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Mis à jour : il y a 32 min 50 sec

Thursday Morning Links

il y a 6 heures 37 min
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jim Dwyer writes about the cumulative effect a childhood in poverty has on individual development. And Lee Elliot Major calls out the self-perpetuating exclusion set up by the wealthy to preserve their privilege:
A survey found that the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ now helps to finance 25% of all UK mortgage transactions as parents give their children a leg-up onto the property ladder. In many parts of London buying a property is now out of bounds for all but the wealthiest offspring. Exclusive enclaves for the next generation of elites are being created – within walking distance to the nation’s most influential best-paid jobs in the capital.

These trends echo a similar seemingly unstoppable pattern witnessed across the Atlantic. The New York Times reported that the top 20 per cent of the income distribution in the United States is separating itself from the rest of the population — by geography and by income, as well as by education. Citing a raft of recent academic studies, the author argued that ”this self-segregation of a privileged fifth of the population is changing the American social order and the American political system, creating a self-perpetuating class at the top, which is ever more difficult to break into.”- In keeping with that trend, Eric Morath discusses how the gig economy is exacerbating inequality by producing more returns for the people who already have the most. And Patrick Caldwell points out how Kansas' extreme giveaways to the rich have failed on every conceivable front.

- Michael Babad examines how much more difficult it is even for younger workers with steady employment to buy a home due to prices far outpacing incomes.

- Toba Bryant studies the policy options and processes which can be pursued in working to ameliorate income inequality. 

- Finally, Carter Vance asks when we can expect to see the Libs take any of their promised steps to fix even the worst parts of C-51 - and the answer looks to be no time soon.

New column day

il y a 7 heures 2 min
Here, contrasting Brad Wall's giveaway of public money to subsidize take-out meals against his choice to make healthy food less accessible to the people who need it most in Saskatoon's inner city.

For further reading...
- The Star-Phoenix reported on the history of Station 20 West, as well as the public backlash against the Saskatchewan Party's choice to pull provincial funding from the project and the eventual closure of the Good Food Junction.
- Meanwhile, Rachel Engler-Stringer studied the effect of the store while it lasted:
(O)f residents in the neighbourhoods surrounding the Good Food Junction, over a third have household incomes of less than $20,000, and more than half are less than $30,000. With household incomes this low, and given what we know about the cost of housing in Saskatoon, it’s likely that a large proportion of households in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods are buying minimal if any food, let alone at the Good Food Junction.

We also studied sales data at the Good Food Junction over a one-year period. We found that a large proportion of sales were for less than $10, which is not enough to support even a not-for-profit store. Small purchases are consistent with low incomes and people having very little money with which to buy food.

Our analysis also showed those living near the Good Food Junction spent more on vegetables and less on meat and prepared foods than people living further away. This tells us the store was being used for the importantly nutritious foods they couldn’t buy anywhere else,  and not just to buy the same foods available in neighbourhood convenience stores.

We also followed about 150 regular Good Food Junction shoppers for a year and asked them questions about their health, how they access food, and their household characteristics. We found 1 in 3 were ‘moderately food insecure’, compromising on the quality and quantity of food they were eating due to not having enough money. More than 1 in 5 were ‘severely food insecure’, eating less food regularly and sometimes skipping eating for whole days. This means that over half of the shoppers we studied were struggling with some form of food insecurity, much higher than the Canadian average of 8%.

Researching door-to-door we also asked them if they used community food resources. This includes charities like the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre, Good Food Boxes and community gardens organized by CHEP, and many others. Almost 3 in 4 households used at least one of these community food resources, with some using up to 4 of them. More than 40% of households reported using charitable food sources such as food bank hampers and meal programs, another figure far higher than the national average of 3%.

