performance-based payment for operations, maintenance and availability of the facility, compensating for a range of DBFOM service over the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On double standards

Simon Enoch, Paul Dechene and Stephen Whitworth have already weighed in on the City of Regina’s choice to blow its nose on a petition that reflects citizen engagement in action. But I’m surprised nobody’s yet pointed out the vastly different treatment between two different aspects of the petition.

As Dechene notes, the City took two steps to arbitrarily cut down on the number of names treated as valid. First, it simply threw out over 2,800 names based on the fact that the listed date didn’t include the year. And second, it conducted a “sampling” of the names on the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Lynn Stuart Parramore discusses the epidemic of wage theft by U.S. employers: Americans like to think that a fair day’s work brings a fair day’s pay. Cheating workers of their wages may seem like a problem of 19th-century sweatshops. But it’s back and taking a terrible toll. We’re talking billions of dollars in wages; millions of workers affected each year. A gigantic heist is being perpetrated against working people: they’re getting screwed on overtime, denied their tips, shortchanged on benefits, defrauded on payroll, and handed paychecks that bounce like rubber balls. A (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Friday reading.

- Zoe Williams questions when being poor became grounds for deliberate discrimination and ritual public humiliation (h/t to Mound of Sound): What I cannot help noticing is a failure of normal human respect for the people at the bottom of the heap – Tuesday’s ruling in favour of Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson has had its bones picked over for what it does or doesn’t say about slavery, and yet the judges were clear: these people were treated dishonestly. They were treated as though, being unemployed, they could be parcelled about at the

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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Alison highlights the attempts of Sun TV to rally the most extreme reactionary movements in the country behind its bid for mandatory carriage. And the question of whether we want to publicly sanction a network beholden to such interest groups would seem to answer whether the application is justified.

- Paul Krugman comments that the Republicans’ attacks on disabled workers are both thoroughly contrary to any sense of fairness, and utterly useless in practice:

(W)hen Reagan ranted about welfare queens driving Cadillacs, he was inventing a fake problem — but his rant resonated

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Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Lana Payne discusses the contrast between Theresa Spence’s selfless efforts to improve the lives of First Nations citizens, and Stephen Harper’s callous indifference: Is a hunger strike the answer? I honestly do not know, but then I have not known Chief Spence’s anguish. After all, she says her act is not about “anger, it is about pain.”

But I do so worry about this brave woman who starves herself while waiting for a meeting with the prime minister. I worry because Stephen Harper is a very stubborn man.

And Chief Spence is

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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, expanding on this post as to Simon Enoch’s study of corporate power in Saskatchewan – and suggesting that we use the networks mapped out by Enoch in analyzing the Saskatchewan Party’s corporatist policy choices.

Again, Enoch’s study is available here. And you’ll find some of my previous writing about Enterprise Saskatchewan and the Wall government’s corporatist inclinations here and here.

Accidental Deliberations: On revealed connections

Simon Enoch’s study mapping corporate power in Saskatchewan may be one of the most important pieces of research I’ve seen in quite some time – and I’ll highly encourage visitors to give it a thorough read. But I’ll quibble with one aspect of Enoch’s conclusion – he’s done more work to tie together multiple stands of corporate influence than his proposed policy prescription could possibly hope to accomplish.

After analyzing the board and executive structures of corporations, interest groups and government structures alike and demonstrating the striking correlation between them, Enoch’s headline takeaway is this: As record amounts of corporate

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Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Jon Wisman and Aaron Pacitti put a price tag on the upward redistribution of wealth in the U.S.: Between 1983 and 2007, total inflation-adjusted wealth in the U.S. increased by $27 trillion. If divided equally, every man woman and child would be almost $90,000 richer.

But of course it wasn’t divided equally. Almost half of the $27 trillion (49 percent) was claimed by the richest one percent — $11.7 million more for each of their households. The top 10 percent grabbed almost $29 trillion, or 106 percent of the

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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- The Cons’ move to suppress Canadian wages by encouraging the use of disposable, temporary foreign labour is receiving plenty of due outcry. Here’s Armine Yalnizyan:

Disturbingly, the federal announcement also set out new wage rules that permit employers to pay temporary foreign workers up to 15 per cent below the average paid for that type of work locally, sanctioning the creation of a two-tiered “us and them” labour market.

Even if such a rule were rigorously applied and monitored – and budget cuts may eliminate the staff to do this job

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