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Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Heather Stewart discusses the possibility of a 20-hour work week to better distribute both work and income. And without going that far, Andrew Jackson suggests that our public policy priorities should include a n… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- John Clarke discusses the challenges facing social movements trying to resist austerity and push for action on poverty in the face of mushy-middle governments who lack any commitment to those principle… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the appalling failure of both the province of Saskatchewan and the city of Regina to contribute a nickel to a long-overdue Housing First pilot project.For further reading…- D.C. Fraser reported on the project here, with this serving as the m… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Scott Santens discusses how a basic income could help to foster social cohesion. And Jared Bernstein confirms the seemingly obvious point that properly-funded social programs work wonders in reducing poverty. – … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Steven Hill discusses some of the most glaring problems with an economy based on precarious work. And Tim Harford rightly asks whether a shift away from steady employment will necessitate more public d… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Scrooged

Shorter Assorted Conservative Hacks with Too Much Time On Their Hands:In keeping with the conservative movement’s holiday spirit, we pose this most humanitarian of questions: why are there no workhouses? . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Scrooged

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.- Jordon Cooper offers his take on the many social issues we should be addressing alongside our work to welcome Syrian refugees:All levels of government have passed resolutions to end child poverty in Can… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Desmond Cole rightly slams the stinginess of Ontario’s government in taking support away from parents based on child support which isn’t actually received. And Karl Nerenberg laments Bill Morneau’s decision to … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the kindness and compassion underlying our welcoming of Syrian refugees deserves a far larger place in a wide range of public policy decisions.For further reading…- Zack Beauchamp summarizes the exclusionary rhetoric that’s propelled Don… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Remembrance Day reading.

– Roderick Benns interviews Robin Boadway about the results of past basic income studies which have shown that economic security helps rather than hinders individual participation in the workforce:

Benns: What about a basic income guarantee makes it a social justice issue?

Boadway: To me, freedom from poverty and satisfactions of basic needs are fundamental human right. They are also a prerequisite to participating meaningfully in society. As well, as I have mentioned, those of us who are more affluent than average owe our success in good part to luck rather than merit: where (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Liz Farmer discusses the growing body of evidence showing that high-end tax cuts do nothing to build the economy for anybody but the few privileged beneficiaries. And Stephen Kimber writes about the billions of dollars Canada loses to tax evasion every year, while calling out the “taxpayer” lobby groups who are happy to leave the public on the hook for that loss. 

- Heather Stewart weighs on how increased automation stands to exacerbate inequality both between capital and labour, and within the workforce itself. And Matthew Wright comments on the effect (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On contrasting activities

Thomas Walkom rightly notes that this fall’s election has seen somewhat more discussion of government acting in the public interest than we’ve seen in some time. But it’s worth drawing a distinction between the varieties of intervention on offer from the NDP and the Libs respectively.

As much as the latter have tried to suggest that running immediate deficits is the sole measure of progressivism, the real difference between the two lies in their longer-term plans.

For the NDP, the goal of an active government is to build up a stronger social safety net over time. Immediate funding for child (Read more…)

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: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ian Welsh rightly points out how our lives are shaped by social facts far beyond individual’s control: If you are homeless in America, know that there are five times as many empty homes as there are homeless people.

If you are homeless in Europe, know that there are two times as many empty homes are there are homeless.

If you are hungry anywhere in the world, know that the world produces more than enough food to feed everyone, and that the amount of food we discard as trash is, alone, more than enough (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Greg Keenan exposes how corporations are demanding perpetually more from municipalities while refusing to contribute their fair share of taxes to fund the services needed by any community. And Sean McElwee points out how big-money donations are translating into a warped U.S. political system: Available data reveals that donors not only have disproportionate influence over politics, but that influence is wielded largely to keep issues that would benefit the working and middle classes off of the table.

