Showing posts from July 11, 2014

College-Educated Americans Are Doing Better Only Because Everyone Else Is Doing Worse

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[Social mobility in the Age of Austerity for the 99%: Yay! My job sucks a bit less than your job! Mind you, college grads will be paying back debt year after year for this privilege. *RON*]

Myles Udland, Business Insider, 11 July 2014

College is expensive, but the income gap between college graduates and those without a degree has widened sharply in the last few years.

This chart from a presentation by Bill Emmons at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and alerted to us by guest author Invictus over at Barry Ritholtz's The Big Picture blog, shows the growing gap in income between those with at least a bachelor's degree and workers who haven't finished college.

"[I]t’s not so much that those with college degrees are doing particularly well, it’s that everyone else is doing significantly worse," wrote Invictus. "This is a stunner."

Emmons chart tracks incomes on an inflation-adjusted basis. Only the college-educated h…

Company tracks worker bathroom visits so it can punish people who need to pee too much

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[I have a friend who works in a food warehouse (also Teamsters) that has exactly these rules. Actually, this is only the tip of the iceberg where the "monitoring system" is concerned - every little action he makes during the work day is reported and recorded and disciplined as deemed fit by the employer. Welcome to 1984. *RON*]

FRI JUL 11, 2014 AT 12:34 PM PDT

byLaura Clawson for Daily Kos Labor, 11 July 2014

Here's an employer determined to squeeze every last drop of productivity out of its workers:
Members of the Teamsters Local 743 who build sink stations at WaterSaver Faucet Co. and its sister company Guardian Equipment Inc. said that workers have been disciplined for exceeding their allotted bathroom time of 30 minutes per week, or 6 minutes per workday. "They offered $1 per day for anyone who doesn’t go to the bathroom at all," said Nick Kreitman, senior business agent for Teamsters Local 743. So far, 19 people have …

Site C Dam: Fort St. John businessman isn’t buying economic promises

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[This article raises questions about the need for and the cost of this project - which, as with so many BC Liberal projects, is being rammed ahead at full speed with as little opportunity for public input as possible. My question is: to what extent is this being created to create tax-payer subsidized electricity for the fracking industry in the northeast? *RON*]
By Damien Gillis, Common Sense Canadian, 10 July 2014

Longtime Fort St. John businessman Bob Fedderly isn’t buying the economic benefits touted for the proposed Site C Dam.

The owner of Fedderly Transportation sat down with The Common Sense Canadian’s Damien Gillis at his office in Fort St. John last month to discuss the project, which would be located near Fort St. John, with an 80km reservoir stretching west to the town of Hudson’s Hope.

Among Fedderly’s biggest concerns are the boom-and-bust effects of project construction on his community, the impact it would have impact on already s…

Economy creates 25,000 new jobs, but all part time and unemployment rate rises

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[A) Such increase as there is, is all in benefit- and EI-free MacJobs, B) the unemployment rate is still rising, C) these statistics do not take under-employment into account, D) these statistics do not take into account people who have given up looking for work entirely, E) stock values, dividend payments and CEO pay have never been higher, but F) corporations are sitting on cash and failing to invest in creating new jobs while G) shrilling loudly about how the sky is falling because they are being hampered in creating ever-lower quality benefit- and EI-free MacJobs by restrictions on the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (see the following story). *RON*]

By Julian Beltrame, CP / Huffington Post, 07/11/2014

OTTAWA - Canada's official unemployment rate climbed to the highest level it's been in half a year in June, rising one-tenth of a point to 7.1 per cent as the Ontario economy shed 33,900 jobs in the month it was preparing to re-elect…

The Horror! Brent Rathgeber and the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce on the Nightmare of Too Few TFWs

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[Precisely so. Canadian policy and Canadian tax dollars should not be used to support business models that depend on creating pockets of the Third World within our borders. *RON*]

by David Climenhaga, Alberta Diary, 11 July 2014

St. ALBERT, Alberta

I have a challenge for Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce and all the other hysterics wailing about the disaster wrought by the federal government when it imposed some modest limitations on the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, some of which don’t apply to Alberta anyway.
Mr. Rathgeber and the local chamber here in the Edmonton bedroom community of St. Albert were in full flight last week about the horrors that await us if the TFW spigot isn’t turned back to full, posthaste.

