Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Jared Bernstein discusses how fair and progressive taxes on the rich are a necessary element of any effort to improve the lot of the poor: The rising tide of inequality does more than create great economic distance between income classes. It also produces higher barriers to mobility. Increased investment in the poor’s economic opportunities and in their children, their health care, their housing and their education will be needed to overcome those barriers. To be more precise, there are three reliable ways to help or “lift” the bottom: subsidies that increase the poor’s (Read more…)
Curiously after months of saying they’ll do away with both the Local Health Integration Networks and the Community Care Access Centres, both direct promises are conspicuously absent from the formal Tory election platform. That doesn’t mean they will stay in … Continue reading →
Here’s a whopper from one of young Tim’s chief disciples, Lisa MacLeod:
Recommend this Post
Hyperbole is, of course, a mainstay of political campaigns, as those vying for public office offer a blunt message to potential voters. Keep it simple and repetitive seems the overarching strategy, never more apparent than in young Tim Hudak’s 1 million jobs plan. Will people be fooled by his claim that by destroying 100,000 good-paying jobs that provide much-needed services to Ontarians, Phoenix-like from their ashes will arise more jobs than there are people seeking them?
Judging by these recent letters from Star readers, I suspect he has his job cut out for him:
Re: Hudak’s popularity takes a hit (Read more…)
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 wealth and inequality may themselves serve as an indicator of social dysfunction. And Charles Blow writes about the absurdity of blaming poor people for forces beyond their control: That construct, that the poor are in some way deficient, is a particularly poisonous and unsupportable position. (Read more…)
H/t Theo Moudakis
If you have resided in Ontario for some years, and were of a certain age when Ontario’s Common Sense Revolution was conducted by Mike ‘The Knife’ Harris, you will recall it was a time of great upheaval that, contrary to the mythologizing that the right-wing so much enjoys fabricating, left the bulk of Ontarians worse off.
It was a time of job cuts, dissension, the sowing of hatred against various groups that fell into Harris’ crosshairs, monumental downloading of provincial responsibilities to municipalities for which property owners are still paying dearly in their tax bills, the selling (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Bill Moyers interviews Richard Wolff about inequality – featuring Wolff’s observation that anybody trying to justify inequality as an inevitable byproduct of unregulated markets manages only to make those markets indefensible: Bill Moyers: When you say that there’s no economic argument that people should be kept at the– should not share in the gains of economic growth, the response is, “Well, that’s what the market bears.”
Richard Wolff: Well, you know, in the history of economics, which is my profession, it’s a standard play on words. Instead of talking about how the (Read more…)
H/t Ruth Blair Recommend this Post
Assorted content to end your week.
- Polly Toynbee looks at how the UK is now treating children in need as investment opportunities to be exploited by investors, rather than people to be assisted. And Mark Taliano writes that privatization is a problem rather than a solution when it comes to providing public services.
- Geoff Leo uncovers still more stories about the abuse of temporary foreign workers. And David Climenhaga looks behind the business lobby’s insistence on being granted a low-wage, no-rights pool of disposable foreign labour to replace Canadians who may expect to have lives outside of work (Read more…)
I imagine that many people who follow politics closely do so in the belief that it is one of the few arenas that offers the possibility of change on a wide scale. Enlightened public policy, backed by the appropriate fiscal measures, can help bring about greater social and economic equity, thereby contributing to a more balanced and compassionate world. Unfortunately, perhaps inevitably, that hope is almost always dashed. Consequently, many of us fall victim to a deep cynicism about human nature.
In the current Ontario election campaign, there is much about which to be cynical. Three parties, all deeply flawed, (Read more…)
I have to admit that I sometimes find it hard to take Tim Hudak seriously. He's such a goof, such a lousy campaigner, such a loser.
Until I remember that after Stephen Harper he is the most beastly Con in Canada, and a Republican clone if ever there was one.A man who lives to bust unions, drive down wages, and blow Big Business like a hoover. A political thug who believes in chain gangs.And a ghastly tea bagger who got his insane plan to create jobs by killing them, from a kooky right-wing American economist who works (Read more…)
Harris fired 6,000 nurses when he was Premier. What’s the over/under with Timmy? Timmy Hudak. He’s in over his head. (1) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- George Monbiot writes that contrary to the theory that wealth is a precondition to environmental standards, increased consumption tends to correlate to disregard for the our impact on the environment: For years we’ve been told that people cannot afford to care about the natural world until they become rich; that only economic growth can save the biosphere, that civilisation marches towards enlightenment about our impacts on the living planet. The results suggest the opposite.
