Miscellaneous material to start your week. – J.W. Mason reviews Yanis Varoufakis’ Adults in the Room with a focus on how damaging austerity was forcedContinue reading
This and that for your Sunday reading. – Matt Bruenig writes that the concentration of wealth and power which is largely being attributed to cronyContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – The Star’s editorial board argues that the Paradise Papers prove the need for a crackdown on offshoreContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Yves Engler discusses how Justin Trudeau is now the face of the exploitation of poor countries andContinue reading
Here, on the latest confirmation from the Parliamentary Budget Office that a national pharmacare plan would both improve our health and save public money –Continue reading
This and that for your weekend reading. – Joseph Stiglitz discusses how the Republican’s trillion-dollar corporate giveaway will only exacerbate inequality without doing anything toContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Phillip Inman reports on a new UN study (PDF) showing that the inequality caused by austerity results inContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Owen Jones points out Portugal’s example as a demonstration that that there is indeed an alternative to austerityContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Owen Jones calls out the dogmatic centre for first laying the groundwork for the rise of theContinue reading
Assorted content to start your week. – Rhys Kesselman challenges the Fraser Institute’s grossly distorted conception of “tax competitiveness”: Even with lower overall tax burdens,Continue reading
While there will be plenty more to discuss about how the Conservatives’ choice of Andrew Scheer as their new leader, I’ll offer a few preliminaryContinue reading
The latest on the NDP’s leadership campaign. – Karl Nerenberg sees the youth debate in Montreal as having shown more differences in style than substance,Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Rutger Bregman writes that the most extreme wealth in our economy is based on rents rather than productivity:Continue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Erica Johnson reports that the problem of bank employees being pushed to fleece customers (legality be damned)Continue reading
The Libs have made it official that they’re breaking their promise of electoral reform with no reason other than their own blinkered refusal to acknowledgeContinue reading
Yes, there’s no doubt that Kevin O’Leary’s suggestion of selling off Senate appointments is nothing short of asinine. That’s not so much because the ideaContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Arancha González Laya distinguishes between international trade and corporatism – arguing that we should be looking to ensureContinue reading
Here, comparing the Conservative Party’s leadership race based on fear and division to the NDP’s which looks set to bring a progressive coalition together. ForContinue reading
It wasn’t long ago when a series of Canadian federal elections saw Stephen Harper and his Conservatives take more and more power – culminating inContinue 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