This and that for your Sunday reading. – Sarah Schulman discusses the importance of sleep as a determinant of health, arguing that a safe bed is the first step toward addressing all kinds of social ills. – Laura Lynch interviews Adria Vasil about the massive amount of avoidable waste generatedContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Joseph Stiglitz writes about the dangers of measuring economic and social progress solely in terms of GDP: It is clear that something is fundamentally wrong with the way we assess economic performance and social progress. Even worse, our metrics frequently give theContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Dan Hancox discusses how both work demands and consumerist force are causing people to lose sleep. And Jodi Dean writes about the need for a sense of comradeship to counter the impossible expectation of self-reliance. – Anand Giridharadas argues that the wealthyContinue reading
Background/Context Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investments areContinue reading
A team has started a Kickstarter campaign to label a product’s carbon footprint so consumers can make better decisions about which brand to buy. The labels are meant to bring attention to the additional cost of wasteful production and a bunch of brands have already joined the initiative. Of courseContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Greg Wilpert interviews Julia Wolfe about the contract between soaring incomes for CEOs, and stagnant ones for workers. And David Cooper observes that everybody benefits from a fair minimum wage. – Christopher Cheung points out that the presence – or absence – ofContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne discusses the need for outrage about the lack of enforcement even of corporate tax obligations which have been slashed for decades. And Hassan Yussuff writes about the obvious merits of a universal pharmacare system, along with the wealthy few determined toContinue reading
As the climate crisis continues there are many ways that we all can try to slow it down. The biggest changes need to happen at the political level enforcing sustainable practices, in the meantime there are things you can do as an individual. The easiest thing to do is buyContinue reading
Fast fashion relies on mass production and mass consumption in order to survive. The fashion industry as a whole requires a lot of energy, water, and logistics to function in its current form, which means the days of current fast fashion will have to come to an end. People areContinue reading
Seeing so many “green” products on store shelves can be confusing as you might not know what the right decision is. Over at The Guardian they’ve written up a handy guide to help you and it basically comes down to take a moment and think about lifecycles of products. TheirContinue reading
Happy New Year to everyone! You may be wondering where I have been for the past five months, since The Political Road Map has become quite lonely. I decided that I would try out working in print media and took a position with a local newspaper. The work is hard,Continue 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 of rewarding cyclist for not killing the environment using cars isn’t new, Stockholm basically pays cyclists. When it comes to using Biko please consider that theyContinue 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 to date on the damage that large organizations do despite that a lot of people care. Consumers want to punish companies for some of their actionsContinue 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 to a good chunk of the western world as ‘Black Friday’? It isn’t really fair (hey, just like capitalism) to play on the misunderstood ‘suicidal tendencies’Continue 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 shows a correlation between spending time with neighbours and an interest in the environmental issues which affect us all. But Adam Stoneman documents how another formContinue reading
Assorted content for your Saturday reading. – Joseph Heath looks at the spread of the McMansion as an ugly example of competitive consumption which benefits nobody. And Victoria Bateman discusses the need to question the assumptions underlying laissez-faire policymaking: Science and technology are central to rising prosperity, but, as casesContinue 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 view addiction in society. If we are to believe Hari, it isn’t about a failure in moral rectitude or falling into a drug laden trap ofContinue reading