Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Peter Gowan discusses UK Labour's push for greater social control over economic development. And Rainer Kattel, Mariana Mazzucato, Josh Ryan-Collins and Simon Sharpe set out a useful framework to evaluate policies which are intended to shape markets rather than merely attempting to fix them.

- Anis Heydari reports on the choice far too many Albertans face between food and housing when neither is affordable. And Glen Pearson comments on how poverty can trap people in a cycle of deprivation and pessimism:
What do kids in low-income situations do, for instance, when school is out? For many, camps are beyond reach because of the expense, vacations to other regions virtually impossible, and for some, hunger pangs will increase with the loss of school breakfast and feeding programs. It’s a sad irony of our times that agricultural growing seasons flourish at the same time as kids go more hungry than usual.

For working parents pressed down with precarious or vulnerable work, inquiring as to what their plans are for the summer can prove to be a moment of insensitivity. They possess no cottage, boat, travel agenda or, for some, even a car. They can enjoy the sun like everyone else, but not in those more exotic locations most citizens can get to.

This is what modern-day poverty looks like — not just a lack of resources but also a loss of hope.
It is this psychological state that presents democracy and politicians with one of their greatest challenges because there seem to be no solutions if the economic status quo prevails. And those losing faith in their future are frequently working adults, trapped in vulnerable employment, unable to escape their situation.
The longer we put off pressing for change, the closer the tentacles of poverty come to us. We all know people in our neighbourhoods and among our friends and families who have become increasingly vulnerable to low-income pressures, despite their best efforts to retrain, finish their education and work unbearable hours. There is more of this to come.
- But on the bright side, Matt Robinson reports on Vancouver's action to expropriate slum hotels to ensure they can be properly maintained and made available for people who need the housing. And Cami Kepke reports on a push by several Regina city councillors to stop further commercial development in Wascana Park. 

- Finally, Michael Harris weighs in on Doug Ford's choice to impose chaos on Toronto's municipal governance.

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