Scripturient: Alectra says no: The Block screwed us again

The headline on the media release reads, “Alectra selling its shares in Collus PowerStream to Collingwood.” What it should add is that Collingwood residents and taxpayers were betrayed by members of their own council and administration. After a three-year campaign to screw us, The Block have won a major victory in abhorrent behaviour. They are ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Jonathan Ostry comments on the emerging recognition that inequality represents a barrier to economic development: I argue that greater attention should be paid to the consequences that economic policies have for income distribution (inequality). The reasons are four-fold. First, excessive levels of inequality are bad not only ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Brad Wall’s belated attempts to muddy the waters can’t avoid a clear verdict that he’s selling off Saskatchewan’s commonwealth for corporate gain. For further reading…– Kendall Latimer reported on Wall’s announcement that the price of previously-announced corporate tax cuts will be directed toward some other business-oriented use.– CBC reported on the announced ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Richard Hill wonders whether neoliberalism is approaching its end, while noting the dangers of allowing progressive themes to be used to prop up elitist power structures. And Heather Boushey interviews Kimberly Clausing about the opportunity to raise revenue and reduce inequality by properly taxing corporations, while Marshall ...

Scripturient: The secret costs of the EPCOR deal

Whether or not The Block sell our share of our public electrical utility to the for-profit, Edmonton-based EPCOR, it will still cost taxpayers millions. And I don’t mean just the rising costs of sole-sourced lawyers and buddy consultants the administration has hired (well over $1 million already, and the bills keep coming in). I’m talking ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Christopher Thompson highlights how the use of monetary policy to fuel economic growth rather than a progressive fiscal policy alternative has served largely to enrich the already-wealthy. Rachelle Younglai and Murat Yukselir report on Canada’s growing income gap, while Andrew Jackson points out how increased inequality has been ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

This and that for your weekend reading. – Joseph Stiglitz discusses how the Republican’s trillion-dollar corporate giveaway will only exacerbate inequality without doing anything to help the U.S.’ economy: If inequality was a problem before, enacting the Republicans’ proposed tax reform will make it much worse. Corporations and businesses will be among the big beneficiaries, ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Brad Delong writes that political choices – not a lack of resources – are responsible for the limited progress being made toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. – Matt Bruenig weighs in on the U.S.’ unprecedented levels of wealth inequality. And Bill Moyers comments on the vulture ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Betsy DeVos in Ontario

Betsy DeVos is coming to talk to the Minister of Education, apparently to learn about our schools. Let’s hope the meeting just goes in that direction. When she was first appointed by Trump, OSSTF warned, DeVos has been a strong advocate for the creation of more charter schools in her home state of Michigan, as ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Penney Kome raises the question of who will be responsible for the damage wrought by climate change. And Trish Audette-Longo reports that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is set to start examining how human behaviour contributes to, and is affected by, a changing climate. – But ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Book review: Social policy in Canada (second edition)

Oxford University Press has recently released the second edition of Social Policy in Canada, co-authored by the father-daughter duo of Ernie Lightman and Naomi Lightman. I recommend this book as an excellent resource for students of social policy. It will be useful for classroom instruction, while also being a handy reference for researchers, persons who ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Roderick Benns interviews Ryan Meili about the value of a basic income in freeing people from perpetual financial stress. And Doug Cameron reminds us that we have a choice whether to show empathy toward people facing homelessness – even if far too many forces try to push us ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Noah Smith offers a reminder that market principles don’t work for everything. And Amelie Quesnel-Vallee and Miles Taylor note that in the health sector in particular, the use of private providers to supplement an underfunded public system is leading to inequitable disparities in accessibility. – Andrew Jackson challenges ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week. – Paul Buchheit discusses the U.S.’ combination of increasing inequality, systematic tax evasion and false promises of social mobility. Michael Savage reports that even UK Cons are recognizing that a refusal to ensure that the rich pay their fair share makes for bad politics. And Steven Klees highlights how ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Greg Jericho writes about Australia’s increasing income stratification and wealth inequality. Matt Bruenig examines what sets the Nordic countries apart from the rest of the world – including high unionization levels and substantial public ownership of industry along with their well-funded social programs. And their success with that ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on what the Wall government means when it talks about entering into “partnerships” with the corporate sector – and why Saskatchewan’s citizens shouldn’t stand to be cut out of the Crown assets now owned for public benefit. For further reading…– Others have also noted the “partnership” phrasing used by the Saskatchewan Party in identifying ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Angella MacEwen offers her suggestions as to what a fair and progressive trade agenda should look like: Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are especially unpopular, as they prioritize investor rights over investor responsibilities. Canada and Mexico have had similar dismal experiences under NAFTA — while the US has ...

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week. – Cole Eisen points out how Sears – like far too many other businesses – has deliberately depleted employees’ pension funds while extracting billions of dollars for executives and shareholders: Sears Canada’s woes stem from what appears to be a methodical process of value extraction. While Sears’s pension funding ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Mariana Valverde examines how P3 schemes are putting financiers in charge of deciding what public infrastructure to build, while leaving future generations of citizens with massive bills to pay. And the Star Phoenix’ editorial board rightly warns Brad Wall against selling off Saskatchewan’s public assets – no matter ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Martin Lukacs discusses the need for collective action to fight climate change – and the dangers of allowing ourselves to be distracted by calls to focus solely on individual choices: These pervasive exhortations to individual action — in corporate ads, school textbooks, and the campaigns of mainstream ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Tom Parkin writes that the economic boost provided by an expanded child benefit offers another indication of how action to fight poverty ultimately helps everybody. And Dylan Matthews discusses how much more could be done through a well-designed basic income – while recognizing the pitfalls of pale ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Naomi Klein highlights how capital and power combine to turn disasters into profit-making opportunities – while noting that the Trump presidency is just such a disaster. And Linda McQuaig discusses why we should see the income tax and other collective funding mechanisms as an important step in nation-building. ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Ben Tarnoff discusses the growing number of basic public services which are being converted into private rents as profit motives are given precedence over democracy: A profit-driven system doesn’t mean we get more for our money – it means someone gets to make more money off of ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Patrick Gossage discusses the desperate need for Canadian governments at all levels to take meaningful action to eliminate poverty: The reality is that low-income Canadians are invisible and lack political clout. In Toronto, they are concentrated in downtown areas close to the gleaming bank towers, in huge clusters ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading. – Nina Shapiro comments on the price of privatizing public goods. And George Monbiot weighs in on how the Grenfell Tower fire confirms that what corporatist politicians deride as “red tape” is in fact vital protection for people: For years successive governments have built what they call a ...