Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Murray Dobbin is hopeful that we may be seeing corporate globalization based on unquestioned neoliberal ideology come to an end:
There is no definitive way to identify when an ideology begins to lose its grip on the public discourse but could this clear resistance (it is even more developed and vociferous in EU countries) be the beginning of the end of corporate globalization? I am not suggesting that developed countries' governments are going to suddenly return to the good old days of the post-war social contract. But what has allowed them to proceed for three decades with political impunity has been the power of ideology to overwhelm evidence and reason. Neoliberalism has enjoyed hegemonic status for so long it has been almost impossible for ordinary citizens to imagine anything different. But now they can -- not just because of political outliers Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but because of Hillary Clinton, who has been a steadfast supporter of neoliberal policies, including free trade, throughout her political career.

Once members of the political elite begin to question the high priests of free trade, the spell is broken, and all sorts of alternative political narratives present themselves. It takes an accumulation of unlikely suspects breaking with the consensus before that happens and we have already seen some high-profile defectors from the TPP -- including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, economist Jeffrey Sachs and in Canada RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie. At first the Teflon seemed to hold, but there is always a time lag when it comes to cultural change and their interventions are still playing out.
- Meanwhile, Jordan Weissmann discusses the IMF's new report finding that neoliberal policies have delivered nothing close to what was promised - though Alexander Kentikelenis, Thomas Stubbs and Lawrence King note that the IMF itself has failed even in enforcing even its own insufficient commitments to social protection.

- Laura Benson points out that there's a direct connection between donations to the B.C. Libs and policies allowing mining corporations to avoid liability for environmental damage (along with other political perks). And Jordan Press reports on the conclusion by federal auditors that corporate contractors have been overpaid by over $100 million over the past three years, mostly in "excessive profits", while Trevor Zimmerman (for Friends of Medicare) highlights how private clinics are siphoning off public money while undermining our universal health care system. 

- Tom Cooper and Trish Hennessy discuss the promising growth of the living wage movement. And David Bush writes about the importance of a fair minimum wage for all workers.

- Finally, Dominique Mosbergen reports on the passage of "right to disconnect" legislation in France allowing for employees to have their off-work time to themselves. And the Canadian Labour Congress has launched a new campaign to allow Canadian workers to retire with a secure and sufficient CPP pension.

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