Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Michael Schwartz and Kevin Young make the case for a greater focus on influencing corporations and other institutions first and foremost – with the expectation that more fair public policy will be possible if a dominant business sector doesn’t stand in the way. David Wessel points out that many states’ tax systems are set up to exacerbate inequality. And Matthew Yglesias notes that a typical set of slap-on-the-wrist fines against banks for massive market manipulations call into question whether the U.S.’ current regulatory structure is anywhere close to sufficient to protect (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Matthew Yglesias points out that a particular income level may have radically different implications depending on an individual’s place in life, and that we can only address inequality by formulating policy accordingly: The median household income in the United States is about $52,000. So go ahead and picture a median-income household. What did you picture?

Did you picture a 25-year-old with a decent job who’s maybe worried about student loans but is basically doing okay? Or did you picture a married pair of 45-year-olds who are both full-time workers stuck in kinda crappy (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Andrew Nikiforuk offers his suggestions as to how Rachel Notley can improve Alberta’s economy and political scene in her first term in office. And thwap comments on the right’s more hysterical responses to Notley’s victory.

- Meanwhile, Duncan Cameron writes that Albertans have joined the rest of Canada in rejecting a regressive tax system. And Louis-Philippe Rochon reminds us that there’s still plenty more which needs to be done on that front at the federal level.

- Justin Ling discusses how C-51 fits into a wider pattern of intrusive surveillance plans – even (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- PressProgress weighs in on corporate Canada’s twelve-figure tax avoidance, while noting that the Cons’ decision to slash enforcement against tax cheats (while attacking charities instead) goes a long way toward explaining the amount of money flowing offshore. And Oxfam is working on its own Canadian fair tax campaign.

- Robert Frank highlights the complete disconnect from reality which results in most American millionaires claiming that they’re in the middle class, rather than representing a privileged few. And Stephen Gordon writes that there’s a similar sleight of hand at work in the Libs’ “middle (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: Conservative MP Laurie Hawn attacks Canadian Businesses that raised concerns about Bill C-51

Wow — this is how Conservative MP Laurie Hawn responded to the now 140+ businesses who have raised concerns in a letter published by the National Post about reckless spying Bill C-51:”[They] should seriously reconsider their business model and their lack of commitment to the values that bind us as Canadians”.

Keep in mind that the list of signatories includes the founder of the largest software company in Canada.

In fact the list of signatories runs the gamut from local bakeries, to property developers, to venture capitalists.  It’s amazingly unbecoming of a public office holder like Laurie Hawn to question (Read more…)

OpenMedia.ca: LAST CHANCE: Just 24 hours to tell your MP to #RejectFear and #StopC51

This is it folks – there are now just 24 hours before tomorrow’s FINAL House of Commons vote on Bill C-51.

That’s right – there are just hours left to tell your MP to vote against this reckless Bill that will endanger our rights, turn CSIS into a secret police force, and make us all less safe.

As the clock ticks down, we need to pull out all the stops to tell MPs to side with Canadians, do the right thing, and vote against this reckless, dangerous, and ineffective legislation.

read more

The Canadian Progressive: Bill C-51 undermines Canada’s business climate and global reputation

Canadian business leaders and tech entrepreneurs are convinced that Stephen Harper’s Bill C-51 undermines Canada’s business climate and global reputation.

The post Bill C-51 undermines Canada’s business climate and global reputation appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the massive shift in public opinion against the Conservatives’ terror bill should remind us that people are more than willing to reconsider their initial position on a policy – and how it should signal to political parties that it might be a good idea to do the same.

For further reading…- My previous columns on the terror bill can be found at the links here, here and here, while general coverage of C-51 is here. And the B.C. Civil Liberties Association points out why the few amendments the Cons were prepared to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Mariana Mazzucato writes about the creative state – and the need to accept that a strategy designed to fund the economy that doesn’t yet exist will necessarily need to include some projects which don’t turn out as planned: Like any other investor, the state will not always succeed. In fact, failure is more likely, because government agencies often invest in the areas of highest uncertainty, where private capital is reluctant to enter. This means that public organizations must be capable of taking chances and learning from trial and error.  If failure (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Paul Krugman laments how faith-based economics which value unmeasurable market confidence over any meaningful outcome continue to form the basis for disastrous austerity policies around the world.

- Bill Curry reports on the PBO’s latest study showing that the only reason the Cons are in a position to brag about a nominally balanced budget is their continued siphoning off of EI premiums which are supposed to be for the benefit of the many workers who have lost their jobs. And Andrew Jackson puts the Cons’ miserable jobs record in context.

- Meanwhile, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: In Vancouver, Canada’s first annual Charter of Rights and Freedoms march

Canada’s first annual Rights and Freedoms March, a celebration of the anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, launches in Vancouver on April 17.

The post In Vancouver, Canada’s first annual Charter of Rights and Freedoms march appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: A roaring Week of Education on Harper’s police state Bill C-51

At least 50 online and offline activities are expected to be executed across Canada as the Week of Education on Harper’s police state Bill C-51 gathers momentum.

