Showing posts from March 23, 2016

Federal budget 2016: Highlights of Bill Morneau's first budget


Immigrants Beat Canadians At Starting Businesses: StatsCan

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[Just look at those darned immigrants, taking our jobs away! Maybe not so much? Or maybe you're actually working for one? *RON*]
By Jesse Ferreras, Huffington Post, 22 March 2016
Immigrants have beaten Canadians at entrepreneurship over the past three decades, says a report by Statistics Canada.

And it offers more proof that Syrian refugees could be good for Canada's economy in the long run.

The StatsCan report, which was compiled in partnership with researchers at UBC and the Institute for Research in Public Policy, is the first to address "business ownership and job-creation activities of immigrants," it says.

Its main finding was that immigrants, including refugees, tend to surpass Canadians at private business ownership and self-employment — proportionally, anyway.

America's Two-Party System Is Strange

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[My friend Richard and I were talking about this just the other day. I said I didn't think they were about to change their system. What do you think? *RON*]

Jonathan Scott, Huffington Post, 22 March 2016

There's a great scene in The West Wing when Alan Alda's character, the Republican nominee, remarks, "If this were Europe, the Republican Party would be three parties." The Republican National Committee chairman retorts, "Thank goodness they don't have to sleep together. They just have to show up on the same day and vote Republican."

How relevant these words seem today in the age of Donald Trump.

The "big tent" factor of both American parties and the constraints of the "winner-take-all" presidency makes for some particularly strange bedfellows. But is the two-party system under attack this election cycle? It certainly seems so -- and it could well be to Secretary Hillary Clinton's advantage.

Laid-off By Oil Sands, Alberta Trades Seek Solar Relaunch

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[A fantastic concept. Worker-led initiative forms to retrain 1,000 idled electricians, boilermakers and others. I've left a note on the original article to see if anyone knows if they are receiving any federal and/or provincial support for this project. They certainly should be! And, perhaps more to the point, are they getting any support from the tar sands? *RON*]

By Mychaylo Prystupa,, 21 Mar 2016
Boilermaker Lliam Hildebrand admits he's been living a "double life."

The Victoria native grew up enjoying Vancouver Island's natural beauty and developed a passion for the environment. But unable to find work in his desired field of renewable energy, he applied his training for years in what may be the most controversial industry on the continent: Canada's oil sands.

"When I entered the trade, I didn't have any understanding of climate change and the impact my trade is having on the world," Hildebrand …

Nixon Policy Advisor Admits He Invented War On Drugs to Suppress 'Anti-War Left and Black People'

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[I don't think I'm naive. This is horrible and shocking. *RON*]

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Jezebel, 22 March 2016

Dan Baum, writing in support of drug legalization at Harper’s, has unleashed a frank 1994 quote from former Nixon policy advisor John Ehrlichman, and as inadvertently salient an argument for legalizing drugs as any I’ve ever seen: At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to asso…

America's explosion of income inequality, in one amazing animated chart

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[See the animated GIF, below, especially on the squeezing of the lower middle class... *RON*]

By Michael Hiltzik, LA Times, 20 March 2016

Defenders of the economic status quo in America continue to assert that economic inequality (1) doesn't exist, (2) isn't as bad as you think, or (3) is actually good for everybody.

That's despite empirical evidence that the gap between the rich and the middle class is wide and growing and that the trend is hollowing out the middle class, as well as sociological findings of its corrosive effect on society and politics. Among the "grave moral consequences of widening inequality in an environment of modest growth" identified by political economist Benjamin M. Friedman in 2009, for instance, are "racial and religious discrimination, antipathy toward immigrants, [and] lack of generosity toward the poor"--all features of our current campaign landscape.

The distribution of adults by incom…