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Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how a recent spate of announcements signals that contrary to their campaign commitments in both theme and detail, there’s been little difference between the Trudeau Liberals and the Harper Conservatives in substance.

For further reading…– The point is one being made by plenty of other observers as well in various contexts, including Ross . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Joseph Stiglitz discusses how entrenched inequality and unearned income hurt the economy for everybody:

We used to think of there being a trade-off: we could achieve more equality, but only at the expense of overall economic performance. It is now clear that, given the extremes of inequality being reached in many rich countries and the manner in which they have been generated, greater equality and improved economic performance are complements.

(A) key factor underlying the current economic difficulties of rich countries is growing inequality. We need to focus not on what is happening on average— as GDP leads us to do— but on how the economy is performing for the typical citizen, reflected for instance in median disposable income. People care about health, fairness and security, and yet GDP statistics do not reflect their decline. Once these and other aspects of societal well-being are taken into account, recent performance in rich countries looks much worse.

The economic policies required to change this are not difficult to identify. We need more investment in public goods; better corporate governance, antitrust and anti-discrimination laws; a better regulated financial system; stronger workers’ rights; and more progressive tax and transfer policies. By ‘rewriting the rules’ governing the market economy in these ways, it is possible to achieve greater equality in both the pre- and post-tax and transfer distribution of income, and thereby stronger economic performance.

– David Macdonald discusses Canada’s growing consumer debt levels, and notes that matters figure to get worse before they get better. And the CP reports on Canada’s high gender wage gap as another area where we’re lagging even on an international scene where there’s far more work to be done.

– Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood examines the economic fallout we could expect from the CETA, while the Canadian Labour Congress suggests a few ways to minimize the damage. But Murray Dobbin asks why we’re wasting any time on corporate power agreements when they’ve so thoroughly failed to live up to any promises to the public.

– Juha Kaakinen writes about the success of Housing First in alleviating homelessness in Finland. And Gary Bloch and John Silver point out how encouraging people living in poverty to file tax returns (and thus receive available benefits) can produce positive outcomes all around.

– Finally, PressProgress discusses Wayne Smith’s resignation as Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada due to a lack of meaningful change from the Cons’ attempts to politicize data collection and management. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Ed Miliband offers his take on inequality and the political steps needed to combat it:(T)he terms of the case against inequality have changed. I have always believed that inequality divides people, deprives ma… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Louis-Philippe Rochon reviews the Cons’ track record as irresponsible economic and financial managers. Statistics Canada looks at the debt picture facing Canadians and finds young workers and families in particular fighting against increasing debt loads. And Forum finds that no matter how many hangers-on trumpet the theme of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Will Hutton writes about the connection between inequality and the loss of any moral or social purpose in public life: Britain is beset by a crisis of purpose. We don’t know who we are any longer, where we are going or even if there is a “we”. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Crawford Kilian writes that growing inequality has been largely the product of deliberate engineering rather than any natural process, while Paul Krugman focuses on the preferential treatment of capital income in particular. And Simon Barrow discusses the sources and beneficiaries of the increasing wealth gap: (T)he anti-change interests . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– The Globe and Mail reminds us why we should demand the restoration of an effective census, while Evidence for Democracy is making a public push toward that goal. And Tavia Grant discusses how the destruction of effective data collection is affecting Canadian workplace: Reliable, complete and up-to-date labour . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Stephanie Levitz reports on the Broadbent Institute’s study showing that Con-friendly charities haven’t been facing any of the strict scrutiny being used to silence anybody who dares to speak up for environmental or social causes. And Jeremy Nuttall notes that the problem is probably worse than it seems . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– The Star criticizes the Harper Cons’ selective interest in international cooperation – with war and oil interests apparently ranking as the only areas where the Cons can be bothered to work with other countries. And Catherine Porter reports that the Cons have demonstrated their actual attitude toward global . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Gerald Caplan suggests that Rogers and Bell might be ripe for nationalization – though it’s also worth pointing out that we don’t have to guess what happens when a Crown delivers telecommunications services: The British Labour Party has begun to make the case that market fundamentalism, or neoliberalism, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Nora Loreto reviews the Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights’ Unions Matter: Unlikely to convince someone who is anti-union on its own, Unions Matter provides the fodder for union activists to be able to make important arguments in favour of unionization. Even more important, the statistics and arguments in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Elias Isquith interviews Matt Taibbi about the complete lack of morality underlying Wall Street and the regulators who are supposed to protect the public interest from banksters run amok. Paul Buchheit reviews some compelling evidence that poorer people are more ethical than the wealthy – suggesting that extreme . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Jacob Goldstein discusses how one-time, no-strings-attached funding for the poor in developing countries can produce lasting improvements in their standard of living – while also highlighting the need for longer-term development: A charity that gives away money, as opposed to, say, offering agricultural training or medicine, does . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Politics and Entertainment: Reading Economic Health into the Recent StatsCan Jobs Data is An Exercise in Fantasy