Do donors really rule the world? Recent research suggests that indeed they do. Three (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Anna Leventhal warns against the danger that even the best-intentioned of charity drives might be seen as replacing the need for social supports: Now campaigns are ubiquitous, and range from book tours to pet surgeries to basic subsistence for marginalized people in crisis. But with crowdfunding increasingly called on to plug the holes left by funding cuts (consider that in 2014 Canadians pledged over $27 million to Kickstarter alone, and that from 2013 to 2014 the amount crowdfunded globally jumped from US$6.1 billion to US$16.2 billion), the stakes are getting higher (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Scott Santens argues that a basic income represents the best way to ensure that the gains from technological advancement are shared by everybody. And Thom Hartmann makes the case for a guaranteed income based on its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, while Mark Sarner sees it mostly as a mechanism to reduce poverty.

- Meanwhile, Lane Windham highlights the need for social benefits to be pursued through public policy rather than through employment relationships alone. And Sean McElwee writes that increased voter turnout in the U.S. figures to bring out far more progressive (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- The Broadbent Institute details Rhys Kesselman’s research on how the Cons’ expanded TFSAs are nothing but a giveaway to the wealthy. And Dean Beeby reports on their withholding of EI supplements from the families who most need them – paired with a complete lack of responsibility or contrition now that the problem has been discovered.

- Matt Saccaro discusses the widespread burnout among U.S. workers as huge increases in hours worked and productivity have done nothing to improve wages or living conditions over a period of decades. And Bill Tieleman slams (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- David Cay Johnston looks into new research showing just how much distance the U.S.’ highest-income .001% has put between itself and the rest of the country’s citizens: (F)or the first time ever, the IRS offers a close look at the top .001 percent of taxpayers. It shows that incomes in this rarefied air — the top 1,361 households — are soaring while their tax burdens are falling.

The differences in income-growth rates from 2003 to 2012 between the top .001 percent and the rest of the top 1 percent are akin (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Saturday reading.

- Joseph Heath looks at the spread of the McMansion as an ugly example of competitive consumption which benefits nobody. And Victoria Bateman discusses the need to question the assumptions underlying laissez-faire policymaking: Science and technology are central to rising prosperity, but, as cases such as the internet and GPS technology demonstrate, progress is just as much a result of state funding and risk taking as it is of private sector endeavour. Since the Enlightenment, innovation has been a collective endeavour – and long may it continue. However, this comes with two warnings. Firstly, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Maude Barlow and Sujata Dey point out that the job promises linked to CETA and other new trade agreements are no more plausible than the false ones made in previous rounds of corporate rights giveaways. And the Canadian Labour Congress discusses the secrecy surrounding the new set of deals including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

- Meanwhile, the International Labour Organization documents the connection between collective bargaining rights and greater equality. And lest anybody think there’s a tradeoff to be made between equality based on labour rights and growth based on corporate control, the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson weighs in on the need for our public policy to ensure a fair initial distribution of income and power in order to ensure that further redistribution is sustainable: The issue of how to deal with rising inequality and the squeezed middle-class has recently moved to the centre of political debate, with the various parties proposing significant policy changes. International experience suggests that a more equal Canada will require major changes to a wide range of policy levers and not just to the tax and transfer system.

Work by the OECD and (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Joseph Stiglitz laments the corporate takeover of policy-making processes, including by imposing trade rules which impede democratic decision-making: The real intent of [investor protection] provisions is to impede health, environmental, safety, and, yes, even financial regulations meant to protect America’s own economy and citizens. Companies can sue governments for full compensation for any reduction in their future expected profits resulting from regulatory changes.  This is not just a theoretical possibility. Philip Morris is suing Uruguay and Australia for requiring warning labels on cigarettes. Admittedly, both countries went a little further than (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Eric Morath points out that a job (or even multiple jobs) can’t be taken as an assurance that a person can avoid relying on income supports and other social programs. PressProgress offers some important takeaways from the Canadian Labour Congress’ study of the low-wage workers. Angella MacEwen writes about the spread of the $15 minimum wage movement in Canada.

- Meanwhile, Carol Goar writes that while we should be looking to improve our social safety net, we need to do so while taking into account the real experience of the people relying upon (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Noah Smith writes that the renewable energy revolution is further along than was projected just a few years ago: Each of these trends — cheaper batteries and cheaper solar electricity — is good on its own, and on the margin will help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, with all the geopolitical drawbacks and climate harm they entail. But together, the two cost trends will add up to nothing less than a revolution in the way humankind interacts with the planet and powers civilization.

You see, the two trends reinforce each other. (Read more…)