Views from the Beltline: World’s richest country and it can’t even do health care. Sad!

Watching the Americans thrash about trying to put together a decent health care system prompts much head-shaking and eyeball-rolling. The Republicans have bitched and moaned about Obamacare for seven years, but in all that time haven’t been able to come up with a plan they can agree on. “It’s complicated,” wailed President Trump. But of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – In the wake of a thoroughly disappointing budget day at both the provincial and federal levels, it’s worth taking note of Ivan Sigal’s view on the importance of building trust – rather than limiting citizens to either fake news or fake policies: How do we begin to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Heather Whiteside discusses how the privatization schemes being toyed with at all levels of government represent nothing more than reckless gambling with public money and goods: When a federal, provincial, or municipal government builds a bridge, a highway, a school, or a hospital, we know who owns ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Linda McQuaig discusses the need to fight fake news about Canada’s health care system (and the corporate raiders trying to amplify it): (I)t was with some pleasure last week that I watched as a Republican congressman tried to insist that Canadians routinely flock to the U.S. for health ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the Saskatchewan Party’s determination to make work more precarious – and pay and benefits harder to come by – in the public and private sectors alike. For further reading…– The history of the Skip the Dishes saga includes the government’s plan for millions of dollars in handouts; the decision of the company not ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget

An Alberta-based volunteer working group, of which I’m a part, recently released a document titled Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget (for media coverage, see this Metro article).  Working group members include staff from Alberta’s non-profit sector, labour movement and advocacy sector. While our long-term goal is to emulate the great work of the Alternative ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Wanda Wyporska writes that growing inequality is primarily the result of political choices: If it seems ridiculous that 1,000 people work harder or offer more value than 40 per cent of the population, that’s because it is. This level of inequality isn’t natural or desirable, it’s not about ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta finally moves, cautiously, toward reforming labour laws, more boldly to ban cash-for-blood transactions

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray at her news conference yesterday morning. Below: Labour lawyer and respected labour relations specialist Andrew Sims and Health Minister Sarah Hoffman at her news conference yesterday afternoon (Twitter). No sooner asked than answered, Alberta’s NDP government announced a plan yesterday morning to consult with the public and the usual ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – The Star’s editorial board calls for an end to regressive federal tax breaks. And Dennis Howlett asks why the tax evaders who used KPMG’s illegal offshoring schemes are being offered secrecy and amnesty for their attempts to siphon revenue away from the Canadian public. – Michael Butler discusses ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – The Star’s editorial board calls for an end to regressive federal tax breaks. And Dennis Howlett asks why the tax evaders who used KPMG’s illegal offshoring schemes are being offered secrecy and amnesty for their attempts to siphon revenue away from the Canadian public. – Michael Butler discusses ...

Alberta Politics: Shoreline, True Grit, photo-bombing, certainty and the Deity: random observations from Alberta’s Throne Speech

PHOTOS: Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell, clad in a purple official gown, reads the NDP Government’s third Speech from the Throne in the Legislature in Edmonton yesterday afternoon. Below: Party crasher Jason Kenney, Labour Minister Christina Gray (Dave Cournoyer photo) and Opposition Leader Brian Jean. Alberta’s New Democratic Party Government delivered its third Speech from ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dietrich Vollrath discusses both what’s included in our societal capital, and how best to think of redistributive policies as means of fairly dealing with it: (T)axes are a way of collecting the royalties on trust and scale that we inherited and/or create ourselves. Taxes are the rents ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dietrich Vollrath discusses both what’s included in our societal capital, and how best to think of redistributive policies as means of fairly dealing with it: (T)axes are a way of collecting the royalties on trust and scale that we inherited and/or create ourselves. Taxes are the rents ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Paul Wells discusses how the Justin Trudeau Libs have been reduced to bluster and reannouncements as a substitute for their promise of improved equality. And Michael Harris notes that some of the people who were crucial to Trudeau’s election in B.C. are seeing through his dishonesty. – Meanwhile, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Paul Wells discusses how the Justin Trudeau Libs have been reduced to bluster and reannouncements as a substitute for their promise of improved equality. And Michael Harris notes that some of the people who were crucial to Trudeau’s election in B.C. are seeing through his dishonesty. – Meanwhile, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Paul Buchheit comments on the continued spread of global inequality – as a combination of top-heavy gains and lost wealth among all but the privileged few has reduced to 6 the number of billionaires with as much wealth as half of humanity. – Bill Curry reports on ...

My journey with AIDS…and more!: Do You Hear The People Shing?

This coming Thursday I am having a number of teeth and partial teeth extracted as my mouth make-over goes into high gear  (This is the work that is more typically done by the fifth year of one’s sobriety but, as I didn’t think I’d live long enough to bother, I’ve waited until the tenth.) Yesh ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Andrew Coyne and Rob Mason each discuss Justin Trudeau’s broken promise of a fairer electoral system. Chantal Hebert observes that the commitment itself – however frequently and fervently repeated – looks to have been little more than a cheap campaign prop. And Karl Nerenberg highlights how the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – David Masciotra offers a cultural case for a basic income: Reward, purpose and meaning are the abstractions meant to pacify the poor and the working class. The rich have wealth, comfort and pleasure. They also have a universal basic income. In Jacobin, Matt Bruenig recently reported that ...

My journey with AIDS…and more!: Thank you Rosemary Barton and MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Celina Caesar-Chavannes appeared tonight on CBC Power and Politics with host Rosemary Barton.  She was there to discuss her experiences with depression, before and since becoming MP for Whitby and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Parliamentary Secretary. Rosemary’s thorough, careful questions brought out responses I could relate to in my own experience – and even in present ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Paul Krugman offers a warning about Donald Trump’s immediate moves to normalize corruption and cronyism as the foundation of his administration. And the New York Times’ editorial board points out that corporations are enabling Trump’s false claims with the expectation that they’ll be rewarded with public giveaways, while ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your year. – Michelle Chen writes that wealth inequality and social stratification are only getting worse in the U.S. And Edwin Rios and Dave Gilson chart the diverging fates of the top .01% which is seeing massive gains, and the rest of the U.S.’ population facing continued income and wealth stagnation. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Sam Gindin discusses the future of labour organizing in the course of reviewing Jane McAlevey’s No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Guilded Age: (W)e have been struggling with how to combine building the union with raising larger, more political questions. One modest element of this, especially but ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Anatole Kaletsky discusses the gross failures of market fundamentalism. And William Easterly points out that the risks to democratic governance which now seem to be materializing can be traced to the lack of a values-based defence of empowering people to decide their own future at the societal level. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Christo Aivalis offers some suggestions for a set of progressive and effective tax policies: My view is that the Left has to combine the general philosophy of economic redistribution with the practical needs of getting the money to preserve existing social programs and build new ones. We have ...