Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Annie Lowrey writes about the affordability crisis which has left most Americans in dire financial straits even as aggregate economic numbers look reasonably strong: (B)eyond the headline economic numbers, a multifarious and strangely invisible economic crisis metastasized: Let’s call it the Great AffordabilityContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Laurie Macfarlane writes about the interconnected economic, democratic and environmental crises facing the UK – and the opportunity voters have to address all three in today’s election. And a group of political and thought leaders from around the globe lends its supportContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – As affordability takes a central place in most Canadian election campaigns, Kofi Hope and Katrina Miller propose a definition based on public health: Health is the great equalizer. No matter where we’re from, what our values are, what our age or our politicalContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Suzanne Moore is encouraged that Greta Thunberg is challenging – and upsetting – a privileged male ruling class. Jennifer Ellen Good picks up on Thurberg’s theme that an obsession with growth at the expense of sustainability can only lead to disaster. AndContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – CBC News highlights how cost-of-living issues look to play a key role in Canada’s federal election. And Jerry-Lynn Scofield points out that current asset valuations and economic assumptions are based on an entirely unsustainable combination of public, private and corporate debt loads.Continue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne points out the options to make life genuinely affordable for Canadians – while noting that the Cons’ usual tax baubles don’t make the list. And PressProgress both reveals Doug Ford’s plans to slash Ontario’s already-insufficient housing supports, and lists Brian Pallister’sContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Rick Smith and Ken Neumann write about the importance of developing a Green New Deal that includes participation from (and protection for) the workers affected by an economic transition. – Meanwhile, Aditya Chakrabortty notes that the oil-backed right’s personal attacks on GretaContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Robert Borosage discusses why we shouldn’t let conveniently one-sided calls for civility silence debate over progressive possibilities. And Alex Ballingall reports on the affordability anxiety which demands an effective political response rather than a contemptuous dismissal: In a memo outlining the results,Continue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Matt Bruenig offers up a set of proposals to help American families toward economic security. And Andrew Jackson has some suggestions to boost Canada’s middle class: (T)op-line statistics suggest that ordinary middle-class households are seeing little or no increase in their incomesContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Jonathan Amos and Victoria Gill report on Antarctica’s alarming rate of melting – with three trillion tons of ice lost in the past 25 years. Peter Erickson reminds us that the avoidable greenhouse gas emissions from subsidized oil sands development will onlyContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Drew Brown discusses how the Libs’ claim to represent – or even understand – the interests of Canada’s middle class is disappearing. And Steven Chase and Robert Fife expose Bill Morneau’s broken promise to set up a blind trust for his assets whileContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – The Economist examines the latest research showing the amount of money stashed in tax havens is even higher than previously estimated. And the Guardian calls for action on the IMF’s conclusion that we’ll all end up better off if the wealthy payContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – The Star argues that a crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance is a crucial first step in reining in inequality. Susan Delacourt wonders when, if ever, Chrystia Freeland’s apparent interest in inequality will show up in her role in government. And Vanmala SubramaniamContinue reading
This and that for your Sunday reading.
– Christopher Ingraham points out that while many luxuries are getting cheaper with time, the necessities of life are becoming much more difficult to afford:
Many manufactured goods — like TVs and appliances — come from overseas, where labor costs are cheaper. “International, global competition lowers prices directly from lower-cost imported goods, and indirectly by forcing U.S. manufacturers to behave more competitively, with lower prices, higher quality, better service, et cetera,” Perry said.On the flip side, things like education and medical care can’t be produced in a factory, so those pressures do not apply. Compounding it, many Americans are insulated from the full costs of these services. Private and public insurance companies pay most medical costs, so there tends to be little incentive for individuals to shop around for cheaper medical care.In the case of higher education, the nation’s massive student loan industry bears much of the upfront burden of rising prices. To the typical 18-year-old, a $120,000 tuition bill may seem like an abstraction when you don’t have to start paying it off until your mid-20s or later. As a result, the nation’s college students and graduates now collectively owe upward of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.
“Prices rise when [health care and college] markets are not competitive and not exposed to global competition,” Perry said, “and prices rise when easy credit is available.”
Hence, our current predicament. We can afford the things we don’t need, but we need the things we can’t afford.
– Alex Usher notes how one of the same cost pressures applies in Canada, as universities losing public funding are squeezing students for massive tuition increases. And Lindsay Kines reports that the Clark government’s decision to make life less affordable for people with disabilities in British Columbia has led to 3,500 people giving up their transit passes.
– Natalia Khosla and Sean McElwee discuss the difficulty in addressing racism when many people live in denial of their continued privilege.
– Paul Wells comments on SNC Lavalin’s long track record of illegal corporate donations to the Libs and the Cons.
– Finally, Gerry Caplan points out how Justin Trudeau is dodging key human rights questions. And Mike Blanchfield reports that the Libs’ willingness to undermine a treaty prohibiting the use of cluster bombs represents just another area where they’re leaving the Cons’ most harmful policies untouched.Continue reading
Bell Canada (BCE Inc.) is rolling the dice on a political gamble that, if successful, will mean the death of affordable Internet access for Canadian households and businesses.
On October 21, The…
Cord-cutting in Canada keeps increasing. How many of you still have cable TV? Article by Daniel Tencer for the Huffington Post Canadian TV viewers have been ditching their cable and satellite TV subscriptions at a pace that’s nearly seven times faster than last year, a new analysis shows. read moreContinue reading
Hmm… Wireless customers fleeing the company. Profits up. 1,500 jobs cut. And shareholders getting a 10% hike? Looks like this telecom giant isn’t putting its eggs in the “good customer service” basket anytime soon… Article by The Canadian Press for CBC News Telus Corp. says it’s planning to reduce itsContinue reading
Tomorrow is the deadline for Canadians to tell the CRTC how it should update its local and community TV policy. It will determine what will happen to $150 million that Canada’s big cable and satellite companies collect that is supposed to support “community TV.” Canadians should get the local media policyContinue reading
It’s three months to the day since Canada’s election officially started – and today, after a gruelling 11-week campaign and 2-week transition period, Canada finally has a new Prime Minister. Justin Trudeau was officially sworn in as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister earlier this morning. He also named his new CabinetContinue reading
Hey, Canada could sure use something like this: Article by Sarah N. Lynch for The Globe and Mail New York state’s attorney general is probing whether three major Internet providers could be shortchanging consumers by charging them for faster broadband speeds and failing to deliver the speeds being advertised, accordingContinue reading