Showing posts from December 17, 2014

B.C. government approves Site C dam

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[This is not only unnecessary, it is positively harmful. Eventually it will come out as to who is friends with whom over this deal. *RON*]
Derrick, West Coast Native News, 16 December 2014

B.C. has approved the $8 billion Site C dam — a massive hydro-electric project that would flood a large area of the Peace River Valley in northeastern, B.C.

In making the announcement, Premier Christy Clark said the Site C Clean Energy Project will provide B.C. residents with a reliable source of power for the next 100 years for the least cost to the taxpayer.

“Affordable, reliable, clean electricity is the backbone of British Columbia’s economy,” said Clark. “Site C will support our quality of life for decades to come and will enable continued investment and a growing economy.”

Energy Minister Bill Bennett said B.C.’s electricity rates are the third lowest in North America and the fourth lowest for commercial and industrial users.

But he said B.C.’s population is e…

Emerging markets dive following contagion from Russia

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[The collapse of the Russian rouble and worries about the US Federal Reserve have hit developing markets, as investors look to move their capital into safer harbours. *RON*]

 By Ben Martin, The Telegraph, 16 December 2014
A sell-off that has engulfed emerging markets accelerated on Tuesday after investors balked at the crisis in Russia and dumped currencies, bonds and stocks across the developing world.

Brazil’s real dropped to its weakest level in almost 10 years against the US dollar after the collapse of the Russian rouble spurred on a wider emerging market rout, as investors sought refuge in safe-haven assets.

Countries such as Turkey, an importer of oil that should benefit from the plunge in crude prices, were also hit, with the lira weakening to a record low against the dollar during intraday trading.

India, another oil importer, saw the rupee fall to its lowest level in more than a year.

Stock markets in Dubai and Saudi Arabia both lost 7.3pc,…

As China’s Economy Slows, So Too Does Growth in Workers’ Wages

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[Massive growth in the Chinese economy has been one of the reasons why income inequality deniers have been able to say that inequality is slowing down on a global scale - now that rationale is evaporating. *RON*]

— Chun Han Wong, Wall Street Journal, 17 December 2014
Growth in minimum-wage levels across China appeared to have slowed this year, amid low inflation rates and a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, a labor watchdog says.

Just 20 of the 32 Chinese provinces and regions tracked by China Labor Bulletin raised their statutory minimum wages so far in 2014, fewer than the 27 areas that lifted base pay levels last year, according to report published Tuesday by the Hong Kong-based group.

The latest data also marked a third-straight year of decelerating minimum-wage growth, according to China Labor Bulletin.

In 2014, the 20 regions that have boosted their minimum wages did so by an average of 13%, lower than the average 17% seen last ye…

Joseph Stiglitz: Economics Has to Come to Terms with Wealth and Income Inequality

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[A good interview with Joe Stiglitz, getting at root causes very ably. *RON*]
by Lynn Parramore, Institute for New Economic Thinking, 16 December 2014

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has been writing about America’s economically divided society since the 1960s. His recent book, The Price of Inequality, argues that this division is holding the country back, a topic he has also explored in research supported by the Institute. On December 4th, Stigltiz chaired the eighth Institute for New Economic Thinking Seminar Series at Columbia University, in which he presented a paper, "New Theoretical Perspectives on the Distribution of Income and Wealth Among Individuals.” In the interview that follows, Stiglitz explores the themes of this paper, the work of Thomas Piketty, and the need for the field of economics to come to terms with the growing gulf between haves and have-nots.

Lynn Parramore: You’ve mentioned that economic inequality was the subject of…

Opinion: Income inequality not a problem in Canada

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[This is like saying we are the brightest child in an extraordinarily dull class. Most people fail to realize how bad the situation is. As of today, the top 20% still hold 70% of Canada's wealth and BC still has the worst child poverty record in Canada. Our regressive tax system has been made even worse by the introduction of income splitting. Finlayson is trying to justify getting an bigger slice of the pie for corporate welfare queens and access to slave labour via the Temporary Foreign Workers program through his job as a lobbyist. *RON*]

By Jock Finlayson, Vancouver Sun, 16 December 2014
Canada has long been known as a country that promotes the values of equity and fairness within our society. That helps to explain why the issue of economic inequality resonates with the media and among many of our political leaders. With a federal election expected sometime in 2015, inequality is sure to get more attention in the months ahead.

Globally, co…

Austerity measures don't line up with real-world evidence

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[The only comment posted to the original article at the time I looked basically said, "Oh, well, facts! I still follow my ideology and replace your reality with my fantasy!" *RON*]
Richard Goldman, Montreal Gazette, 16 December 2014
Lawyer Peter Blaikie provides a lot more heat than light with respect to Quebec government finances and austerity (“Something’s gotta give” Opinion, Dec. 10). In fact, breaking with the most basic principles taught in law school, Blaikie provides no real evidence to back up his claims, simply insulting those with opposing views as living in “LaLaLand.” However, given that Blaikie does set out some of the most common viewpoints of those who favour austerity, it may be useful to look at how they stand up to actual evidence (the online edition of this article contains links to all information sources):

We’re on the brink of fiscal disaster: Blaikie claims that “Public finances here are deficit-ridden wasteland;”…

Kinder Morgan holds few benefits

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[It's not well known just how small oil and gas is in terms of employment. I particularly enjoyed the comparison between tar sands job and beer jobs: "Maybe what we need is a beer pipeline"? *RON*]

by Liz McDowell, (CRED) Conversations for Responsible Economic Development, 16 December 2014

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks up on Burnaby Mountain. In a high-stakes stand-off late last month, hundreds of protestors clashed daily with Kinder Morgan surveyors over the company’s right to test drill in a city park. The Burnaby RCMP arrested over 100 grandmothers, First Nations leaders, Clayoquot Sound veterans and other local residents for stepping over what turned out to be a fictitious line (somebody needs to check their darn GPS), and local politicians in Burnaby declared war on the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

Now that Kinder Morgan surveyors have packed up their machinery and the hubbub has died down, it’s …

Federal Court of Appeal won't hear Burnaby's case against Kinder Morgan

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[It seems that the courts don't want to stand up and be counted on this issue. The judge gave no reasons. The City is asking the B.C. Supreme Court to reconsider instead. *RON*]

Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now, 15 December 2014
The City of Burnaby has hit another legal roadblock in the fight against Kinder Morgan. Burnaby is caught between two levels of court, neither of which are willing to hear the city's case against the pipeline company.

On Friday, the city received news that the Federal Court of Appeal is refusing to hear Burnaby's appeal challenging the National Energy Board order that allowed Kinder Morgan to conduct survey work on Burnaby Mountain. The work was done against the city's wishes and in violation of local bylaws against cutting down trees in public parks. Burnaby's lawyer Greg McDade told the NOW the federal court will not hear Burnaby's appeal, but the judge gave no reasons.

"We don't know why. I…