All of this data put together tell us one of the main reasons for the Good Food Junction closing, is that many people in the neighbourhood are just too poor to shop there (or anywhere else). They are instead  having to resort to charity to feed themselves and their families. That should not be acceptable anywhere, let alone in a rich country such as ours.- Finally, Kevin O'Connor reported on the new subsidy to Skip the Dishes. And Murray Mandryk is one of many highlighting the Saskatchewan Party's picking of winners and losers - but not so much the priorities it sees as important in the first place.

Wednesday Morning Links

mer, 05/04/2016 - 10:47
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Robert Reich discusses how our economy is rigged so that the self-proclaimed risk-takers actually can't lose:
I don’t want to pick on Ms. Mayer or the managers of the funds that invest in Yahoo. They’re typical of the no-lose system in which America’s corporate and financial elite now operate.

But the rest of America works in a different system.

Theirs is cutthroat hyper-capitalism – in which wages are shrinking, median household income continues to drop, workers are fired without warning, two-thirds are living paycheck to paycheck, and employees are being classified as “independent contractors” without any labor protections at all.

Why is there no-lose socialism for the rich and cutthroat hyper-capitalism for everyone else?

Because the rules of the game – including labor laws, pension laws, corporate laws, and tax laws – have been crafted by those at the top, and the lawyers and lobbyists who work for them.- Meanwhile, Daniel Tencer reports on the Canada's increasing stratification and decreasing social mobility. Maggie Thompson discusses the crushing burden of student loan debt on young workers from poor backgrounds. And Sarah Jane Glynn looks at the difference in paid leave and workplace flexibility among different types of workers - with those benefits serving as just one more area where precarious work tends to be more difficult.

- Brian Postl and Pierre-Gerlier Forest write about Canada's urgent need to invest in indigenous health. And the Star's editorial board lists child care and pharmacare among the social needs calling for immediate attention from the federal government.

- Jeremy Nuttall reports on Nathan Cullen's justified concerns that the Libs' only plan for electoral reform is to put it off.

- And finally, Geoff Leo exposes the exorbitant fees being demanded by Saskatchewan's government for information about the shady Global Transportation Hub land dealings.

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

mar, 05/03/2016 - 18:46
Yard cats.




Tuesday Morning Links

mar, 05/03/2016 - 07:32
This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Tom Parkin writes about the growing divide between the lucky few who are siphoning wealth out of Canada, and the mass of people facing a precarious economic future.

- PressProgress highlights much the same distinction by examining the types of workers who make less in a year than Christy Clark's donor-funded car allowance. Andrew MacLeod reports on the connection between the B.C. Libs' donations and real estate developers. And Derrick O'Keefe points out that Clark (and her corporate-funded peers) are counting on the public not paying attention to who's pulling the strings.

- Roderick Benns talks to Daniel Blaikie about the prospect of a basic income. And Murray Mandryk takes a look a Saskatchewan's budget which shows relatively large amounts of money toward education, social services and policing producing lamentable results.

- Mike De Souza exposes Enbridge's direct role in dictating what the National Energy Board reported about its pipeline safety failings. 

- Finally, Alex Boutilier reports on the Communications Security Establishment's attempts to avoid providing an honest account of its breaches of privacy. And Jim Bronskill and Dean Beeby offer some useful suggestions to modernize Canada's access to information laws.

Monday Morning Links

lun, 05/02/2016 - 07:58
Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Ben Schiller talks to Joseph Stiglitz about the link between technology and inequality - and particularly the lack of current incentives to work on improving standards of living rather than capturing windfalls. And Don Pittis suggests that we should focus on building up new ideas, rather than constantly caving to the demands of corporate behemoths.

- Chris Buckley points out how Ontario's labour laws are falling far short of meeting the needs of vulnerable workers.

- Meanwhile, Charlotte Helston responds to the spin that it's somehow easy for a homeless person to "just get a job". And Andrea Hill reports on the human cost of homelessness in La Ronge - with a community of 3,000 people seeing multiple deaths every year due to a lack of support services.

