Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Martha Friendly examines what a "national child care program" actually means. And Jim Stanford makes a compelling economic case as to why Canada needs one:
In the case of early childhood education, however, this standard claim of government “poverty” is exactly backwards.  Because there is overwhelming and credible economic evidence that investing in universal ECE programs is actually a money-maker for governments.  In this case, the argument is truly not whether government can afford to provide universal quality care.  In reality, especially at a moment in history when economists worry about long-run fiscal capacity and future labour supply, it is clear that governments cannot afford to ignore any longer this pressing economic and social priority.

The economic benefits of a universal public child care program can be grouped into four broad categories:
  1. Positive impact on women’s labour force participation and employment.
  2. Direct and indirect job-creation associated with the provision of child care services.
  3. Improvements in household and family financial well-being.
  4. Superior child development, resulting in better health, employment, income, and community outcomes in future years.
Various economists have considered each of these classes of economic benefits, and attempted to measure the positive employment, income, and GDP effects generated through all of these channels.  Their combined effect makes it undeniable that providing quality, accessible child care services leaves the economy, society, and government in better shape.
- Christopher Hume comments on the loss of ability to act in the public interest when governments privatize public assets and operations. And Michael Geist weighs in on the enormous concessions the Cons made in an unsuccessful attempt to foist the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Canada before the election campaign began.

- Warren Bell worries about Stephen Harper's dystopian vision for our country, while Michael Harris points out that Harper doesn't have much to pitch to supporters other than to ask them to suspend their disbelief. And Linda Solomon Wood and Jenny Uechl report on secret hearings being held in response to revelations about coordinated interference with environmental groups. 

- Paul Willcocks argues that campaign coverage should better inform voters about the big picture behind their electoral choices, rather than being limited to repeating lines from scripted political theatre. And Kalina Laframboise reports on one effort by Concordia students to get young voters to the polls.

- Finally, Crawford Kilian takes note of the rise of left populism around the world, and argues that Canada's progressive parties would do well to adopt that theme rather than apologizing for inequality and corporate control.

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