Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Ben Chu reports on a new study showing that the UK's economy is broken in failing to translate GDP gains into any help for workers whose wages are falling. And the Canadian Press reports on the latest survey showing how many Canadians are just barely getting by in the face of unsustainable personal debt levels:
A new survey by the Canadian Payroll Association suggests nearly half of workers are living paycheque to paycheque due to soaring spending and debt levels.

The poll found that 47 per cent of respondents said it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their paycheque was delayed by even a single week.

The survey, which polled 4,766 Canadian employees between June 27 and Aug. 5, also found that 35 per cent said they feel overwhelmed by their level of debt.

For the first time in the survey's nine-year history, more respondents found mortgages on principal residences the most difficult debt to pay down, with 32 per cent of respondents selecting this option compared to 23 per cent who cited credit card debt.

Results from the poll indicate that the primary reason for increased debt is higher overall spending. Of the major reasons for increased spending, 32 per cent of respondents pointed to higher living expenses while 25 per cent mentioned unexpected expenses.
- Stephen Gordon writes that the Libs should be able to ensure that the wealthy pay at least a bit more tax to ensure stronger social supports. And Aalya Ahmad argues that the labour movement should renew its push to reduce the work week expected of workers.

- Stephen Tweedale discusses how a NAFTA provision reining in the U.S.' anti-labour laws would make eminent sense in order to ensure fairer trade.

- CBC reports on Food Secure Canada's efforts to establish a national school nutrition program.

- Finally, Nancy Krieger discusses the dangerous health effects of structural racism. And Hilary Beaumont finds that the Libs' promises to fix just one aspect of discrimination against First Nations (the lack of safe water) have seen plenty of shiny announcements paired with backsliding in terms of actual drinking water advisories.

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