Dead Wild Roses: Efficiently Grinding the Precariate – Scheduling Efficiencies – Weapons of Math Destruction

     I’m currently reading a book called Weapons of Math Destruction, inside Cathy O’Neil details how ‘Big Data’ (via the use of opaque algorithms) is increasing inequality and threatening democracy in the industrialized world. About half-way done and the sad word of the day that I’ve learned from the book is this – This untidy ...

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: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Jared Bernstein argues that the limited stimulus provided by tax cuts for the rich is far from worth the overall costs of exacerbating inequality and damaging public revenues: I’m encountering progressives who are compelled to be at least somewhat supportive of wasteful, regressive tax cuts, like those proposed ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Vincent Bevins interviews Branko Milanovic about the economic roots of the working-class revolt against neoliberalism, while pointing out that there’s nothing inevitable about globalization harming large numbers of people in the developed world: Let’s start with the obvious question. Does the elephant graph explain Brexit and Trump?  Yes, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Ben Tarnoff discusses the two winners – and the many losers – created by the spread of neoliberalism: Neoliberalism can mean many things, including an economic program, a political project, and a phase of capitalism dating from the 1970s. At its root, however, neoliberalism is the idea ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Murray Dobbin highlights how our political and economic discussions are poorer for the dominance of neoliberalism: That’s it? That’s the best the economics profession can come up with to explain Canadians’ indebtedness catastrophe? It’s all about human behaviour, written in stone, so I guess we might as well ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Dennis Pilon highlights how the stubborn defence of disproportional electoral systems can only be explained by a fear of voters’ preferences being given effect: The issue is not whether it’s better to have a few or a lot of parties in Parliament — that’s irrelevant. The issue ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Miles Corak offers a must-read paper on the two stories most often told about inequality in Canada, reaching this conclusion on the recent accumulation of wealth at the top of the income spectrum and the readily observable inequality of opportunity based on the inheritance of social and economic ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Dani Rodrik writes that today’s brand of trade agreement has little to do with economic theory as opposed to political power: What purpose do trade agreements really serve? The answer would seem obvious: countries negotiate trade agreements to achieve freer trade. But the reality is considerably more ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne points out the significance of even central bankers like Mark Carney recognizing the desperate need to combat inequality. And Iglika Ivanova discusses how British Columbia’s election-year surplus represents a wasted opportunity to start addressing the social problems which the Libs have been exacerbating for a decade ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Hassan Yussuff and other labour leaders offer their take on how we can develop a more equitable global trade system: The next challenge before us is to build on and improve all post-CETA trade and investment deals to ensure they meet a progressive trade model. We suggest several ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Eshe Nelson interviews Richard Baldwin about the future of globalization and the possibility that the worst disruptions to workers are just beginning: What happens to the chart on global income distribution during this phase of globalization? It keeps going down. It will be disruptive in the G7, but ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – David MacDonald examines how Canada’s tax expenditures systematically favour higher-income individuals over the people who actually have a reasonable claim to public support: This study finds that Canada’s personal income tax expenditures disproportionately benefit the rich and cost the federal treasury nearly as much as it collects in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Stephen Hawking discusses the urgent need to address inequality and environmental destruction as people are both more fearful for their futures, and more aware of what’s being taken away from them: (T)he lives of the richest people in the most prosperous parts of the world are agonisingly visible ...

The Disaffected Lib: An Impassioned Plea to Tear Down the Walls of Inequality from Stephen Hawking.

The neoliberals who have driven the western world into the ditch over the past three decades need to decide whether to rehabilitate liberal democracy or allow themselves to be erased from memory by generations of strongman rule. Yeah, Justin – you too. First up, theoretical physicist extraordinaire, Stephen Hawking. In an opinion piece in The Guardian, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Owen Jones argues that UK Labour needs to make far more effort to connect with working-class citizens in order to hold off the populist right, while Jamelle Bouie examines Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns as a worthwhile model for uniting groups of disaffected voters. And Wolfgang Munchau comments ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Thomas Frank writes that a progressive party can only expect to succeed if it places principles of equality and workers’ interests at the core of everything it does – rather than serving mostly as the voice of a wealthy professional class: Somewhere in a sunny corner of the ...

The Disaffected Lib: Monbiot Tackles Neoliberalism’s Death Grip on the West

Neoliberalism has been the default operating system of western governments, Canada included, since it was ushered in during the Thatcher/Reagan/Mulroney era. Justin Trudeau is a neoliberal as were his predecessors over the last three decades.  Canada remains in the clutches of neoliberalism and no one, no leader, no party is putting forward an alternative vision. ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Pitting “identity politics” against class struggle is backwards, and the path to self-defeat

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that one of the first things America’s political left would do during the 2016 election post-mortem is to attack minority groups like trans* people, and “identity politics.” That narrative says Americans decided a potential fascist (when you consider his policy proposals, unilateral rhetoric, media manipulation and stoking of hatred) ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Miles Corak asks how we should see the growing concentration of income at the top of the spectrum, and concludes that we should be concerned mostly with the breakdown between personal merit and success among the extremely privileged: Connections matter. And for the top earners this might even ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Janice Fine discusses how the decline of organized labour as a political force has opened the door for the likes of Donald Trump: Just when we need them most, the main institutions that have fought for decent jobs are a shadow of their former selves. Unions that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne comments on the importance of the labour movement in ensuring that economic growth translates into benefits for workers: The findings of a study released this month by the Canadian Centre for Study of Living Standards, an Ottawa-based think-tank, reinforces why there is a “pervasive sense among ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Thomas Piketty discusses our choice between developing models of global trade which actually produce positive results for people, or fueling the fire of Trump-style demogoguery: The main lesson for Europe and the world is clear: as a matter of urgency, globalization must be fundamentally re-oriented. The main challenges ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Kevin Connor reports that the more Ontario voters are exposed to the realities of public-private partnerships, the more they’re turning against the idea – with a quarter or less of respondents seeing any upside to handing public services over to businesses. Tony Keller writes that Canada’s history of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Karl Nerenberg examines new research from the Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards showing how workers have seen hardly any benefit from four decades of productivity gains which have filled corporate coffers: (I)n Canada, the productivity of labour — the amount workers produce per unit of ...