Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- The Courage Coalition discusses why economic justice is necessary for social equality. But Ed Finn writes that instead, Canada is pushing people into serfdom:
Today's big business executives are not so outspoken, at least not in public, but privately they could make the same boast. Their basic agenda is not that much different from that of their 19th-century forerunners, whom they envy and seek to emulate. And what's really scary is that they now have amassed almost as much of the political and economic power they need to recreate the "bad old days" of the industrial robber barons.
This flinthearted exploitation of child labour may never be repeated in Canada, mainly because there are so many children in poorer nations who can more easily be exploited. But don't rule out the possibility that much of our adult work force will be driven back into a modern-day version of serfdom. With our labour laws impaired and laxly enforced, with workers' unions and bargaining rights weakened, with well-paid manufacturing jobs being replaced by low-paid part-time or temporary work, the regression of our labour force into 19th-century-style servitude is far from a dystopian fantasy.

Canadians should take a good hard look back at the age of absolute corporate power that doomed millions to dire poverty and serfdom in the late 1800s. If they did, they might be more concerned about having to relive that blighted and benighted past -- and become active in the struggle to avert it. 
- And Andrew MacLeod reports on the CMHC's thorough rejection of Christy Clark's attempt to lock vulnerable people into housing prices they can't afford.

- Carolyn Ray writes that instead of doing anything to rein in the abuses of banks who are simultaneously slashing jobs and closing branches while raking into economy-distorting profits, the Libs are attacking the credit unions who offer the most important alternative source of financial services. 

- Finally, Ben Chapman writes about the results of Finland's test of a basic income - which finds that people with some basic economic security are actually showing a stronger inclination to seek out work. And Tom Parkin examines the federal NDP leadership candidates' respective plans to put an end to poverty - while highlighting the importance of recognizing that as a feasible and necessary goal.

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