Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday Evening Links

Assorted content for your evening reading.

- Mitchell Anderson wonders whether weeding out corporate psychopathy might be the key to a more equal and sustainable economy.

- But judging from the crumbs being tossed at Ontario's poor (in the wake of gigantic corporate tax cuts), the problem looks to extend somewhat beyond corporations alone. And Andrew Jackson highlights the fact that falling real wages are affecting workers across the income scale.

- SOS Crowns points out on Brad Wall's initial salvo against SaskTel just weeks after getting re-elected on yet another set of promises not to damage the province's crown corporations:
Yesterday, Premier Brad Wall, finding himself frustrated with SaskTel service, tweeted “One of the challenges of growth is the increased demand on SaskTel service and attendant drops etc. This challenge must be met.”

The tweet sparked interest from across the province including an online poll on CTV Regina’s website asking people whether or not the provincial government should “get out of the telecommunications business.”

Perhaps if the government had not demanded that SaskTel, as well as other Crowns, hand over one hundred per cent of their dividends, the company would have more available to reinvest into the infrastructure. Instead, the government has insisted on transferring debt to our Crowns while taking away all of their dividends.

One could also question the restrictive Sask First policy that the government remains supportive of. A policy that demands that Crowns, including SaskTel, not invest outside Saskatchewan at all, or inside Saskatchewan in any areas that compete with private industry. This policy has been the excuse for the privatization of SaskTel to begin with multiple pieces being sold off, including Navigata, Hospitality Network (HospNet), DirectWest Canada, AgDealer, and Saskatoon Square. None of these even include the multiple profit-generating areas of SaskTel have been contracted out to out-of-province companies and direct competitors.
- Finally, Ken Gray makes the case that the tens of billions of dollars the Cons are prepared to dump into an F-35 money pit would be far better invested in high-speed rail.

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