Reading Economic Health into the Recent StatsCan Jobs Data is An Exercise in Fantasy Here’s the reality in that data: 1) As Derek Holt points out, there is no hours worked increase. That remains static. But it is hours worked that “drive incomes, not body count.” Holt speculates that the already employed are working fewer hours, . . . → Read More: Politics and Entertainment: Reading Economic Health into the Recent StatsCan Jobs Data is An Exercise in Fantasy

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that to start your long weekend.

– Antonia Zerbisias and Thomas Walkom both discuss the connection between organized labour and the very existence of a substantial middle class. And Janice Kennedy worries about the all-too-prevalent trend toward worker-bashing.

– But Andrew Jackson nicely points out why attempts to undermine unions have nothing at . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Canadian Progressive World: Statistics Canada: Crime rate reached its lowest level in 40 years in 2011

The evidence on the crime rate in Canada is out! Statistics Canada reported yesterday that rate of crimes reported to Canadian police forces across the country reached its lowest level last year. The incidents of serious crimes also dropped. By six per cent. That’s for most offences, including attempted murders, sexual assaults, major assaults, robberies, . . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: Statistics Canada: Crime rate reached its lowest level in 40 years in 2011

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Michael Harris continues to highlight some of the fundamental problems with the Cons’ view of politics, this time identifying Stephen Harper as being afflicted with “master of the universe syndrome”: When you control all the levers of power, when you have no scruples, when you are surrounded by . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Tom Korski nicely captures the essence of the Cons’ omnibus attack on the environment (along with anything that stands in the way of a cheap and dirty buck): C-38 is a gift for oil and gas lobbyists.

It repeals 20 years of environmental case law; it eliminates . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: May 1, 2012

Tuesday, May 1 saw more debate on a couple of relatively non-contentious bills – along with a prime example of the Cons’ blinkered focus on mandatory minimum sentences.

The Big Issue

In continued debate on the Lucky Moose self-defence bill, the NDP pointed out some of the ways the legislation could have been improved if . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: May 1, 2012

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review – April 2, 2012

Monday, April 2 saw the second day of Peter Julian’s extended budget speech. And perhaps the point most worth noting is how many Canadians outside of Parliament took the opportunity have their voices heard in the budget debate.

The Big Issue

So let’s focus this review on some of the input Julian received from across . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review – April 2, 2012

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to end your day.

– Boris sums up the Cons’ budget message to poor Canadians. David Macdonald assesses the Cons’ impact on jobs – with -70,000 not exactly looking like a positive number. Trish Hennessy frames the Cons’ plans as death by a thousand cuts, while Paul Wells fits the budget into a . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

Runesmith's Canadian Content: Harper’s Idiocracy

One thing you’ve got to love about Libertarian-leaning Conservatives: they have absolutely no sense of irony.

James Travers has yet another excellent op-ed in The Star today on the census, where he elaborates on the difference between facts and truthiness:

In an instructive moment here a couple of years ago, Harper encouraged loyalists to ignore . . . → Read More: Runesmith’s Canadian Content: Harper’s Idiocracy