- Antonia Zerbisias and Thomas Walkom both discuss the connection between organized labour and the very existence of a substantial middle class. And Janice Kennedy worries about the all-too-prevalent trend toward worker-bashing.
- But Andrew Jackson nicely points out why attempts to undermine unions have nothing at all to do with general economic development, and everything to do with distancing a small elite from the rest of the population:
Further to my earlier post on the “own goal” scored by the Fraser Institute report on North American labour markets, the Table below shows the rankings of the Canadian provinces – out of 60 states and provinces – for (1) labour market performance, 2007-11 and (2) the unionization rate. (I have reversed the Fraser ranking for the latter indicator so that a rank of 1 rather than 60 is given to the jurisdiction with the highest unionization rate.)- Of course, that type of readily-available example might have something to do with the right's desire to ensure we don't have access to facts about where we stand as a society. And Statistics Canada is rightly challenging the most egregious Canadian example by pushing the Cons to reverse at least part of their choice to undermine Canada's census.
The provinces all score relatively well in terms of labour market performance, with 4 in the top 10, and only Nova Scotia not in the top 20. (This indicator is based on job creation, unemployment and productivity growth.)
Provinces make up 9 of the top 10 jurisdictions by unionization. (New York and Alaska have higher unionization rates than Alberta which ranks 12 in North America.)
Obviously a lot of factors are at play in terms of job creation- but, if the data show anything, it is that high unionization is associated with better rather than worse labour market performance.
- Pat Atkinson notes that Saskatchewan's children stand to lose out from the loss of full-day kindergarten and other forms of early childhood development in the province.
- Finally, George Monbiot highlights the increasingly alarming connection between climate change which far exceeds even the estimates which should have driven us to global action decades ago, and policy-makers either denying or neglecting the problem.