- Ed Finn comments on the history of neoliberalism - but notes that while the public is rightly skeptical of corporate spin, that awareness hasn't yet translated into a strong alternative:
(S)cores of well-known thinkers, writers, economists, and activists have vociferously denounced the many abuses of large business empires driven by their greed and unchecked power. The upsurge of Occupy Wall Street, Idle No More, and other public protest movements have all specifically targeted the big investment firms, banks, and other corporate giants.- Meanwhile, Jason Stahl makes the case for a socialist think tank to put workers' interests on a more level playing field with the corporate voices amplified by dozens of well-funded astroturf organizations.
Corporations and their CEOs are now commonly portrayed as villains in movies, TV shows, and books. The proliferation of insider trading and other "white-collar" crimes make front-page news. Many thousands of people have had a personal bad experience with an insurance or investment firm. And most are now also aware that the worst pollution of the environment comes from the chemicals and effluents spewed out by the big industrial complexes.
The majority of the populace realizes that there is something seriously wrong with the prevailing political and economic systems. They may not trace their unemployment, low wages, or shoddy living conditions to the inequities of laissez-faire capitalism, but they know that sweeping changes of some kind need to be made.
So it's clear now that simply exposing big business atrocities will have no deterrent effects, either by governments or the corporate scoundrels themselves. Even the opposition parties in our legislatures rarely, if ever, mention corporate malfeasance during election campaigns or Question Periods. And since the politicians we vote for are the only ones with the authority to stop the titans of capitalism from further impoverishing billions, worsening inequality, and eventually wrecking the planet, we find ourselves at an impasse.
- Lana Payne notes that the effort assembled in response to the Fort McMurray fire offers a reminder of the power and positive effect of collective action.
- Andrew Jackson discusses how a transition to clean energy could form the basis for a global economic recovery. And Bartley Kives offers a bleak look at how our climate could change in the absence of such a shift - with the Canadian prairies taking on the dry, stifling climate patterns now associated with the southern U.S.
- Finally, Karl Nerenberg highlights how the Libs are refusing to allow for a fair study of electoral reform. And PressProgress points out that if the Libs are at all serious about gender equity, they should be ruling out preferential or ranked ballots as options.