Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Michael Harris nicely describes what the Cons are actually doing with power while pretending to be innocuous fiscal managers:
The PM and his government are not good managers. The nauseating repetition of the claim that the Tories know what they’re doing with the country’s finances will not make it so.

They’ve pissed away more money than Madonna on a shopping spree — a billion on the G 8-20 meetings that put a dent in the world’s Perrier supply and little else.

They just plain lost $3.2 billion and the guy in charge over at Treasury Board is still there, rumoured to be on his way to Finance.

They are such good fiscal managers that we now have the highest deficit in our history.
No, Steve and the Impersonators are not about hockey, Tim Horton’s, and purring more innocuously than Paul Wolfowitz while taking a crowbar to the country’s institutions.

It’s all about deconstructing democracy, channelling public money to a venal corporate sector, and kneecapping anyone who gets in the way. It’s about turning Canada into a militarized petro-state with Beatle music playing in the background.

The way this electoral monstrosity has worked up until now is through secrecy and a poisonous communications model. It’s the school of thought in which there is only one voice and the truth never figures in. Smother all opposition. All that matters is optics.

Some in the media have been silly enough to describe this as “discipline” or “effective messaging.” But then, I suppose one could call lying an exercise in information management.
- Meanwhile, Twyla Roscovich points out the Cons' latest attempt to "manage" scientific data - as they've followed through on long-mooted threats to pull the credentials of a research lab which had the temerity to report results showing Infection Salmon Anemia virus in B.C. salmon farms when industry-backed researchers applying a different test declined to confirm the findings. But don't worry: we can still fully trust industry to self-regulate and avoid causing needless damage to the public, right?

- Just look at the fine folks in the U.S. retail industry who are helpfully lining the pockets of their banking brethren by imposing service-fee-laden debit cards as their only means of payment to employees. Or the corporate sector's treatment of the U.S.' own burgeoning temporary work force:
"We're seeing just more and more industries using business models that attempt to change the employment relationship or obscure the employment relationship," said Mary Beth Maxwell, a top official in the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division. "While it's certainly not a new phenomenon, it's rapidly escalating. In the last 10 to 15 years, there's just a big shift to this for a lot more workers 2013 which makes them a lot more vulnerable."

The temp system insulates the host companies from workers' compensation claims, unemployment taxes, union drives and the duty to ensure that their workers are citizens or legal immigrants. In turn, the temps suffer high injury rates, according to federal officials and academic studies, and many of them endure hours of unpaid waiting and face fees that depress their pay below minimum wage.

The rise of the blue-collar permatemp helps explain one of the most troubling aspects of the phlegmatic recovery. Despite a soaring stock market and steady economic growth, many workers are returning to temporary or part-time jobs. This trend is intensifying America's decades-long rise in income inequality, in which low- and middle-income workers have seen their real wages stagnate or decline. On average, temps earn 25 percent less than permanent workers.
- Finally, Richard Wolff recognizes the inevitable result when our economic and political spheres are dominated by those who can afford to pay to have their interests amplified - and rightly dismisses the argument that some "pure" capitalism will avoid the damage.

1 comment:

  1. .. here's a pretty blunt and illuminating link ..


    I came across it again via Twitter this AM .. but have read it several times in the past few years .. Emily Dee has gone silent, or has been silenced.. but her work and research is unlike anything I have come across. Shocking - thorough .. She may be one of our greatest contemporary historians.. and indy journalists

    if you, I.. or anyone thinks that responsive, accountable, caring, ethical governance can come from these disturbed, arrogant, ignorant, elitist poseurs .. well, like sheep we should lie down with jackals and be eaten alive.

    We find that Tony Clement is Anthony Penayi
    We see where Stephen Harper's ethics and political pathology took root.
    We see that rabid political animals and pro apartheid sociopaths can find shelter and success in the dank and immoral realm of partisan politics.