As you can see from the following graph, the people consulted in poorer countries feel, on average, much (Read more…)
Back when I first sat down to rant about politics on May 15th 2004, I never expected I’d still be doing this over 3,000 posts later. The blog has outlasted 3 Liberal leaders, been through 4 federal elections, and documented my involvement on a handful of losing leadership campaigns. During that time, Bart Ramson turned into Dan Arnold, I moved to Edmonton, finished school, and became a “Toronto Grit”. Shortly thereafter, Naheed Nenshi became mayor of Calgary and Rob Ford became mayor of Toronto. Go figure.
Nenshi and Ford have provided me with bountiful amounts (Read more…)
In my last post I criticized Tim Hudak’s campaign over some early gaffes, and called them amateurs. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for that to amateurs everywhere. Since we’ve seen how they do on a subway, I hope Hudak has an event at one of Ontario’s craft beer producers next. I […]
Of course he is out of touch. It’s Tim Hudak that we’re talking about here, folks. That’s not a big surprise. But what is a surprise isthe extent of his disconnect. His “1 million jobs”, *ahem* “plan” is perhaps the most ill-thought out set of proposals I have ever seen rolled out in an election […]
While those heard-headed pragmatists who rule the world today often disdain ‘soft’ subjects like English literature, sociology, and a host of other disciplines that require nuanced, as opposed to blunt thinking, I am glad that I was an English teacher instead of one dispensing the wonders of mathematics.
Even though he might have been what we used to euphemistically call ‘a difficult-to-serve client,’ young Tim Hudak these days must be causing his old math teachers (and probably their entire brethren of colleagues) some embarrassment and grief, for one simple reason: they just did not meet his needs, clearly reflected in (Read more…)
The mask of boyish innocence was slowly slipping away from young Tim Hudak.
H/t Toronto Star
H/t Ray Mirshahi Recommend this Post
First off, yes, this is a Forum poll, but like BigcityLib, I’ll take it as a starting point as to what people think of Tim Hudak’s 100 000 public sector job cuts/1 million jobs created dual promises. So far, they don’t like it at all, or they don’t believe Timmy can do what he claims:
Nearly two-thirds of Ontarians disapprove of Tim Hudak’s plan to cut 100,000 public servants to streamline government, a new poll suggests..The Forum Research survey also found 63 per cent do not think the Progressive Conservative leader will be able to create his promised 1 (Read more…)
Tim Hudak made two overarching jobs-related announcements in this Ontario election campaign so far. In one, he said he’s going to cut 100,000 public service jobs. In another, he said he’s going to create one-million new jobs. Here’s something to keep in mind. The public sector job cuts are a promise. If elected, particularly if … Continue Reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Doug Saunders interviews Thomas Piketty about the need for checks on the undue accumulation of capital, and the readily available means of achieving that end: To solve the problem of rising inequality, you propose small worldwide taxes on capital transfers and on wealth, and prohibitive taxes on extreme incomes and inheritance. But such taxes are not popular today, and there is little sign they will catch on. Does this make you pessimistic?
I believe in the power of ideas, I believe in the power of books, but you have to give them (Read more…)
It’s election time in Ontario and that means graphs and statistics, facts and factoids, some stale, some new come out of the woodwork. Take the tweet below as an example, one that riffs on the old theme of an exploding public sector encapsulated in Tim Hudak’s promise to cut 100,000 public service jobs:
Hudak promises to cut 100K public sector jobs (with education bearing the brunt). I put together this chart. Discuss pic.twitter.com/aNJjz5tiJ1
— Ben Rabidoux (@BenRabidoux) May 13, 2014
Let us even take the author’s word that he is non-partisan and found some seemingly interesting data; the (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.
- Alyssa Battistoni writes that a universal basic income could go a long way toward solving environmental and economic problems alike by placing a focus on sustainable quality of life rather than increasing consumer consumption: If overconsumption is actually the problem, we can’t fix it by consuming more, however eco-certified the products. Indeed, the very idea that green jobs will drive economic recovery is closely tied to notions of continued American hegemony: green tech is the next big thing, the rhetoric goes, and America needs to get ahead in the global race to innovate. (Read more…)