Accidental Deliberations: On correlations

This summer has seen plenty of crowing from the right over a connection between “economic freedom” (as defined by various corporate think tanks) and GDP levels. But for those of us who see obvious problems with treating GDP as the sole measure of a society’s accomplishment, that raises an obvious follow-up question: how do the ...

On the Ontario PCs’ platform

[Sorry for the double-post. Had some unfixable errors in the previous version.] So, here we go with the Ontario PC Platform, the Changebook (warning: PDF). Or is that the Change Book? ChangeBook? I don’t know, and I don’t think they do, either. According to this, Tim Hudak was a Customs Officer at the Peace Bridge. ...

On the Ontario PCs’ platform.

So, here we go with the Ontario PC Platform, the Changebook. Or is that the Change Book? ChangeBook? I don’t know, and I don’t think they do, either. According to this, Tim Hudak was a Customs Officer at the Peace Bridge. I knew there was a good reason to hate him. Change: To Put More ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Armine Yalnizyan follows up on the Conference Board of Canada’s recognition that growing inequality is a serious problem for Canada by noting the similar observations around the globe: There is a growing awareness that when the fruits of prosperity are so poorly shared, trouble is not far ...

On the Ontario NDP’s 2011 platform.

Okay. The Ontario NDP’s platform. The Plan for Affordable Change (warning: PDF). Jeez, focus-group that name much? I’m splitting this into the four areas that the ONDP did in the platform, for ease of reference. 1. Making life affordable You mean it’s not? I kid, I kid. Seriously, though: the focus groups are all over ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your midweek reading. – Stephen Gordon weighs in again on the Cons’ census disaster: Many readers may have thought that the census issue was settled last summer; it wasn’t. We haven’t even begun to deal with the consequences of the decision to replace the mandatory long-form census with the voluntary NHS. As ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Christopher Michael points out the real problem underlying the News of the World’s scandalous demise: The Sun is either clairvoyant at predicting the results of British elections, or instrumental in determining them. It has supported the winning side ever since Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1979. Politicians quickly ...

Trashy's World: Do the banks know something that the rest of us do not?

Seen yesterday at the BMO branch at the corner of Smyth and Russell. Share and Enjoy: Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

Accidental Deliberations: On class dynamics

Doug Saunders’ post on the political role of the middle class is certainly worth a read. But I’d think the core theory demands some significant tweaking in figuring out how politics have actually tended to operate: Andy Sumner, a scholar with Britain’s Institute for Development Studies who is working this year at the Washington-based Center ...

Things Are Good: Craft Brewers Revive Local Economies

A bunch of towns in the USA have had to close their manufacturing plants as free trade and the global economy transplant jobs elsewhere. This has left a lot of people unemployed and a lot of warehouse and manufacturing space open. The surplus of space has given a great opportunity to craft brewers whose sales ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week. – Trish Hennessy’s latest Numbers consist of a comparison between Canada and other OECD countries…featuring some great news on the social front: 84 Percentage of Canadians, on average, who report the highest community tolerance of ethnic minorities, migrants, gays and lesbians. Higher than the OECD average of 61 per ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading. – Kai Nagata’s post on why he quit his job as a reporter is well worth a read in full. But let’s particularly note his observations which may apply just as much to many other jobs as to positions in the media (even if the restrictions on public ...

Red Tory v.3.0.3: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Filmmaker Adam Curtis returns with a brilliant new documentary series that explores the ways in which many of our modern ideas and conventionally held beliefs have been perversely shaped by the machines we’ve created. In this episode, Curtis tracks the woefully unintended effects of Ayn Rand’s “objectivist” ideology on the financial markets and technocratic elite ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – I’ll join the seemingly long list of commentators who wouldn’t ever have expected to cite David Brooks, but can’t avoid it based on his latest column: Eldar Shafir of Princeton and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard have recently, with federal help, been exploring a third theory, that scarcity produces ...

the reeves report: Thinking about the universe in a post-shuttle world

The Canadarm in action. Coming fast on the heels of Canada’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and the official handing over control from Canadian to US armed forces is another milestone ending in Canadian – actually, world – history: the closing of the space shuttle program. Canada has played a significant role in outer space for a ...

Accidental Deliberations: On competing classes

Yes, it’s highly problematic that the Cons are slashing the availability of applications for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada: A little-known clause in instructions Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has issued to slash immigration applications from skilled workers abroad appears to limit related immigration and refugee applications based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. …Mr. Kenney’s ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – David Green nicely explains the basic choice to be made in determining what type of economy we want to pursue: (T)he basic tenet of the new policy regime – that any increase in wage costs kills jobs and growth – means that the regime cannot deliver good jobs ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Ian Welsh serves up some tough commentary as to whether Canadian voters saddled with unrepresentative and downright destructive governments are merely getting what we deserve: (W)e have selected, to rule our societies, sociopaths at best and psychopaths at worse. They have contempt for those they rule, do ...

Accidental Deliberations: On monstrous effects

One of my personal favourite villains in political theory is the “utility monster”. In response to the utilitarian theory that we can simply sum up citizens’ preferences to determine what policies should be pursued, one of the most obvious counterarguments is to ask what happens when a single person puts so much weight on his ...

World Headlines Review: Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis a Sovereignty Crisis

Greek Parliament, Syntagma Athens – by kouk News outlets around the world have focused heavily on the so-called Greek Sovereign debt crisis this week.  The proposed solution–an IMF loan package requiring “austerity measures” and a fire-sale of public assets–has sparked massive unrest in the capital, where people from all walks of life are decrying a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week. – John Crocker points out that the need for secure and sufficient pensions is only made all the more obvious by the abject failure of policies intended to force Canadians to fend for themselves: According to Statistics Canada, six out of 10 Canadians have no formal pension plan. If ...

Accidental Deliberations: Hoarders: Corporate Cash Edition

One of the main issues of contention in the debate over continued corporate tax slashing has been the question of what the business sector will do with more free money. And Erin’s post makes it clear just how much capacity has already been taken out of any productive use by being funnelled into corporate coffers ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading. – Janice Kennedy highlights the consequences of turning back the clock 80 years when it comes to collective bargaining rights: In the world of Stephen Harper and Co., big business rules. Period. The concept of workers’ rights, especially unionized workers’ rights, is a nuisance to be swatted away. The ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Canada Day reading. – Oh, how nice it would be to be able to take pride in Dan Gardner’s message about Canada’s true identity: The level of civility seen every day at fourway stops across Canada is unheard of in countries around the world. That doesn’t mean Canadians are, individually, better ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Andrew Jackson points out and sums up a Statistics Canada study showing how much possible revenue is lost to the underground economy: Statscan have produced interesting and important new estimates of the upper bound size of the “underground” or “non observed” economy, putting it at a seemingly ...