Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jessica McCormick and Jerry Dias respond to Stephen Poloz' view that young workers should be happy to work for free, and note that he of all people shouldn't be pointing the finger at individuals to address problems with systemic unemployment:
The most infuriating aspect of Poloz's statement is that he himself could do more than virtually any other Canadian to help put young people into real, paying jobs. Monetary policy is one of the most potent tools to stimulate spending power and job-creation. The Bank of Canada could do much more to create real jobs for young people (using conventional and unconventional policies regarding interest rates, monetary expansion, and exchange rates). But instead, it puts more priority on orthodox financial goals (like inflation targeting and non-interference in foreign exchange) than on full employment. Poloz is left to advise young people on how to "adjust" to this grim reality, instead of doing more to solve the underlying problem.

When there are far fewer jobs than job-seekers, there is a natural tendency for individuals to do whatever they can to personally survive. Individual actions such as preparing better resum├ęs, developing good networks, and -- yes -- doing volunteer work, might increase one person's chance of landing a rare paid job. But those individual coping strategies hardly constitute an adequate policy response to a genuine social crisis. Poloz, and his counterparts in the federal government, need to develop and implement real solutions for youth unemployment, instead of issuing insulting platitudes to job-seekers.
- Meanwhile, Mike King and Edward Woolley examine (PDF) the effect of public investment on research and development, and find that it actually tends to "crowd in" more private innovation than would have happened otherwise. And SOS Crowns discusses the Sask Party's stubbornness in pushing private ownership and profit regardless of whether it makes any sense to do so - with liquor retailing serving as just the most recent example.

- Scott Sinclair and Stuart Trew ask why we're not seeing any meaningful discussion of the CETA now that we know exactly what's included. And Aaron Cosbey looks at the risks of the CETA and other new trade deals, including wording which may require that complicated issues be regulated simplistically:
There are also some areas that give cause for concern around sustainable development objectives. The chapter on domestic regulation obliges parties to make their licensing requirements – which could include environmental permissions and approvals – “as simple as possible” in their application to all economic activity of each other’s nationals or firms. This is an unqualified requirement that could be disastrously interpreted.
- The Economist offers a handy summary of the dangers of Dutch disease.

- Finally, Frances Webber notes that the Harper Cons are far from the only right-wing government looking to undermine the idea of human rights, as the UK Conservatives are looking at declaring that rights can be removed from anybody who falls out of favour with the government.

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