Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Robert Reich (via GlenInCA) points out the connection between a strong middle class and curbs on corporate excesses - with may go a long way toward explaining why the business lobby is working so hard to eliminate the concept of a secure livelihood for most workers:
Last week’s massive toxic chemical spill into West Virginia Elk River illustrates another benefit to the business class of high unemployment, economic insecurity, and a safety-net shot through with holes. Not only are employees docile, eager to accept whatever crumbs they can get. The public is also quiescent and unwilling to cause trouble.
For years political scientists have wondered why the citizens of West Virginia and other poorer states vote against their economic interests, hypothesizing it’s because economic issues have been preempted by others like guns, abortion, and race. But as wages keep sinking and economic security disappears, it’s also because people are so desperate for jobs they’ll vote whatever way industry wants them to. Bottom line: A strong and growing middle class is the best bulwark against corporate irresponsibility.
- And Jim Stanford wonders why the same economists looking on the bright side of a falling Canadian dollar now seem to have ignored the effects of a higher currency for the past decade.

- Bruce Cheadle reports that the Cons have been skimping on informing Canadians about health and issues - even as they've spent millions promoting nonexistent programs which involve nothing more than a giveaway to employers. 

- Kady O'Malley reports that Stephen Harper's already-sad attempt to put actual policy on hold for a gratuitous 2017 birthday bash may be running into another snag - as the country the Cons plan to celebrate bears little resemblance to Canada. And Jeremy Nuttall catches Stephen Harper trying to put one over on Vancouver's ethnic media - as the Prime Minister directly responsible for expanding and entrenching the use of temporary foreign workers pretended to disagree with his own party's policy of favouring temporary, work-based immigration in service of abusive employers over any long-term opportunity for newcomers to Canada.

- Finally, Murray Mandryk slams the Saskatchewan Party's back-benchers for gleefully voting down basic accounting principles which even their own leaders don't dare to oppose publicly.

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