The Progressive Economics Forum: Homelessness in BC

In anticipation of tomorrow’s provincial budget in British Columbia (BC), I’ve written a blog post about the state of homelessness in that province. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Public operating spending by BC’s provincial government has decreased over the past 20 years. -Even after controlling for inflation, average rent levels across ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Panel discussion at federal NDP policy convention

Yesterday I spoke on a panel discussion on economic inequality, along with Andrew Jackson and Armine Yalnizyan. We were guests at the federal NDP’s policy convention in Ottawa. The panel was moderated by Guy Caron. Topics covered included the minimum wage, basic income, affordable housing, the future of jobs, gender budgeting, poverty among seniors, Canadian ...

Dead Wild Roses: Poverty is An Acceptable Outcome – Political Realities in the US.

An excerpt from Kennith Surin’s Essay, “Poverty American Style”. There are not many aspects and norms that are left to chance in society.  The norms we accept, the ‘common knowledge’ we are all expected to understand, and “the way things are” are all socially constructed choices.  The decision whether to have society work for the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – David Brady, Ryan Finnigan and Sabine Hubgen challenge the claim that there’s any relationship between single motherhood and poverty. And Doug Saunders writes that there’s an opening for progressive movements to take back the theme of family values which obviously bear no relationship to the policy cruelty ...

Accidental Deliberations: Leadership 2018 Links

The latest from the Saskatchewan NDP’s leadership campaign as the Saskatchewan Party’s election of Scott Moe brings the province’s political playing field into greater focus (while also offering a reminder of the fallibility of leadership campaign polling). – Trent Wotherspoon has unveiled his post-secondary education education policy (accompanied by endorsements from several young New Democrats). ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Matthew Sears writes that we would be much better off prioritizing more than just cutting short-term costs and prices in making choices: Are we really unwilling to pay more for our coffee as we are on our way to our well-paid and comfortable jobs (as mine certainly ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Ed Finn comments on the massive amounts of public money being funneled toward Canada’s wealthiest corporations: When it comes to listing countries on the basis of the social services they provide to citizens compared to the subsidies they heap on corporations, Canada doesn’t fare well. A study from ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – David McGrane writes about Jack Layton’s five great fights – and how they continue to provide an essential framework for social democrats. – Rupert Neate reports on London’s “ghost towers”, which include tens of thousands of high-end homes sitting empty in a city facing a severe housing crisis. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Simon Ducatel writes about the unfairness of attacking people living in poverty rather than looking for ways to improve their circumstances: (I)n the real world, it is unfortunately not unheard of for some employers to financially or otherwise exploit workers, albeit legally mind you, by offering substandard living ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Kenneth Rogoff writes about the dangers of presuming that economic growth (at least in stock markets if not wages) can withstand political upheaval. Marco Chown Oved reports on the strong support for Democracy Watch’s petition to raise corporate taxes and close loopholes. Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani reports on the latest ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Marty Warren highlights why Tim Hortons workers – and other people facing precarious and low-paying work – need union representation to ensure their interests are respected. And Christo Aivalis writes that the current discussion of minimum wage pairs fairness issues about distribution of wealth with the economic importance ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Wanda Wyporska highlights the UK’s corporate executive fat cats, and argues that it’s long past time for the public to stop rewarding them: So let’s put fat cat pay in context. Yes it has come down slightly, as Sir Martin Sorrell has seen his pay cut from ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Lana Payne discusses the divergence between an upper class with soaring incomes, and the bulk of the population facing stagnation and precarity: (W)hile the nation’s wealth or GDP looks good, less of it is getting shared around and more and more of it is hoarded at the top ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Rupert Neate reports on the latest numbers showing the world’s 500 richest people adding a full trillion dollars to their wealth in 2017. And Will Fitzgibbon and Dean Starkman highlight how offshore tax avoidance schemes are sucking prosperity out of the rest of the world. – Noah ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Eduardo Porter examines how high-end tax cuts create gains for only the wealthy few. And Lydia DePillis points out that decades of increases to top-end incomes haven’t translated into anything close to proportional spending which would share the gains with society at large. – Juan Williams writes that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Jessica Corbett charts the U.S.’ unacceptable (and worsening) inequality. Robert Reich discusses how the Republicans’ tax scam represents a triumph for oligarchy. And Ben Steverman notes that the bill passed this month is ripe for abuse – and already being exploited to the fullest by the U.S.’ ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Joan Hennessy writes that instead of limiting ourselves to holiday-season charity, we should insist on fair wages and dignity for our fellow citizens throughout the year: ll the while, the economy has been on the mend and corporate earnings have risen, but the federal minimum wage remains $7.25 ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Matt Bruenig writes that the concentration of wealth and power which is largely being attributed to crony capitalism is a natural byproduct of laissez-faire economics as well: An economy that distributes the national income based solely on the marginal productivity of each unit of capital and labor ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Matt Bruenig proposes a social wealth fund as a fix for the U.S.’ burgeoning inequality and income insecurity: We seem stuck in the same policy equilibrium we have been in for decades, with conservatives denying that there is a problem and pushing policies that would make it ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s newly-unveiled National Housing Strategy

Over at the website of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve  written a blog post about the Trudeau government’s recently-unveiled National Housing Strategy. Points raised in the post include the following: -One of the Strategy’s stated objectives is to reduce chronic homelessness in Canada by 50% over 10 years. -The Trudeau government claims that this is ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten considerations for the next Alberta budget

On November 17, the working group of the Alberta Alternative Budget (AAB) sponsored a one-day workshop at the University of Alberta. The event’s main purpose was to discuss recent developments in Alberta public policy, as well as expectations for the upcoming Alberta budget. Twenty speakers presented in total. In light of what was discussed at ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Larry Elliott interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the rise of Donald Trump and other demagogues in the wake of public anger over inequality and economic unfairness. And Stiglitz also joins a group of economists calling for an end to austerity in the UK. – Phillip Mendonca-Vieira highlights how rent ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – David Climenhaga writes that Canada needs a lot more of Jeremy Corbyn’s critical analysis of an unfair economic system, and a lot less Justin Trudeau-style cheerleading for it. And Bill Curry reports on a new push to cut down on poverty at the national and provincial levels. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Canadians for Tax Fairness discusses the appallingly small tax contributions made by Canada’s largest companies, the vast majority of whom have foreign subsidiaries to avoid paying their fair share. – Meanwhile, Robert de Vries and Aaron Reeves point out the unfortunate reality that far too many people ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Dani Rodrik writes that politicians looking to provide an alternative to toxic populism will need to offer some other challenge to a system biased in favour of the wealthy and powerful: (P)oliticians who want to steal the demagogues’ thunder have to tread a very narrow path. If fashioning ...