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 ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Monbiot’s Impossible Crises

George Monbiot lists 13 crises, but warns you should only read the list if you’re feeling very strong. It’s an appropriate warning. He’s barely even talking about climate change here, so this list could be so much longer including the degradation of the oceans, poisoned waterways, messed up ecosystems…  His list is more political in ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Monbiot’s Impossible Crises

George Monbiot lists 13 crises, but warns you should only read the list if you’re feeling very strong. It’s an appropriate warning. He’s barely even talking about climate change here, so this list could be so much longer including the degradation of the oceans, poisoned waterways, messed up ecosystems…  His list is more political in ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Nikiforuk highlights how Donald Trump’s election is just one more predictable consequence of the end of shared growth – even as it figures to perpetuate that reality. And Andrew Coyne argues that Trump’s win under the U.S.’ warped electoral rules should thoroughly debunk the theory that ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Research Agenda

The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) has just released its updated Research Agenda (which I co-authored).  CHF is a non-governmental organization that disburses funding to non-profit organizations in Calgary to help persons experiencing homelessness.  Our Research Agenda is a bit like an annual report (except it typically comes out once very two years). The following points ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Wolfgang Munchau writes that the rise of right-wing insurrectionism can be traced largely to “centre-left” parties who have focused most of their attention on imposing austerity and catering to the corporate sector while offering little to citizens, while Naomi Klein comments on the role of neoliberal politics ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – John McDonnell outlines a progressive alternative to neoliberal economic policy: The increasing automation of jobs, reduced dependence on carbon fuels, artificial intelligence and the so-called gig economy have provoked understandable anger among many workers whose jobs are under threat. More generally, concerns about the effect on the labour market are ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Community Food Centres Canada highlights the need for social assistance benefits to keep up with the cost of living, while noting that Ontario (among other jurisdictions) has fallen well behind in that task: It’s been far too long since social assistance rates have been viewed through the ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten things to know about the CPP debate

This fall, Canada’s Parliament will debate a proposal to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).  And over at the Behind the Numbers web site, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “Ten things to know about the CPP debate.” The blog post’s other co-authors are Allan Moscovitch and Richard Lochead. Points raised in the blog ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall’s call for Canada to stop funding international climate change adaptation and mitigation reflects just one more example of his government’s tendency to kick down at the people least able to defend themselves. For further reading…– Gregory Beatty again documented the background to Wall’s abandonment of an equalization system which would ...

Politics, Re-Spun: What the BC Premier’s Reconciliation Smells Like

Quite simply, if a politician dangles child welfare money to anyone, but makes it contingent on embracing a sick LNG plant, what does that smell like to you? I think it smells the same as when she tells a school board to close schools or else they don’t get seismic upgrading money. I think you ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – David Boyle discusses how the principle of free trade – once intended to empower consumers against monopolies – is instead being used to lock in corporate control: (T)he original idea of free trade was not a simple licence to do whatever you wanted, if you were rich ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Mary O’Hara notes that even a relatively modest and incomplete set of progressive policies has created some important movement toward reducing poverty. And conversely, Caroline Mortimer writes that child poverty is exploding under the Conservative majority government in the UK. – Dean Beeby reports on the cause ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Guaranteed Annual Income

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about Canada’s guaranteed annual income debate.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -There are people and groups on both the left and right of the political spectrum who favour a Guaranteed Annual ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Lawrence Summers discusses the economic damage being done by a top-heavy income spectrum – as the effect of major stimulus programs may have been wholly outweighed by the decline in middle-class incomes. – Meanwhile, Canadians for Tax Fairness points out the impending tax court case which will bring ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Jackson discusses how the rise of right-wing, prejudiced populism can be traced to the failures of global corporate governance. And Dani Rodrik argues that it’s time to develop an international political system to facilitate – rather than overriding – democratic action: Some simple principles would reorient ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Joseph Stiglitz discusses how entrenched inequality and unearned income hurt the economy for everybody: We used to think of there being a trade-off: we could achieve more equality, but only at the expense of overall economic performance. It is now clear that, given the extremes of inequality being ...

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Graham Lowe and Frank Graves examine the state of Canada’s labour market, and find a strong desire among workers for an activist government to ensure improved pay equality and social supports. Oxfam reaches similar conclusions in studying workers and employers in Scotland. And Emma Teitel reports on ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – George Monbiot observes that while few people would want to drive animals to extinction directly, we’re all too often eager to settle for a consumerist culture which produces exactly that result. – Carol Linnitt reports on the Trudeau Libs’ appointment of an oil industry cheerleader to review the ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Bill Moyers writes about the conflict between the wealthy few seeking to preserve their privilege, and the balance of society seeking fairness for everybody: I keep in my files a warning published in [The Economist] a dozen years ago, on the eve of George W. Bush’s second ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – David Dayen and Ryan Grim write that “free trade” agreements are in fact turning into little more than cash cows for hedge funds and other big-money speculators: Under this system, a corporation invested in a foreign country can appeal to arbitration panels, consisting of three corporate lawyers, if that ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Don Pittis writes that it will take far more than words and sentiments to reverse the trend of growing income inequality. Elaine Power points out that Ontario’s social assistance programs – like those elsewhere – far fall short of meeting basic human needs. And Christopher Mackie reminds us ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada’s National Housing Strategy Consultations

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve written a blog post about Canada’s National Housing Strategy consultations.  The link to the blog post is here. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -In Canada, public social spending as a percentage of our GDP is well below the OECD average. ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Federal Income Support for Low-Income Seniors

Over at the Behind the Numbers web site, Allan Moscovitch, David Macdonald and I have a blog post titled “Ten Things to Know About Federal Income Support for Low-Income Seniors in Canada.” The blog post argues—among other things—that if the age of eligibility for Old Age Security were to move from 65 to 67, the ...