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Politics and its Discontents: An Economist Who Opposes Austerity

Unfortunately, I did not have time to write the blog post I had in mind, but fortuitously a friend alerted me to this video, a discussion between TVO’s Steve Paikin and Mark Blyth, an author and Ivy League professor who discusses why the current austerity mania is a bad idea.

Coupled with the fact that two grad students detected a fundamental error in the spreadsheet calculations of the two Harvard professors upon whose shoddy work the justification for austerity largely rests, perhaps it is time for a larger consideration of its wisdom?

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Politics and its Discontents: An Economist Who Opposes Austerity – UPDATED

Unfortunately, I did not have time to write the blog post I had in mind, but fortuitously a friend alerted me to this video, a discussion between TVO’s Steve Paikin and Mark Blyth, an author and Ivy League professor who discusses why the current austerity mania is a bad idea.

Coupled with the fact that two grad students detected a fundamental error in the spreadsheet calculations of the two Harvard professors upon whose shoddy work the justification for austerity largely rests, perhaps it is time for a larger consideration of its wisdom?

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UPDATE: Here is solid evidence to (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: An Economist Who Opposes Austerity – UPDATED

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The New McCarthyism

There is no worse cancer in a free society than the thuggish impulse to equate dissent as disloyalty… The greatest patriot is the person with the courage to be the lone voice in the crowd crying out that the Emperor has no clothes. The test of our society’s democratic nature is our instinct to value the right of our fellow human beings to disagree with us.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Forgiving the Unforgivable – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Our capacity to do violence to one another is the worst tragedy of the human condition, but it makes our still greater capacity to forgive one another all the more powerful.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The Raj, the Reich, and the Good Fight – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Gandhi and Bose were brothers in the hunger for justice, and both had followers who were willing to die for freedom rather than live as slaves. But one group was so blinded by passion for its cause, that it was willing to join hands with regimes whose very names have become bywords for evil in almost every spoken language on the planet.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: A Meritocracy Worth Fighting For – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Throughout our history, Canada has grown through the toil of generations of Canadians who were inspired by the belief that our country is free of the rigid class systems of the Old World, that Canadians’ success or failure depends on our own efforts and our own abilities…But in recent years, we have come to doubt our faith in this meritocracy.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Resistance is Not Futile – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In any democracy worthy of the name, it is not merely the right, but the responsibility of every citizen to resist unjust laws… but there is a contrast between making a scene, and making a difference. There is a choice between the comfort of self-righteous illusion, and the peril of self-sacrificing commitment. There is a hard journey between railing against unjust laws, and living out a life that models justice.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Hope for the Holidays – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

We will be able to hold our heads high before the judgement of history if we can reply that in our season, we held on to hope, we put aside our doubts, we came together believing in our better selves, and we remembered that we have always burned brightest as a nation during the darkest hours.

A BCer in Toronto: Newman vs. Duffy, and a room full of zombies, on the Liberal Party of Canada

Last weekend I watched season 14 of South Park, and in a run of super hero episodes they introduced a character called Captain Hindsight. Basically, he flies in at a time of crisis and tells them what they should have done to avoid it, once it’s already obvious. For some inexplicable reason this character came to mind as I listen to Peter C. Newman speak last night.

Newman’s latest tome, which you may have seen some media coverage of, posits the death of the Liberal Party of Canada after Newman shadowed former leader Michael Ignatieff for much of his

. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: Newman vs. Duffy, and a room full of zombies, on the Liberal Party of Canada

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: To Lead or to Serve – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Over the past quarter century, political parties have too often lurched away from being mass movements of individual Canadians sharing a common vision of the public good, and towards being backdrops for individual party leaders who speak the language of democracy while wielding near-absolute power over their elected caucuses.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Liberalism of Conviction and of Convenience – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

The 20th century began as the age of the dictator. It ended with liberalism having come of age as the ascendant political philosophy across the world. Yet liberal parties everywhere are in crisis. Can they grow with the success of liberalism, or have they been outgrown by the success of their own political philosophy?

the reeves report: TVO is taking election coverage to impressive new levels

TVOntario has decided it won’t take voter apathy lying down. Not when Steve Paikin can do something about it. That’s why Ontario’s own TVO has ramped up its coverage of the 2011 provincial election to be the most comprehensive the network has ever attempted. Alongside Paikin’s nightly news show The Agenda with Steve Paikin is … Continue reading » . . . → Read More: the reeves report: TVO is taking election coverage to impressive new levels

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Faith in Secularism – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Speaking on TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I make the case that separation of church and state is as much in the interests of the church as it is in the interests of the state. However, upholding the ideal of the secular state often demands more courage than we might expect.

350 or bust: The Problem We’ve Created

The world needs to reduce carbon emissions. While oil and gas were cheap, there were few incentives to seek newer, cleaner and renewable resources. But time is now the biggest factor. We’re running out of cheap energy and continuing to contribute… . . . → Read More: 350 or bust: The Problem We’ve Created

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: Akaash Maharaj: A Party of the Many

As long as I have been involved in the Liberal Party, it has been my conviction that for all its strengths, its one fundamental weakness has been an unhealthy obsession with the identity of its leader. This impulse has taken us from being a party of th… . . . → Read More: Akaash Maharaj – Practical Idealism: Akaash Maharaj: A Party of the Many

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The Arab Spring – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In my broadcast essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I argue that despite our sometimes chequered history in the region, Western states have an obligation to enforce the Libyan no-fly zone, both to protect civilians and to ensure that the Arab Spring and the hopes for democracy in the region are not snuffed out in the killing fields of Libya.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Truth, Casualties, and War – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Videocast of my televised essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, on Canada’s role in Afghanistan: Our ability to successfully conclude the mission and effect an honourable departure is being prejudiced by an ignominious political retreat from the truth: the truth about why we went to Afghanistan in the first place and what we are actually trying to achieve there… I fear that the current government is unwilling to engage in an honest national debate about our objectives in Afghanistan, because it believes that Canadians prefer easy lies to hard truths. But Canadians are not the fools or the

. . . → Read More: Akaash Maharaj – Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: Truth, Casualties, and War – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: An Injection of Moralism – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In this, my second broadcast essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I argue that the efforts by the federal government to place emotion above reason and shut down Insite are unworthy of our country’s better traditions and higher responsibilities. It is little more than an effort to purchase easy political popularity at the expense of a wretched and unpopular segment of society.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: TVO’s The Agenda: The Rights of Vulgar Little Cowards – Akaash Maharaj Videocast

In this, my maiden broadcast essay for TVOntario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, I argue that freedom of expression is too fundamental a right to be casually abridged, and that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal must be stripped of its power to regulate public expression.

Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism: Red Party Blues, The Liberals in Crisis? – Akaash Maharaj Podcast

TV Ontario’s The Agenda debates the question of how long Stephane Dion and the Liberal Party can, or should, endure the Conservative government’s electoral brinksmanship. Steve Paikin moderates, as Professor Christine de Clercy, Dion biographer Linda D… . . . → Read More: Akaash Maharaj – Practical Idealism: Red Party Blues, The Liberals in Crisis? – Akaash Maharaj Podcast