Sunday, November 01, 2015

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Lana Payne surveys some of the glaring warning signs about the Trans-Pacific Partnership for anybody who thinks a government's job is to further the interests of citizens rather than corporations:
These deals are no longer about free trade. Rather, as I pointed out in my last column, they are about negotiating “managed investors’ rights” deals on behalf of the world’s most powerful corporations.

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winning economist, has pointed out these new trade agreements “are becoming particularly bad. It used to be that trade agreements were negotiated over tariffs … the consumers gained. The new agreements are about getting rid of regulations. We’re talking about regulation over the environment, safety, economy, health. The consumers, who are not at the table, get screwed.”

So why are our governments doing this? Why would they trade away some of their own power to enact laws that protect the citizens of their respective countries or weaken their ability to act in the best interests of their countries?

It is clear that too many governments have been co-opted by global corporations. The question is will Canada’s new federal government act to change this, or will its record mirror that of the government they just replaced who, despite signing multiple trade agreements, had the worst exports record of any government since the Second World War?
- But sadly (if predictably), Justin Trudeau has decided to ignore serious concerns about the loss of democratic authority and citizens' interests, and instead cheerlead for the TPP.

- Meanwhile, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff offer a detailed and revealing look into the use of arbitration clauses to prevent consumers from having any realistic avenue of relief against corporate abuses.

- Andrew Jackson, David Climenhaga and Naomi Lakritz each look at the Alberta NDP's first budget and find a far more responsible government than the province ever had under the previous PC dynasty.

- Raquel Fletcher reports on the continued scourge of poverty in Saskatchewan (which still isn't being addressed by the Wall government). And Kirsten Downer offers a look at what life looks like in Sweden compared to less equal countries, while Henry Aaron points out how a more progressive tax system can rein in inequality while also boosting social outcomes.

- Finally, for a few more noteworthy takes on the NDP's federal election campaign (if not necessarily ones with which I agree entirely), see what Duncan Cameron, Bill Tieleman, Nora Loreto, Fraser Needham and Tom Parkin have had to say.

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