Happy New Year to everyone! You may be wondering where I have been for the past five months, since The Political Road Map has becomeContinue reading
Biko rewards cyclists with free stuff just for riding their bike! Rewards include small things like coffee to very expensive consumer items. The idea ofContinue reading
money Aspiration financial firm is a B-corporatoin that wants to help people “vote with their wallets”. It’s incredibly hard for individuals to stay up toContinue reading
Happy Lemmings Day! a.k.a Black Friday Should we besmirch this plucky rodent’s escutcheon by associating Lemmings as the embodiment of greed and feral-consumerism known toContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
– Paul Wells argues that climate change and First Nations reconciliation – two of the issues which the Libs have tried to turn into signature priorities – look set to turn into areas of weakness as Justin Trudeau continues his party’s tradition of dithering. And Martin Lukacs writes that Trudeau’s handling of continuing injustice facing First Nations has involved an awful lot of flash but virtually no action:
The extractivist worldview—bent on treating everything as a commodity—that lay behind Stephen Harper’s resource agenda just as powerfully shapes Trudeau’s. In fact, the Liberals’ attempt to wrap themselves in the UN Declaration without embracing its central right may constitute a new, more subtle form of extraction: the extraction from Indigenous territory of consent itself.
Liberal moves to extract and manufacture consent and support for outdated policies are evident elsewhere: restoring funding to the Assembly of First Nations, a government-dependent organization that has since plumped frequently for them; appointing an Indigenous Justice Minister, even though Indigenous critics argue she has sided with the government agenda throughout her political career; and agreeing to call an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, but with a mandate far short of what impacted families wanted. As the weight of reality presses against Trudeau’s rhetoric, the ability to generate consent is crumbling.
Reconciliation is a powerful hope, an uplifting prospect, a deeply desired new relationship that Trudeau has compellingly invoked. But if reconciliation does not include the restitution of land, the recognition of real self-government, the reigning in of abusive police, the remediation of rivers and forests, it will remain a vacant notion, a cynical ploy to preserve a status quo in need not of tinkering but transformation. It will be Canada’s latest in beads and trinkets, a cheap simulation of justice.
– Guy Caron discusses the CRA’s role in Canada’s two-tier tax system. Stephen Punwasi comments on the connection between Canada’s willingness to facilitate tax avoidance, and the real estate bubbles driving housing prices far beyond what working-class Canadians can afford. And Marc Lee then highlights the connection between soaring urban real estate prices and increased inequality.
– David Ball notes that many municipalities are retaking control over their own services after learning that the promises of efficiency through privatization are entirely illusory.
– Richard Orange points out Sweden’s intriguing idea of reducing taxes on repair services to discourage people from throwing out consumer goods. But I’d wonder whether that step alone would make a dent if it isn’t paired with a concerted effort at training potential repair workers for a job which the corporate sector would prefer to eliminate.
– Finally, Paul Mason makes the case for economics to be based on real-world observations of human behaviour, rather than insular mathematical models whose assumptions about market efficiency bear no relationship to reality. And Branko Milanovic discusses the need to measure and reduce inequality as part of a global development strategy.Continue reading
Unfortunately, thanks to the intractable and self-indulgent nature of far too many ‘ordinary’ people, it isn’t.Recommend this PostContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading.- George Monbiot discusses the inherent conflict between consumption and conservation:We can persuade ourselves that we are living on thin air, floating through a weightless economy, as gullible futurologists pr…Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Chris Mooney takes a look at the positive side of social influences on behaviour, as new research showsContinue reading
Assorted content for your Saturday reading. – Joseph Heath looks at the spread of the McMansion as an ugly example of competitive consumption which benefitsContinue reading
This is taken from the interview titled: Does Capitalism Cause Drug Addiction? The piece that I am going to excerpt is about how we viewContinue reading
Okay, I admit it. Irene Jansen is my partner. But I still think it’s pretty cool that she got the normally excellent outdoor gear retailerContinue reading
There was once a show called Revolution. And another called Scorpion. Each had a great premise: a world after electricity, and what happens when youContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Elizabeth Stoker Bruening discusses the effect of poverty at the family level, particularly when coupled with policiesContinue reading
Oh, what a list it would be! Enbridge? Kinder Morgan [the zombie child of Enron]? Imperial Metals [fanciful producers of the Mount Polley Mine disaster]?Continue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – George Monbiot opines that curbing corporate power is the most fundamental political issue we need to address inContinue reading
This and that for your weekend reading. – Reviewing Darrell West’s Billionaires, Michael Lewis discusses how extreme wealth doesn’t make anybody better off – includingContinue reading
It’s not so cut and arid. It’s not like old people didn’t create EarthShip. But this graphic, that’s not the only study that shows howContinue reading
Welcome, shoppers, to the most frenzied time of the year, when most of what used to be called ‘spare time’ is taken up by shopping,Continue reading
Miscellaneous material to start your week. – The Star points out what the Cons have destroyed – including public assets and program spending – inContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Linda McQuaig discusses who stands to lose out from a CETA designed to limit its benefits toContinue reading