The post A roaring Week of Education on Harper’s police state Bill C-51 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: Rights groups demand unconditional dismissal of Bill C-51

More than 100 rights organizations and prominent individuals have signed a letter demanding the immediate and unconditional dismissal of Harper’s police state Bill C-51.

The post Rights groups demand unconditional dismissal of Bill C-51 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Lawrence Ezrow writes that the disconnect between the public and policymaking that’s done so much harm to the U.S. isn’t quite as severe in more equal countries. And the Equality Trust is looking to ensure that the UK’s political parties make the reduction of inequality into a core policy objective.

- Jordon Cooper comments on Saskatchewan’s desperate need for a seniors’ care plan – rather than the current practice of matching photo ops with selloffs and failing services. And Robert McMurtry reminds us of the dire need for a strong federal (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Dean Baker reminds us that we shouldn’t let ourselves get distracted from the serious problems with inequality when defenders of the status quo try to change the subject to mobility: (M)any of the policies that would most obviously promote equality also promote growth. For example, a Fed policy committed to high employment, even at the risk of somewhat higher rates of inflation, would lead to stronger wage growth at the middle and bottom of the wage ladder, while also likely leading to more investment and growth.…It is also important to remember that (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your long weekend reading.

- Jim Buchanan comments on the mountain of inequality looming over all of our political choices. Laurie Posner interviews Paul Gorski about the need for a vocabulary which accurately portrays inequality as the result of social conditions rather than merit or culture. And Robert Reich notes that if anybody can accurately be classified as having done nothing to earn a living, it’s the idle rich: In reality, a large and growing share of the nation’s poor work full time — sometimes sixty or more hours a week – yet still don’t earn enough (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Arthur Neslen reports on the Health and Environmental Alliance’s study of greenhouse gas emission reductions showing that we’d enjoy both improved health and economic benefits by pursuing ambitious targets to fight climate change. And David Roberts examines the massive cost and minimal benefit of carbon capture and storage schemes which serve mostly to increase how much oil we burn at public expense.

- Chris Simpson writes about the need for physicians to consider social determinants of health as part of patient care. And Carolyn Shimmin offers a primer for journalists (and others) to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Kevin Carson discusses David Graeber’s insight into how privatization and deregulation in their present form represent the ultimate use of state power to serve special interests at the expense of the public: What mainstream American political discourse calls “deregulation” is nothing of the sort. There is no major constituency for deregulation in the American political system — just competing (and in fact considerably overlapping) agendas on what regulatory mix to put in place. There is not, and could not, be such a thing as an “unregulated” bank, Graeber argues, because banks “are (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Elizabeth May Rejects Harper’s Cosmetic Bill C-51 Amendments

Harper’s Bill C-51 remains “dangerous and undemocratic” and “deeply unconstitutional” despite the Conservatives’ proposed amendments, says MP Elizabeth May.

The post Elizabeth May Rejects Harper’s Cosmetic Bill C-51 Amendments appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Canadian Progressive: “Bill C-51 is reckless and dangerous,” says OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson

Testifying before the House of Commons public safety committee on Monday, OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson said Harper’s anti-terror Bill C-51 is dangerous, reckless and ineffective.

The post “Bill C-51 is reckless and dangerous,” says OpenMedia’s Steve Anderson appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Michael Babad writes that we should be glad to see jobs being created in the public sector since the private sector is doing nothing to offer opportunities for Canadians. And Andrew Jackson discusses how Quebec’s progressive economic model has served it well, while offering an example which other provinces should be eager to follow.

- Konrad Yakabuski weighs in on the need for pharmacare to make an essential element of health care universally accessible. But while Brent Patterson agrees that we should be pursuing pharmacare, he also warns that ill-advised trade agreements may (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Dana Nuccitelli discusses new research into the real costs of fossil fuels which aren’t reflected in the sticker price for a dirty energy economy: A new paper published in Climatic Change estimates that when we account for the pollution costs associated with our energy sources, gasoline costs an extra $3.80 per gallon, diesel an additional $4.80 per gallon, coal a further 24 cents per kilowatt-hour, and natural gas another 11 cents per kilowatt-hour that we don’t see in our fuel or energy bills.

…Shindell estimates carbon pollution costs us $32 per (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Bill C-51: 8 things activists and dissenters in Canada need to know

After thoroughly studying Harper’s draconian anti-terror Bill C-51, lawyers at the BC Civil Liberties Association suggest the 8 things activists and dissenters in Canada need to know.

The post Bill C-51: 8 things activists and dissenters in Canada need to know appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- David Vognar argues that we should push for a guaranteed annual income not only as a matter of social equity, but also as a means of building human capital.

- Mike Benusic, Chantel Lutchman, Najib Safieddine and Andrew Pinto make the case for stronger sick leave policies across Canadian workplaces: Canada’s current sick leave policies are not supporting the health of individuals and communities. First, employees are forced to choose between staying home when ill (losing income and potentially placing their job at risk) or to go to work (worsening their health (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Harper government’s anti-terror laws target anti-pipeline foes

The Harper government Bill C-51 and other recently-passed anti-terror laws are designed to target and silence anti-pipeline foes, protect Big Oil interests.

The post Harper government’s anti-terror laws target anti-pipeline foes appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.