Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Duncan Cameron discusses how deficit hysteria has overshadowed the far more important issues raised by the Trudeau Libs' inaugural budget:
Ottawa deficit spending is not big enough to stimulate an economy lagging since the oil price collapse. The Canadian economy has suffered a major external shock, with Alberta taking a big hit.

The rise of precarious work indicates serious disguised unemployment.

A slack economy with many people wanting full-time work calls out for additional spending. Governments need to boost their own contribution to general well-being.
The Trudeau Liberals have postponed infrastructure spending and reneged on promised social spending. The NDP have identified 10 ways in which the 2016 Liberal budget falls short in meeting election promises, including not delivering on promised home care.

Importantly, the Trudeau budget does not say how the Liberal government plans to address the elimination by Stephen Harper of annual six per cent increases in health-care transfers to the provinces.

Indeed, the 2016 budget raises problems for both municipalities and provinces. Federal-provincial financial arrangements need to be updated after years of neglect by Ottawa of co-operation with other levels of government.
- Andy Blatchford points out another broken promise in the budget, as funding to encourage the hiring of young workers is nowhere to be found. Tim Harper writes about the Libs' turnaround on providing personal information to the IRS. And Thomas Walkom notes that the Libs are secretly encouraging employers to import temporary foreign workers despite the growing number of Canadians in need of work.

- Sujata Day discusses the Libs' glaring rejection of meaningful public consultation on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And even Michael Den Tandt pauses briefly from cheerleading for corporate control to point out their failure to make any case for the TPP.

- Josh Eidelson highlights the move toward increased minimum wages as a key example of the labour movement reasserting its strength in the U.S.

- Finally, Andre Picard argues that our current lack of social supports for seniors is unacceptable. And Ryan Meili examines the party platforms on offer in Saskatchewan's election from the standpoint of healthy politics.

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