Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Tim Harper writes that Stephen Harper's "lone gunman" argument - already implausible in light of the number of Senators and staffers required to cover up the Clusterduff - is falling apart at the seams. But Gloria Galloway notes that the Senators can bail out with their pensions as long as they resign before being being convicted - meaning that Mike Duffy may not be the only one who comes to see his self-interest conflicting with the Cons' attempt to throw all available non-Harper bodies under the bus. And Pat Atkinson offers some lessons to be drawn from the Cons' scandals.

- Jesse Brown points out that the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are being kept particularly secret in Canada, with even opposition parties being refused any access to details of what they'll ultimately have to debate in Parliament. And the Economist recognizes that the general aversion to democratic participation in the treaty's creation serves to call its legitimacy into serious doubt:
(T)he TPP and TTIP are meant to do more than traditional trade agreements. They are to incorporate “21st-century” elements in labour standards, environmental safeguards, intellectual property, government procurement and the treatment of state-owned enterprises.

Mr Moore draws optimism from the electoral cycle. Australia apart, few TPP countries face imminent elections. But if the TPP relies on governments avoiding their voters, that is surely a weakness.
- Frances Russell recognizes that the Cons' economic branding is based on "wind and rabbit tracks" rather than any accomplishments of substance.

- And finally, Lana Payne discusses the need for younger generations of workers to stand up and demand a better future - rather than accepting the dubious declaration they're stuck putting up with less:
In recent years, inequality and corporate greed have dominated public discourse.
The labour movement believes we can do a much better job of sharing our economic wealth, thus improving the lives and living standards of all citizens.

Emerging from the debate about inequality and the fact that the vast majority of income gains are going to the top one per cent is the question of what this growing inequality will mean for the next generation of workers.

For the first time in our history as a province and a country, the very real question of whether our children will do better than their parents is a troubling reflection of the kind of legacy we could be leaving: a legacy of generational inequity. A generation that will have to work longer; who face a more precarious labour market; who will be more uncertain about retiring in dignity; who will carry more debt; and who will be told to lower their expectations.

This reality flies in the face of stunning corporate profits and an economy that is producing record wealth.
This Labour Day, we celebrate the many gains unions have made in our world. We celebrate our social progress, but only in the context of how that social progress is more fragile than ever before. How it is being eroded. A reminder that we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to resist the forces that would see these gains turned back.

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