This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Andrew O’Hehir talks to Yanis Varoufakis about the impossibility of building shared prosperity on a foundation ofContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Louis Uchitelle discusses how the decline of organized labour in the U.S. has harmed not just workers’Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Owen Jones discusses the need for wealth taxes as part of any plan to meaningfully reduce economic inequality:Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – The Council of Canadians sets out the key numbers in the Libs’ all-talk, no-action federal budget, while DavidContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Kenneth Rogoff writes about the dangers of presuming that economic growth (at least in stock markets if notContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Karl Nerenberg writes about Bill Morneau’s conflicts of interest – with particular attention to the NDP’s justifiedContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Alex Collinson discusses how insecure work makes it impossible to reliably structure an individual’s life: Many respondentsContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Simon Enoch explains why the Sask Party’s plans to inflict an austerian beating until economic morale improvesContinue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – The Canadian Labour Congress offers its suggestions as to how international trade agreements can be reworked to ensureContinue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Per Molander examines new research on the sources of inequality which concludes that massive gaps in wealth andContinue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Alex Hemingway reviews the evidence on two-tiered medicine from around the developed world, and concludes that a constitutionalContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Community Food Centres Canada highlights the need for social assistance benefits to keep up with the costContinue reading
Here, on how the Libs’ carbon price rollout managed to maximize the resulting sound and fury while signifying little actual progress. For further reading…– MarcContinue reading
This and that for your weekend reading.
– Naomi Klein discusses how Canada’s longstanding – if far from inevitable – identity as a resource economy is standing in the way of both needed action on climate change and reconciliation with First Nations:
In Canada, cultivation and industrialization were secondary. First and foremost, this country was built on voraciously devouring wildness. Canada was an extractive company – the Hudson’s Bay Company – before it was a country. And that has shaped us in ways we have yet to begin to confront.Because such enormous fortunes have been built purely on the extraction of wild animals, intact forest and interred metals and fossil fuels, our economic elites have grown accustomed to seeing the natural world as their God-given larder.When someone or something – like climate science – comes along and says: Actually, there are limits, we have to take less from the Earth and keep more profit for the public good, it doesn’t feel like a difficult truth. It feels like an existential attack.…The trouble isn’t just the commodity roller coaster. It’s that the stakes grow larger with each boom-bust cycle. The frenzy for cod crashed a species; the frenzy for bitumen and fracked gas is helping to crash the planet.…Today, we have federal and provincial governments that talk a lot about reconciliation. But this will remain a cruel joke if non-Indigenous Canadians do not confront the why behind those human-rights abuses. And the why, as the Truth and Reconciliation report states, is simple enough: “The Canadian government pursued this policy of cultural genocide because it wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to Aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources.”The goal, in other words, was to remove all barriers to unrestrained resource extraction. This is not ancient history. Across the country, Indigenous land rights remain the single greatest barrier to planet-destabilizing resource extraction, from pipelines to clear-cut logging.
– Meanwhile, Marc Lee signals what we might expect from a federal climate change action plan based on the working groups currently reviewing the options.
– Laurie Monsebraaten reports on a needed push to ensure that child care funding is used to create not-for-profit spaces. And Ashifa Kassam points to Wellington’s loss of water rights to Nestle as a prime example of what happens when corporate dollars trump public needs.
– Finally, Alon Weinberg discusses why now is the time to implement a proportional electoral system in Canada. And Craig Scott makes the case for mixed-member proportional over the other options under consideration.Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
– Paul Wells argues that climate change and First Nations reconciliation – two of the issues which the Libs have tried to turn into signature priorities – look set to turn into areas of weakness as Justin Trudeau continues his party’s tradition of dithering. And Martin Lukacs writes that Trudeau’s handling of continuing injustice facing First Nations has involved an awful lot of flash but virtually no action:
The extractivist worldview—bent on treating everything as a commodity—that lay behind Stephen Harper’s resource agenda just as powerfully shapes Trudeau’s. In fact, the Liberals’ attempt to wrap themselves in the UN Declaration without embracing its central right may constitute a new, more subtle form of extraction: the extraction from Indigenous territory of consent itself.
Liberal moves to extract and manufacture consent and support for outdated policies are evident elsewhere: restoring funding to the Assembly of First Nations, a government-dependent organization that has since plumped frequently for them; appointing an Indigenous Justice Minister, even though Indigenous critics argue she has sided with the government agenda throughout her political career; and agreeing to call an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, but with a mandate far short of what impacted families wanted. As the weight of reality presses against Trudeau’s rhetoric, the ability to generate consent is crumbling.
Reconciliation is a powerful hope, an uplifting prospect, a deeply desired new relationship that Trudeau has compellingly invoked. But if reconciliation does not include the restitution of land, the recognition of real self-government, the reigning in of abusive police, the remediation of rivers and forests, it will remain a vacant notion, a cynical ploy to preserve a status quo in need not of tinkering but transformation. It will be Canada’s latest in beads and trinkets, a cheap simulation of justice.
– Guy Caron discusses the CRA’s role in Canada’s two-tier tax system. Stephen Punwasi comments on the connection between Canada’s willingness to facilitate tax avoidance, and the real estate bubbles driving housing prices far beyond what working-class Canadians can afford. And Marc Lee then highlights the connection between soaring urban real estate prices and increased inequality.
– David Ball notes that many municipalities are retaking control over their own services after learning that the promises of efficiency through privatization are entirely illusory.
– Richard Orange points out Sweden’s intriguing idea of reducing taxes on repair services to discourage people from throwing out consumer goods. But I’d wonder whether that step alone would make a dent if it isn’t paired with a concerted effort at training potential repair workers for a job which the corporate sector would prefer to eliminate.
– Finally, Paul Mason makes the case for economics to be based on real-world observations of human behaviour, rather than insular mathematical models whose assumptions about market efficiency bear no relationship to reality. And Branko Milanovic discusses the need to measure and reduce inequality as part of a global development strategy.Continue reading
More tar sands pipelines means going in reverse on the climate action Canada needs to fulfill the Paris Agreement and its call to action on climate change.
The post Canada cannot fulfill Paris Agreement, call to action on climate change while creating …
Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Ed Broadbent, Michal Hay and Emilie Nicolas theorize that Canada’s left is on the rise. Matt Karp takes a look at the policy preferences of younger American voters, including a strong willingness to fund far …Continue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Andrew Jackson discusses how large inheritance and accumulated capital lead to gross economic and social distortions:Inheritances are quite heavily concentrated among the most affluent families and thus comp…Continue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading.- Jim Stanford offers a warning to Australia about Canada’s history of gratuitous corporate tax giveaways:(S)uccessive cuts reduced combined Canadian corporate taxes (including provincial rates, which also fell …Continue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Matthew Yglesias rightly points out the absurdity of monetary policy designed to rein in at-target inflation at the expense of desperately-needed employment. And Joseph Stiglitz reminds us that we can instead …Continue reading