- Derek Leahy discusses Marc Jaccard's view that regulation, not pricing, is the most important element of an effective plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the oil industry is doing everything in its power to avoid a meaningful discussion of its role in overheating our planet - including threatening Canadian universities, and flooding the airwaves with advertising which far exceeds climate change coverage.

- Finally, Robert Shiller discusses the importance of public attitudes and stories in shaping economic outcomes. But it's worth noting that Shiller's point should lead us to seek to avoid veering off toward either irrational exuberance or excessive pessimism - not to try to operate in denial of the real weaknesses which have led to previous recessions.

Sunday Morning Links

dim, 05/01/2016 - 09:57
This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robert Frank comments on the connection between recognizing the luck and social support which lead to one's own success, and being willing to fund a state which will ensure opportunities for everybody:
I've seen even brief discussions of the link between success and luck temper the outrage many wealthy people feel about taxes. At an intuitive level, it's not puzzling that successful citizens like Schwarzman might view mandatory taxation as unjustified confiscation of what's rightfully theirs. But extensive public investment was an essential precondition for the economic prosperity of those very same tax protesters, and we can't have public investment without taxes.

Sensible views about taxes or any other subject do not reliably triumph over less sensible ones in the short run. But we should all take comfort in the fact that the long-run historical narrative bends toward truth. One reason is that when evidence for a particular view becomes compelling, the number of people who embrace it tends to snowball. Beliefs are contagious.

Public opinion shifts one conversation at a time. In my own recent conversations with highly successful people, I've seen opinions change on the spot. Many who seem never to have considered the possibility that their success stemmed from factors other than their own talent and effort are often surprisingly willing to rethink. In many instances, even brief reflection stimulates them to recall specific examples of good breaks they've enjoyed along the way.

So I hope you'll talk with your friends about their experiences with luck. In the process, you may persuade them to support a more ambitious program of public investment. But even if not, you'll almost surely hear some interesting stories.- Meanwhile, Dean Beeby writes about RESP grants as just one example of how programs labelled as helping people in need actually benefit higher-income families. But on the bright side, Bryan Mullan reports that a small investment by the Canada Revenue Agency in investigating tax evasion produced three times the expected return in public revenue.

- Karthik Ramanna and Allan Dreschel discuss the corporate war against accountability. And Chris Sagers points out that antitrust law represents a readily-available - but seldom-used - option to address the growth of unrestrained corporate power.

- David Dayen rightly asks what social purpose hedge funds serve - and suggests that it's time both to redirect public assets which currently prop them up, and to stop giving them special regulatory treatment. 

- Finally, Andrew Jackson highlights the Parliamentary Budget Officer's attempts to wring information out of a Lib government whose first inclination was to be even more secretive than its predecessor - and finds that the information eventually produced shows stagnation or cuts in social investments. And CBC offers a reminder of the potential of open government.

Saturday Morning Links

sam, 04/30/2016 - 10:40
Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Martin Lukacs highlights the Canadian public's broad support for the Leap Manifesto - and the opportunity available to any party willing to put its contents into practice. And Shawn Katz is hopeful that the NDP will seize the opening. But Bill Tieleman points out that the best intentions won't get anywhere if they're not translated into electoral and political progress.

- Lana Payne discusses what we should expect from a government in an economic downturn - with one of the key needs being some reason for hope to develop something more, rather than scolding about how we'll have to make do with less indefinitely.

- Scott Aquanno and Jordan Brennan point out the inherent tension in setting target inflation rates, while rightly reopening the question of whether we should put the interests of capital ahead of those of wage-earners. And Eric Morath notes that wage growth is the missing piece of a U.S. economic recovery.

- Meanwhile, David Dayen weighs in on the growing body of evidence that the arguments against a more reasonable minimum wage have no basis in reality.

- Finally, Rebecca Vallas and Melissa Boteach offer a broad outline of a policy agenda to reduce poverty and improve opportunities across the income spectrum.

Musical interlude

ven, 04/29/2016 - 16:19
Radical Face - Welcome Home

Friday Morning Links

ven, 04/29/2016 - 06:45
Assorted content to end your week.

