Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Matthew Yglesias writes that while increased automation may not eliminate jobs altogether, it may go a long way toward making them more menial. And Jerry Dias recognizes that we won't see better career opportunities emerge unless we make it a shared public priority to develop them:
(I)ncreasingly, the people I meet – both in the labour movement and outside (including in some business circles) – talk about the need for greater dialogue on the issues of the day, particularly as they relate to jobs and the economy. People have expressed to me an urgent need to bring the best ideas together to come up with real solutions to us move out from under the dark shadow of long-term chronic underemployment. People are also expressing their frustration that we are being told that good jobs are a thing of the past. We know good jobs are possible. And people are telling me they want labour, business and government leadership to work together to ensure we all have access to good jobs.
The Good Jobs Summit will bring together seemingly disparate parties – industry, government, NGOS, students, academic institutions, workers and trade unions – to discuss the need for decent jobs and come up with solutions. Up for discussion will be the chronic underemployment of young, overqualified workers; growing precarity in the labour market; how we can make ‘bad jobs’ better and where the good jobs will come from in the economy of today and in the future.
I’m confident that we can do better, that we can create an economy that churns out far more good jobs than bad, that creates an environment where precarious employment is a thing of the past, and that everyone who is able to work can find a decent job that helps support themselves and their family.
- But Graham Lanktree notes that the Cons are instead looking to push CETA on the country - which figures to both drive away existing jobs, and limit the ability of Canadian governments to support new ones. Which means that it's no wonder Canadians are increasingly pessimistic (PDF) about both their own positions, and the overall prospects for workers. And Andrew Jackson observes that tax giveaways to businesses - likely the only public policy tool not taken off the table by the corporate trade movement - don't do anything at all to boost innovation or development.

- John Thompson rightly slams Stephen Harper for rejecting an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women based on nothing more than wilful stupidity. And Catherine Latimer comments on the Cons' elimination of factual research into criminal justice policy lest their "tough on crime" posturing be exposed for its ineffectiveness.

- The New Republic weighs in on the Cons' silencing of climate scientists, while the Ottawa Citizen editorial board calls on the Cons to let them speak. And Michael Spratt discusses the Cons' broader fight against inconvenient reality and the evidence which tends to expose it.

- Finally, near the top of the list of areas where we have reason to worry about the Cons' aversion to facts lies their willingness to ignore safety standards for Arctic deep-water drilling. And Lana Payne reminds us what happened last time the Cons figured they could let the oil industry handle public safety for itself.

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