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Showing posts from September 6, 2014

Has Canada stalled?

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["While Canada is far from becoming a nation of part-time workers, these numbers are not what one would expect to see during a period of robust growth." *RON*]
Matthew C Klein , Financial Post Alphaville Blogs, 5 September 2014

The latest Canadian jobs data certainly make it seem so. Perhaps the better question is: has the Canadian economy already hit its peak for this cycle?

Some highlights we dug out from the guts of the report:

Total Canadian employment has only increased by 0.5 per cent over the past 12 months, compared to about 1.5-2 per cent in the US.

This meagre growth has been unevenly distributed, however. The number of Canadian men aged 25 and older with a job increased by 1.2 per cent over the past 12 months while the number of women aged 25 and older with a job actually fell by 0.1 per cent.

Over the past 12 months, Canada has lost private sector jobs. More than all of the net employment growth has come from the public sect…

Shock new poll says Scots set to vote yes to independence

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["'No' campaign to offer radical deal as latest figures show 51-49% backing for end of the union." The polls are, in fact, so close that the differences are within the margin of error, but emotions are running high with the referendum now less than two weeks away. *RON*]
Toby Helm and Daniel BoffeyThe Observer, 6 September 2014
The people of Scotland are to be offered a historic opportunity to devise a federal future for their country before next year's general election, it emerged on Saturday night, as a shock new poll gave the campaign for independence a narrow lead for the first time.

Amid signs of panic and recrimination among unionist ranks about the prospects of a yes vote on 18 September, the Observer has learned that a devolution announcement designed to halt the nationalist bandwagon is due to be made within days by the anti-independence camp.

The plan, in the event of a no vote, is that people from all parts of Sco…

Hillary Clinton Praises a Guy With Lots of Blood on His Hands

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["In lauding Henry Kissinger, the possible Democratic presidential nominee goes far beyond her usual hawkish rhetoric." As the article notes, her agenda is to seem 'tough enough' to run for president. But between Hillary and BeyoncĂ©, feminism is being twisted into a concept where it really means successfully becoming part of the 0.1%, the wealthy and powerful good old boys club. Compare this with Nel Noddings' views in Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. *RON*]

By David Corn, Mother Jones, 5 September 2014

Hillary Clinton often plays the hawk card: She voted for the Iraq war, dissed President Barack Obama for not being tough enough on Syria, and compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler. This is to be expected from a politician who has angled for a certain title: the first female president of the United States. Whether her muscular views are sincerely held or not, a conventional political calculation wou…

US wealth gap widens, says Fed

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[I just like how this is "news" to the Fed! *RON*]
By Veronica Cruz, Market Business News, September 5, 2014

The US wealth gap has widened, says the Federal Reserve in a new report, with the richest Americans enjoying 10% pre-tax income gains during the economic rebound while median earnings declined for everybody else.

The Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances reported that from 2010 to 2013, median income adjusted for inflation increased by 2% to $223,200 for the richest 10% of households. For the bottom three quintiles (bottom 60%), however, median incomes declined significantly, as they had done during the 2007-2010 period.

During the economic recovery, household wealth and incomes have become progressively stratified, partly due to growth in the housing and stock markets that have been bolstered by the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program.

For workers though, progress has been painfully slow, with salaries remaining unchanged for a large pro…

How Corrupt Are Our Politics?

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[A lengthy but interesting review of "Corruption in America." New York Review of Books is great, since one could not possibly find the time to read all the excellent books out there. "Teachout convincingly argues that corruption, broadly understood as placing private interests over the public good in public office, is at the root of what ails American democracy." *RON*]

David Cole, The New York Review of Books, SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 ISSUE

Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United, by Zephyr Teachout, Harvard University Press, 376 pp., $29.95
1.

When New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo was elected in 2010, he promised to restore integrity to state government. Two and half years later, as several state legislators were indicted for bribes, and perhaps just as importantly, as Cuomo’s reelection loomed, he did what many politicians do when faced with a vexing problem: he appointed a commission. In July 2…