“The situation is actually worse than I thought,” a horrified Mr. Rathgeber told the credulous local twice-weekly after his audience before the local Chamber of Horrors, I m…

Putting people before profit with a price on carbon

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[What caught my eye here is the finding that a revenue neutral carbon tax would be a net job creator. Mind you they will be different jobs than in the status quo ante, which will be an issue in need of a resolution. This needn't be problematic for politicians who are not in the pockets of particular employers. *RON*]
By Cheryl McNamara,, 10 July 2014

My week in late June began by shaking the hand of President Obama. It ended by interviewing First Nations and Métis living in the heart of the Athabasca Tar Sands.

I went from meeting the most sought after person in the world, whose every statement is analysed, to some of the most dismissed people, whose illnesses caused by the tar sands have been downplayed or ignored by government and the media.

My encounter with the President was pure fluke. I was on lunch break during the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s (CCL) Conference in Washington, D.C. when Obama made an appearance at the restaurant …

Canada Election 2015 Ads: Parties, Voters Get Ready For Media Blitz

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[One problem here is that Harper drastically cut public funding for political parties - precisely the opposite direction from where we should be headed. Because Conservatives are well-funded by their connections among the 1% they know they can comfortably out-spend all other parties if they reduce access to public funds for political campaigning. Campaign contributions should be restricted to private individuals only and tightly capped at that. The balance of some reasonable campaign budget should be funded out of the public purse, as is done in most of the rest of the world. This is an crucial method of ensuring that our democracy is not perpetually high-jacked by special interests. Visit Democracy Watch for many good ideas for how to improve campaign funding. *RON*]

By Jennifer Ditchburn, CP / Huffington Post, 07/10/2014

OTTAWA - If you thought you've seen that snippet of "in over his head" Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau stripping…

An 'Epic' LNG Battle Pits Squamish Against B.C. Liberals

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[I've sent an email to Justin Trudeau's MP email address asking if the Canadian Liberal Party can force the BC party to change it's name. *RON*]

G. Elijah Dann, Huffington Post, 10 July 2014

A few months ago in Squamish, B.C., the city brought up a consultant to help "brand" a new slogan for us. A big whack of coin later, what did they come up with their first kick at the can?


It now looks like it might indeed have been a very good choice. But for none of the reasons the branding committee would've imagined. Or wanted.

As it turns out, because of a number of events transpiring (or better, conspiring) in the past few months, little 'ole Squamish is now facing an actual scenario of "epic proportions."

Without hyperbole, this unfolding epic tale unveils a formidable trinity of foes: climate change, the power of the BC Liberal government, and the fossil fuel industry in the form of a multi-billion d…

The TPP Censorship Circus Could Change The Way We Use The Internet Forever

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[The stealth state, hard at work controlling the massiest of all mass media, the Internet while, as usual, concerning themselves solely with protecting the interests of corporations. *RON*]

Steve E. Anderson, Founder and Executive Director,, Huffington Post, 10 July 2014

The bureaucrats and industry lobbyists negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership have gone to great lengths to keep their plans a secret before, but this takes the cake. After scheduling the next round of bargaining for Vancouver, negotiators quietly made a last minute switch to Ottawa with only a week to go before the round began.

The TPP is an international agreement involving Canada and 11 other countries, involving 40 per cent of the global economy, that threatens to censor free expression online amongst other concerns spanning environmental protections, jobs, public health, and even our democratic rights.

Throughout this week in Ottawa, negotiators worked to ink…

Study cites 'chill' from tax agency audits of charities' political activities

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[A budget of $13.1 million over five years plus $1.7 million annually thereafter. Our tax dollars, which will never, ever be used to help, protect or serve Canadians or our environment. Here are some of the criteria for fascism from Laurence W. Britt's article Fascism Anyone?:
Disdain for the importance of human rights.Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.A controlled mass media.Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. See also Tax Audits On Canadian Charities Widen, Criticized As 'Bullying Tactic'*RON*]
By Dean Beeby, CP / Huffington Post, 07/10/2014

OTTAWA - The Harper government's "ramp-up of anti-activist rhetoric," as it's been called, has drawn criticism in media and academic circles since 2012, but the targets themselves — environmental charities and others — have been muted and self-censored.

That's largely because they've been subject to new, high-stakes tax audits into their polit…