The Progressive Economics Forum: Why taxing food staples should not be considered a policy option in Canada

Here’s an excellent piece by Sam Boshra, about the recent proposal by Michael Smart and Jack Mintz to apply the GST to food, from Sam’s blog at Economic Justice: Low-income households can’t buy food today with a larger HST rebate they hope to get sometime in the future.  A key objective of the social safety net, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – There’s been plenty of followup on Robocon, with columns from Andrew Coyne and Thomas Walkom on the Cons’ increasingly unethical culture, along with followup reporting from Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor on live voter fraud and Steve Rennie and Bruce Cheadle on Elections Canada’s willingness to give the ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Revitalizing COPE Vancouver, Right Now.

Today is the first day of the rest of COPE Vancouver’s life. Today is the day where the new executive needs to make its first priority revitalizing the party by building unity around progressive principles and policies, and moving past pettiness. If it cannot get past the factionism, it simply is not a party with ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – No, it isn’t much surprise that poll respondents may think we’ve moved to the right as a country: after all, Con propaganda (largely echoed by the media) has been declaring that for years. But as Warren Kinsella notes, that perception bears no resemblance whatsoever to Canadians’ opinions about ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Susan Riley brilliantly slams the message that austerity is necessary for everybody but those who already have the most: Is anyone else getting tired of being lectured about austerity by wealthy consultants in expensive suits who charge $1,500 a day for their advice and have comfortable government pensions, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: December 9, 2011

Friday, December 9 saw the final day of debate at second reading on the Cons’ seat allocation bill. And as usual, plenty of valid questions went entirely unanswered. The Big Issue Marc-Andre Morin rightly questioned the Cons’ trumped-up sense of urgency in dealing with seat allocations while they do nothing but put off citizens’ genuinely ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: December 5, 2011

Monday, December 5 saw the House of Commons debate the NDP’s motion on climate change. And while the Cons tried to put up a relatively brave facade on an issue where they’ve been fighting progress at any turn, they inevitably ended up showing their true colours. The Big Issue At the outset, it’s worth noting ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: December 1, 2011

In the midst of a week of acrimonious debate over both the substance of the Cons’ dumb-on-crime legislation and the government’s procedural maneuvers to prevent even improvements which it recognized as necessary, December 1 served as a comparative beacon of cooperation (as noted specifically by Don Davies). The Big Issue That’s because the government bill ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Yes, the fraudulent collaboration between the Harper Cons and Sun TV should offer nothing but reason for suspicion about both portions of the right-wing noise machine – and Dr. Dawg, Heather Mallick, Simon Houpt and the Star have all had plenty to say. But let’s add a third ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Paul Wells points out that despite the Cons’ best efforts to get Canadians to panic over the state of our retirement system, the truth is that we’re actually better positioned now than was projected 20 years ago. (And for those looking inexplicably for middle ground between the status ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Kady points out that the Cons are back to their old tricks in trying to push as much committee work as possible behind closed doors. – Susan Delacourt theorizes that the Cons are likely to use anger rather than fear as their basis for imposing cuts. I ...

Accidental Deliberations: On unequalization

As usual, the Cons’ latest attack on social programs – this time the Old Age Security which has played a key role in lifting Canadian seniors out of poverty – is supposedly based on some inescapable lack of fiscal capacity to provide a reasonable standard of living. But the truth is that there’s a rather ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – The CCPA offers up a handy infographic on the diverging economic paths of the ever-wealthier 1% and the rest of Canadians. – Once again, the Cons are claiming that nobody should take their own internal documents seriously – this time when it comes to the statement that the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: November 21, 2011

Monday, November 21 featured the final day of debate on the Harper Cons’ omnibus budget bill. The Big Issue Not surprisingly, the final day of debate on budget legislation gave rise to plenty of clash, with Peter Julian offering up the best summary of the contrasting positions: What the Conservatives are saying is that the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to end your weekend. – As Thomas Walkom notes, it’s an open question as to who will take up the cause of defending universal public health care in Canada – but easy to figure out who poses the greatest threat to it: Writing in The Globe and Mail this week, political scientist Flanagan ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Political Roots of Inequality

 Last Thursday I was at an event on the issue of rising income inequality, sponsored by Canada 2020. It featured one of the authors of the recent OECD report on inequality, who highlighted the “skills biased technological change or SBT ” hypothesis so favoured by mainstream economists who desperately avoid discussion of inequality as a ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Environics’ polling on inequality shows over 80% of Canadians wanting to see governments reduce the disparity between the rich and the poor – even as the current federal government moves as far as possible in the opposite direction: More than eight in 10 Canadians suggested their governments have ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Seth Klein somewhat jokingly offers up 10 reasons for upper-class tax increases. But particularly paired with the Cons’ fixation with tax-free savings accounts to further hand free money to the rich, this part looks like it’s worth some further focus: #4: The maximum RRSP deduction for 2011 is ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Alex Himelfarb nicely summarizes the price of austerity: Let me be clear that I share in the broad consensus that we must be fiscally prudent. But let’s pause on what fiscal prudence really means: It means spending wisely, reducing waste, collecting sufficient taxes to pay for the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Roy Romanow, Linda Silas and Steven Lewis make the case for significant federal involvement in shaping health policy in Canada: Provinces can’t transform their systems on their own regardless of how much money they spend. The politics of health care are simply too fraught, and the vested interests ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne juxtaposes massive profits and public concessions for Caterpillar and Rio Tinto against their attacks on Canadian workers: (T)he demands by ElectroMotive, a subsidiary of equipment giant Caterpillar, are about as outrageous as they get, including a 50 per cent cut in pay. These demands are coming ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Rising Inequality Spooking the 0.0001%

Contributors to this blog–and CCPA experts–have been warning about the negative economic and social consequences of rising inequality for decades.   Now the even the 0.0001% are getting concerned.   Experts polled for the Global Risks Report for this month’s meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos –one of the most eleite gatherings of the powerful in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Stephen Maher and Barbara Yaffe have learned to be duly skeptical of the Cons’ motives when it comes to Senate patronage. But John Ibbitson still has a ways to go – as he’s apparently still buying Con spin about new provinces holding Senate elections which has long ...

Accidental Deliberations: Parliament in Review: November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 16 saw plenty of direct clash between the Cons and the NDP on an issue that’s been in the news again today. And lest there be any doubt, while the Cons have raised their level of inflammatory rhetoric, they’ve been less than convincing when it comes to anything of substance. The Big Issue ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession.  Its focus was almost exclusively ...