- Michael Klare writes about the future direction of the oil industry - which looks to involve cashing out quickly than building anything lasting:
At the beginning of this century, many energy analysts were convinced that we were at the edge of the arrival of “peak oil”; a peak, that is, in the output of petroleum in which planetary reserves would be exhausted long before the demand for oil disappeared, triggering a global economic crisis. As a result of advances in drilling technology, however, the supply of oil has continued to grow, while demand has unexpectedly begun to stall.  This can be traced both to slowing economic growth globally and to an accelerating “green revolution” in which the planet will be transitioning to non-carbon fuel sources. With most nations now committed to measures aimed at reducing emissions of greenhouse gases under the just-signed Paris climate accord, the demand for oil is likely to experience significant declines in the years ahead. In other words, global oil demand will peak long before supplies begin to run low, creating a monumental challenge for the oil-producing countries.

This is no theoretical construct.  It’s reality itself.  Net consumption of oil in the advanced industrialized nations has already dropped from 50 million barrels per day in 2005 to 45 million barrels in 2014. Further declines are in store as strict fuel efficiency standards for the production of new vehicles and other climate-related measures take effect, the price of solar and wind power continues to fall, and other alternative energy sources come on line. While the demand for oil does continue to rise in the developing world, even there it’s not climbing at rates previously taken for granted. With such countries also beginning to impose tougher constraints on carbon emissions, global consumption is expected to reach a peak and begin an inexorable decline.According to experts Thijs Van de Graaf and Aviel Verbruggen, overall world peak demand could be reached as early as 2020.

In such a world, high-cost oil producers will be driven out of the market and the advantage — such as it is — will lie with the lowest-cost ones. Countries that depend on petroleum exports for a large share of their revenues will come under increasing pressure to move away from excessive reliance on oil. - Meanwhile, Murray Dobbin discusses how the Libs are helping Saudi Arabia to continue and expand its human rights abuses. The CP notes that they're also following in the Cons' footsteps in limiting workers' ability to refuse unsafe work. And Alison calls attention to the farce that is the Libs' excuse for public consultation on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

- Patrick Cain reports on the plummeting number of tax evasion prosecutions in Canada. (And it's worth noting that the starting point hardly represented an obvious deterrent to begin with.)

- Brian Hutchinson points out the odour of corruption emanating from Christy Clark's donor-funded income. And Sarah Mills highlights Brad Wall's similar payments for service.

- Finally, David Walters offers a look at the options and choices facing families at several points on the income spectrum - though it's worth pointing out that the people included in article skew far higher than the U.S.' actual income distribution.

New column day

jeu, 04/28/2016 - 06:30
Here, on the Conference Board of Canada's environmental report card - and the conclusions we should draw from both Saskatchewan's last-place finish, and the typically appalling response from the Wall government.

For further reading...
- Brendan Haley discusses the steps needed to reach a cleaner and more equitable economy - featuring a focus on transitioning how workers are able to use their existing skills and training rather than propping up dirty resource industries.
- Mike de Souza reports that the minimally-discussed Line 3 pipeline expansion has received NEB approval to expand export capacity to the U.S. And Justin Ling writes that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has concluded Canada is almost certain to miss every greenhouse gas emission target we've set - meaning that Canada's D grade in the Conference Board's report card isn't much to write home about.

Thursday Morning Links

jeu, 04/28/2016 - 06:17
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Allan Woods looks into the pitiful responses to states of emergency declared by First Nations, as well as a decade and a half worth of neglect of cries for help from Pikangikum First Nation in particular. Kristy Kirkup reports on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's latest order requiring the federal government to stop dragging its heels in providing social services. And Kate Heartfield rightly argues that we need to treat Third World conditions on First Nations as matters of injustice which require correction - not merely a basis for charity.

- Meanwhile, Richard Wolff discusses the U.S.' example of racial disparity as an example of how discrimination and capitalism can feed off of each other.

