Dead Wild Roses: The Focus Group – What I learned about my fellow Canadians

    The first rule of focus groups or research groups is quite simply this.  If you say yes to one, then you shall forever be on the call list of every research company that has ever existed.  And they do call quite often.  Extrapolating from the frequency that I receive offers, people who are ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Stephen Metcalf discusses the meaning and effect of neoliberalism: “(N)eoliberalism” is more than a gratifyingly righteous jibe. It is also, in its way, a pair of eyeglasses. Peer through the lens of neoliberalism and you see more clearly how the political thinkers most admired by Thatcher and Reagan ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Leo Gerard calls for an end to trade deals designed to favour the wealthy at the expense of everybody else. And Rick Salutin writes that NAFTA can’t reasonably be seen as anything but: (N)o matter how many numbers Freeland plucks to show the economy’s mighty growth in the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Bill Kerry discusses the role of inequality in causing a global financial meltdown Leaving aside the greed and stupidity of so many of the world’s financial institutions and, particularly, their leaders, it is easy to see why poor Americans jumped at what they saw as their chance of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Charles Mathewes and Evan Sandsmark write that it’s long past time to start treating the excessive accumulation of wealth as something to be questioned – rather than accepted as an inevitability, or worse yet admired: The idea that wealth is morally perilous has an impressive philosophical and ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Louis-Philippe Rochon discusses the need for monetary policy to be better coordinated with fiscal policy to ensure both sustainable economic growth and a more fair distribution of wealth: Monetary policy has been a failure. It has failed to encourage growth, as has been plainly obvious in this lost decade, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Noah Smith writes that far too many Americans (like people around the globe) face needless barriers to thinking, and suggests that the key public project of this century may be to remedy those problems: The biggest threat to clear-headedness comes from drugs. The twin epidemics of opioid-painkiller ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Mike Konczal responds to a pathetic attempt to drain the word “neoliberal” of all meaning (which seems to have won favour with Canadian Libs desperately trying to disassociate themselves from their own governing ideology) by discussing its application in both the political and economic spheres. And Steven Hall ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – The Economist observes that the effects of climate change fall disproportionately on poorer people, rather than the wealthier ones who have caused more of the damage: The costs of global climate change will again be unevenly (and uncertainly) distributed, but harm will often be smaller for richer, temperate ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: More Small Town Banks Closing in Saskatchewan

"Those people that sit with their pointed heads and their pointed pencils and tell us and take … the bank away from us — https://t.co/TYFDdJosUx — Saskboy (@saskboy) July 9, 2017 “they don’t think about what goes on in these small villages. All they can see is $ & cents & that’s it,” she said.” ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Trudeau forgets Alberta; Alberta flips out

Canada is a special place; but Alberta is a little prickly. The Soapbox family celebrated Canada Day at Olympic Plaza trying to dislodge a Big Red Ball wedged between some girders, admiring children’s art work (our favourite was a mask made by a second grader who said it represented her love of dogs and money), ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Greg Leiseron discusses why the abject failure of Kansas’ anti-social experiment with trickle-down economics shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anybody: Claims of supply-side growth from labor income tax cuts rely on the idea that people will be more willing to work when their after-tax wages are ...

Dead Wild Roses: Damn Eco-Terrorists – Sinfest

Sinfest by Tatsuya Ishida: Filed under: Economy Tagged: Eco Terrorism, Irony, Sinfest

Susan on the Soapbox: Susan on the Soapbox 2017-06-18 21:57:30

Unsolicited Advice from a Conservative Pundit This week Preston Manning, former leader of the Reform Party, offered some advice to the yet to be formed United Conservative Party (or whatever it’s going to call itself after the Wildrose and the Progressive Conservatives merge). A vision of sorts   Since neither Brian Jean nor Jason Kenney ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Wildfire Reports: A political firestorm

Wildrose leader Brian Jean is furious with the NDP government’s response to two reports on the Fort McMurray wildfire. He says the government is attempting to whitewash the reports’ findings and delayed releasing them in a shocking display of arrogance which is “totally unacceptable in any democracy.”  He wants a judge-led independent public inquiry into ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Core Of the Problem Is Austerity

Then you proclaimed "Transportation Week" because “Saskatchewan’s transportation industry … is vital to the success of our economy." — John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) June 7, 2017 "you have to ask the question; is [a bus] the core function of government?" -YouIs it transportation perhaps?Yes!#TransportationWeak — John Klein (@JohnKleinRegina) June 7, 2017 In the Saskatchewan Legislature Thursday, Premier ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Transportation Not Meeting Demand

It’s been kind of a bad year for transportation in Saskatchewan. Aside from the potential Supercharger for Swift Current, there haven’t been many tangible bright spots for Saskatchewan. Premier Wall rejects the carbon tax plan to reduce emissions SGI says they’re not considering a rebate on Zero Emission Vehicles, as they once had 5 years ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Bill 17: A Unicorn or a Chimera?

Last week the NDP government introduced the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17).  It’s intended to update workplace legislation that became increasingly outdated under Progressive Conservative rule. Premier Notley describes Bill 17 as a balanced middle of the road approach.  The Opposition is says it’s a “union-friendly omnibus bill” that should be split in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Paul Krugman criticizes the use of non-compete agreements to trap workers at low wage levels with no opportunity to pursue comparable employment – as well as the Republicans’ insistence on pushing employer-based health care which further limits workers’ options: At this point, in other words, noncompete clauses are ...

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Disruption of Used Car Market And Transportation Norms

All fossil-fuel vehicles will vanish in 8 years in twin ‘death spiral’ for big oil & big autos, says Stanford study https://t.co/uFcSdLAbFq — Tzeporah Berman (@Tzeporah) May 16, 2017 By 2025 we’ll see: “Cities will ban human drivers once the data confirms how dangerous they can be behind a wheel. This will spread to suburbs, ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Conservative Ideology

“ideology” \ˌī-dē-ˈä-lə-jē, -ˈa-, ˌi-\  a systematic body of concepts, especially those of a particular group or political party—Merriam-Webster   The word “ideology” was coined by the French philosopher Destutt de Tracy.  Originally it meant the science of ideas; but shrewd politicians like Napoleon Bonaparte corrupted it to mean something more pejorative, even sinister. This is ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, examining how Steve Keen’s warning about the UK’s excessive financialization and consumer debt applies even more strongly in Canada. For further reading…– Keen makes reference to the BIS’ international data as to the ratio of private debt to GDP: – Again, Erica Alini reported on Ipsos’ latest number as to the dire fiscal straits ...

Susan on the Soapbox: What Would the Romans Do?

It’s a pity Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt hadn’t read Jane Jacobs’ Dark Age Ahead before he launched into his description of how the ancient Romans dealt with governments that were, in his words, “beyond redemption”.   Fildebrandt said the NDP’s “scorched earth policy of hyperregulation, waste of tax dollars and blind ideology” destroyed the “great ...

Joe Fantauzzi: Desmond Cole, the Toronto Star and Another Existential Crisis for Professional Journalism

DISCLOSURE: I worked as a mainstream news reporter between 2003 and 2012. I see this as a two-fold issue; firstly, actions and secondly, words. I’ll consider both briefly and then elaborate on my concerns. Actions There is no point in rehashing here the now well-known details of what lead to Desmond Cole’s departure from the Toronto ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Paul Campos compares the U.S.’ hourly wages to its GDP over the past few decades to show how workers have been left out of any economic growth. And Arindrajit Dube examines the effect of an increased minimum wage, and finds a direct impact on both income enhancement and ...