Politics and its Discontents: The World Needs More Rick Steeves

The vast majority of you are undoubtedly familiar with Rick Steeves, the peripatetic world traveller who has taken his PBS viewers and readers of his travel guides on some memorable adventures. But there is much more to Steeves than his wanderlust. It turns out he is also a very, very impressive philanthropist Back home, one ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Neil Irwin writes that many progressive policies – including child care and income tax credits – serve the goal of facilitating economic participation far better than their right-wing “supply side” counterparts. – Ann Pettifor examines the future of globalization, and warns that a failure to properly regulate ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Daniel Munro highlights how Uber and other service apps manipulate their workers. And The New York Times’ editorial board warns about the false promises of the gig economy: In reality, there is no utopia at companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart and Handy, whose workers are often manipulated ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Katha Pollitt reviews Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, and identifies the problem that profiteers have a vested interest in perpetuating poverty: What if the dominant discourse on poverty is just wrong? What if the problem isn’t that poor people have bad morals – that they’re lazy and impulsive and irresponsible ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Abi Wilkinson writes about the importance of making social benefits universal in order to reflect a sense of shared interests and purpose: Universal aspects of the welfare state tend to be thought of as the fruit of common endeavour. The NHS tops the list of things that ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten Things To Know About The 2017 Federal Budget

I’ve just written a blog post in which I review the recent federal budget. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The federal government is projecting deficits in the $20B-$30B range for roughly the next five years. -This was likely the most important federal budget for housing since 1993. -The budget contains important ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: A Review of the 2017 Alberta Budget

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a review of the recent Alberta budget. Points I make in the blog post include the following: -Alberta remains the lowest-taxed province in Canada. -Alberta’s net debt-to-GDP ratio remains the lowest in Canada. -For the third consecutive year, the Rachel Notley government announced ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: New book on the history of Canadian social housing policy

One of Canada’s foremost authorities on Canadian social housing, Dr. Greg Suttor, has just authored a book on the history of Canadian social housing policy. Titled Still renovating: A history of Canadian social housing policy, it’s published by McGill-Queen’s University Press and covers the period from the end of World War II to 2013. I’ve ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Nick Falvo, Janice Chan and Chidom Otogwu point out that housing is just one of the areas where federal action is needed to reduce poverty and its social harms in Canada. And Falvo also reviews Greg Suttor’s “Still Renovating” as a worthwhile look at housing in Canada. – ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Charles Smith and Andrew Stevens examine how Brad Wall’s slash-and-burn budget is intended to exploit a crisis for political ends – while also highlighting the type of response needed to reverse the damage: In our view, Budget 2017 should be viewed in two ways. First, it is ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Calgary Homeless Foundation’s System Planning Frameworks

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF), I’m co-author of a blog post about CHF’s new System Planning Frameworks.  These frameworks discuss the different programs funded by CHF. Points made in the blog post include the following: -CHF disburses approximately $42 million a year to programs for persons experiencing homelessness in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2017 Links

A few notes worth a look in advance of today’s youth-focused debate… – Kyle Duggan reports on Pat Stogran’s imminent entry into the race. And The View Up Here features an extended interview to introduce Stogran as a candidate, while CTV offers a shorter interview. – Anishinabek News examines Charlie Angus’ focus on First Nations ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Vicki Nash challenges the claim that unemployment in a precarious economy is generally a matter of choice rather than the absence thereof. And Jia Tolentino argues that we shouldn’t pretend there’s any value in being forced to work oneself to death: It does require a fairly dystopian strain ...

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 ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Alternative Federal Budget 2017

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) was released on March 9. I was proud to be the primary author of its housing chapter (that chapter is available in English here and in French here). The first AFB exercise began in 1994, with the first AFB being published in 1995. That involved a joint effort between ...

Things Are Good: Building the WikiHouse of the Future

Affordable housing is a problem for every country and over the years there have been initiatives to lower the cost of being a home, today some of those are efforts in digitization. The WikiHouse project is all about lowering the cost to design a house by providing people the files needed to plan and build ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Erica Johnson reports that the problem of bank employees being pushed to fleece customers (legality be damned) is common to all of Canada’s major banks. And Lisa Wright reports that the result will be a national investigation. But it’s appalling that it took anonymous reports to the ...

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 ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Five emerging trends in affordable housing and homelessness

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Five emerging trends in affordable housing and homelessness.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The Trudeau government has spent impressive amounts of money on affordable housing and homelessness.  This is time-limited money though. -There is currently ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Olivia Loveridge-Greene comments on new research showing how many workers may be forced to keep working into their 70s or beyond in order to be able to stay afloat. And Don Pittis explains why tax-free savings accounts and other giveaways to the wealthy won’t do anything to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Olivia Loveridge-Greene comments on new research showing how many workers may be forced to keep working into their 70s or beyond in order to be able to stay afloat. And Don Pittis explains why tax-free savings accounts and other giveaways to the wealthy won’t do anything to ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – François Côté-Vaillancourt suggests a greater focus on redistributing wealth and income to ensure a secure standard of living, rather than seeking primarily to put people to work: (I)nstead of fighting job losses, I would suggest that maybe the most important thing we could do would be to raise ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – François Côté-Vaillancourt suggests a greater focus on redistributing wealth and income to ensure a secure standard of living, rather than seeking primarily to put people to work: (I)nstead of fighting job losses, I would suggest that maybe the most important thing we could do would be to raise ...

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 ...