- Heather Mallick looks at the development of pay-for-plasma schemes as the latest example of the commoditization of anything that can be exploited.

- Marco Chown Oved reports on the missing $40 billion which have been diverted offshore from Canada in the last year.

- Gary Mason reports that Christy Clark's big-money fund-raisers are translating directly into increased income for her due to a party top-up beyond her salary as premier, then rightly questions the ethics involved in that income stream.

- Finally, Donald Savoie summarizes what Canadians governments are doing well in their current form (which is unfortunately mostly limited to managing communications), and what they could do better by paying attention to the public services they're supposed to be delivering. 

Wednesday Morning Links

mer, 04/27/2016 - 07:30
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Fred Dews highlights Alice Rivkin's suggestions as to consensus policies which can reduce inequality while facilitating economic development. And Sheila Regehr looks at how a basic income can work in practice, while Monica Oss reminds us that investments in reducing poverty and inequality can often be recouped in reduced health care costs alone.

- But Sean McElwee echoes Bernie Sanders' point that we're far less likely to see policy choices which reflect our common interest when we don't have sufficient voter turnout to demand them:
(P)olitical scientist Anthony Fowler notes that when compulsory voting was implemented in Australia, the increased voter turnout by 24 percentage points and the result was increased vote and seat shares for the Labor Party of 7 to 10 percent. Fowler used several methods to examine what the impact of universal turnout might be in the United States. One method used is to compare on-cycle gubernatorial elections (ones that coincide with a federal election) with off-cycle elections. He finds a stunning result: On-cycle gubernatorial elections increase turnout by 17 points, and Democratic vote share by 6 points, enough to shift many elections.

Voter turnout would also influence policy. In a new study at the state level, political scientists Christopher Witko, Nathan Kelly and William Franko confirm this analysis. They find that states with higher levels of class bias in turnout have higher levels of economic inequality because high levels of class bias limits the power of progressive policymakers and reduces the liberalism of economic policymaking. This relationship was also discovered in a recent paper by James Avery, who finds, “states with greater income bias in turnout have higher levels of income inequality.”

In an early study on the influence of class in turnout, Kim Hill and Jan Leighley find that higher turnout among the poor (and thus lower class bias) leads to higher spending on welfare programs. Economists Timothy Besley and Anne Case find that,
“Less costly voter registration— through motor-voter rules, or through day-of-polling registration—is generally associated with higher taxes, higher spending, and larger family assistance and workers’ compensation payments.”- Mike de Souza reports on Imperial Oil's longtime knowledge that the oil industry has been engaged in anti-social environmental destruction. And Arthur Neslen exposes Chevron's express intent to use new trade agreements to try to prevent governments from developing new policies including fracking regulations.

- Finally, Larry Brown discusses how the Trans-Pacific Partnership fits into the business lobby's desire to take power out of the hands of people and the governments we elect. Paul Dewar points out the need to crack down on child labour and other other international abuses, rather than entrenching them as part of a corporate-driven system. And PressProgress points out Statistics Canada's latest estimates showing that corporate Canada has hidden $270 billion in offshore tax havens.

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

mar, 04/26/2016 - 18:55
Social cats.




Tuesday Morning Links

mar, 04/26/2016 - 08:32
This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Harry Leslie Smith writes about how an increasingly polarized city such as London excludes a large number of its citizens from meaningful social participation:
(A)usterity has diminished the opportunity of the young and shortened the lives of the old. Even libraries – the life blood of any community – have been savagely cut in many London boroughs leaving senior citizens with one less free space to gather, learn and socialise. London may be a great city to live in if you are an elderly member of the elite. But for everyone else it is a trap where upon retirement you must sell your home, if you are lucky enough to own, and move on to greener pastures – or if you are a renter with few options and many connections to this city, you must remain like the poor of yesteryear, watching a pension that might do you well in Halifax only stretched to the third week of the month.
...
London may become a city shorn of any diversity because extreme wealth will drive all those out but the rich and those who serve them. It would be a great tragedy if London lost its elderly not through the natural passage of time but through the brute ugliness of a one-sided economy. We have to remember that London without old people isn’t a city, it’s just a factory floor, a place where you work and shop, with no history, no past or future, just an endless present tense in pursuit of money.- Meanwhile, the Economist discusses how austerity inevitably imposes far greater burdens on the poor than on the wealthy. And Truthout notes that those additional stressors lead to a measurable increase in suicides - meaning that lives are on the line when governments choose to stop doing their job of protecting the public.

- Eman Bare writes about the impact of ballooning student debt in delaying young workers' independence.

- Charlie Smith reports on the CCPA's study (PDF) showing the health and service risks of corporate medicine. And Lizanne Foster sets out the typical plan to turn public education into a profit centre at the expense of students and the public.

- Finally, Michal Rozworski and Louis-Phillipe Rochon offer some cautionary notes about a basic income as a solution to inequality. And Andrew Flowers surveys what we know - and don't know - from past and developing trials of the idea.

Monday Morning Links

lun, 04/25/2016 - 06:31
Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Tyler Hamilton offers a roundup of the growing threat of climate change - and Canada's shameful contribution to making it worse.

- Andy Blatchford reports on the Libs' plans for a massive selloff of federal public assets in order to paper over holes in their budgets. And Tammy Robert examines how the corporatization of school constructions (under orders from the provincial government) is imposing massive costs on Saskatchewan municipalities.

- Meanwhile, E. Wayne Ross comments on the unfairness involved in funding private schools through public funds. And Doug Saunders takes a look at Finland's success in building an education system to reduce inequality rather than exacerbate it.

- Adele Peters reports that contrary to the threats of business opponents, Seattle's increased minimum wage hasn't had any meaningful effect on affordability. And Nick Hanauer and Robert Reich point out that improved access to overtime pay would work wonders both to reduce the stress on current workers, and provide jobs for people lacking them.

- Finally, PressProgress points out what the Mike Duffy verdict tells us about the culture of the Conservative Party. And Tom Parkin notes that the main difference with the Trudeau Libs is their misdirection to shift attention from a similar track record.

Sunday Morning Links

dim, 04/24/2016 - 10:18
This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Branko Milanovic discusses how our current means of measuring inequality may leave out the most important part of the story in the form of wealth deliberately hidden from public view:
(T)here are at least two problems. First, the rich especially, but everybody else as well, have a clear interest in minimizing their incomes to reduce taxes they pay. Second, the rich engage, as we have seen in the Panama Papers, in massive schemes to hide their assets and income. Thus, despite our best efforts to uncover the full extent of top incomes we are only at the beginning of a long road.

So it is perhaps the right time to think how fiscal data should be improved, how fiscal and household survey should be made more compatible, and most ambitiously, whether better administrative data (like the world register of wealth proposed by Piketty and Zucman) should be created, both to tax wealth and to combat fiscal evasion. We are already moving to the next stage of methodological development where the concern with incomes of the rich, partly because they have become so much richer than the others, partly because they wield huge political power, and partly because they are hiding their assets, may take center stage. - Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood notes that even free-trade cheerleaders such as the C.D. Howe Institute can't spin the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a light that would result in any meaningful economic benefits to offset democratic losses.

- Liam Richards reports on the Conference Board of Canada's finding that Saskatchewan is the worst jurisdiction in the developed world when it comes to environmental policy.

- Evgeny Morozov examines how major tech firms are well on their way to taking monopoly control over the data underlying most of private lives. [Update: See also Ian Welsh on the effects of the latest and most pervasive technological changes.]

- Finally, Alison reviews what a week of "real change" looks like for the Trudeau Libs, while Aaron Wherry notes that omnibus budget bills are just one more carryover from the Harper Cons. And John Manley's shilling for the sale of arms to human rights violators offers a reminder of the Libs' general priorities.

Saturday Morning Links

sam, 04/23/2016 - 05:45
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 better social programs than are currently available. And N+1 responds to the rise of Bernie Sanders and his progressive movement by offering its take on what a left-wing foreign policy might look like in the years to come.

- Eugene King points out the shaky reasoning behind any claim that new pipelines will meaningfully affect either the price or viability of Canadian oil. Adrian Morrow reports that Ontario looks to be a prime example as to how we're already far short of meeting any reasonable greenhouse gas emissions target - meaning that more action to increase emissions is entirely counterproductive. And Marc Lee makes the same point by comparing the effects of new pipelines to Canada's Paris climate change commitments:
(A)nnual lifecycle emissions for each of the pipelines would be greater than all of BC’s annual GHG emissions, and are equivalent to a sizeable share of Canada’s emissions (11% in the case of Enbridge; 13% in the case of Kinder-Morgan; and 24% in the case of Energy East).

This highlights a major flaw in the Paris Agreement, bold as it is. That Agreement is based on countries committing to reduce the carbon emissions within their borders, but not the carbon extracted and exported for someone else to burn. We need a different type of international framework to constrain global supplies of fossil fuels: to divvy up shares of a carbon budget for use in transition, then leaving the rest in the ground, forever.- Anna Mehler Paperny discusses the challenge facing lower-income Canadians in trying to find housing. And Joshua Tapper highlights the relationship between poverty and poor health, while arguing there's plenty we can do to make sure that a lack of money doesn't translate into sickness.

- Geoff Leo reports on the latest damage being done to Saskatchewan communities by the Wall government's P3 obsession, as Regina is looking at having to take over an underfunded school construction project without the province bearing any of the cost of the structure it imposed.

- Finally, David Miranda writes that the corporate-driven impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil has everything to do with facilitating corruption rather than fighting it.

Musical interlude

ven, 04/22/2016 - 17:11
Tritonal & Paris Blohm feat. Sterling Fox - Colors

Friday Morning Links

ven, 04/22/2016 - 06:25
Assorted content to end your week.

- The BBC reports that even UK business groups are acknowledging that excessive executive pay is leading to public concern and distrust in the state of the economy. And Alex Hern notes that Steve Wozniak for one isn't shy to point out the need for Apple and other corporations to pay their fair share in taxes.

- Meanwhile, David Morley rightly argues that it's long past time for Canada to better take care of its own children:
(T)he truth is too many of our children are unhappy and unhealthy. They don’t have a fair shot in life.

In fact, we have one of the highest proportions of children who report very low life satisfaction. That’s because nearly one quarter of Canadian children report having poor health symptoms on a daily basis. The same amount of older youth have diagnosable mental health problems. Levels of obesity have not changed. Child poverty remains high. Most areas that were assessed showed little or no improvement over the last decade.
...
Disadvantages start early in life – and they tend to accumulate. By investing more, and earlier on, to make sure children get a good start in life, we’ll be ensuring they finish childhood ready to make a strong entrance into adulthood. We’ll be equipping them with the confidence and skills they need to become happy and productive members of their communities. We’ll reduce the need to respond to the negative consequences of an unequal society. And, we’ll have more resources to spend on positive development opportunities for all. - Jorge Barrera reminds us of the history of abuse, neglect and cover-ups which led to the suicide crisis at Attawapiskat (and elsewhere). And Sean Fine and Gloria Galloway report that one of the Libs' first actions upon taking power was to let the Catholic Church out of its obligations to fund healing programs which had been part of a residential school settlement. 

- Andrew Coyne highlights how Justin Trudeau's supposedly fresh government is aging in a hurry, while Neil MacDonald is already tired of the chasm between the Libs' promises and their choices. And Jonathan Manthorpe examines how blatantly the Libs are distorting reality in order to excuse arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

- Finally, Monia Mazigh points out that the Libs have also continued the Cons' appalling double standard in treating privacy only as an excuse to avoid releasing information which would generally help individuals whose rights are being abused.