Showing posts from April 24, 2016

Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers

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[What is your labor worth? How more people are making money without contributing anything of value. *RON*]

By Rutger Bregman, Evonomics, 21 April 2016

Thick fog envelops City Hall Park at daybreak on February 2, 1968. Seven thousand New York City sanitation workers stand crowded together, their mood rebellious. Union spokesman John DeLury addresses the multitude from the roof of a truck. When he announces that the mayor has refused further concessions, the crowd’s anger threatens to boil over. As the first rotten eggs sail overhead, DeLury realizes the time for compromise is over. It’s time to take the illegal route, the path prohibited to sanitation workers for the simple reason that the job they do is too important.

It’s time to strike.

The next day, trash goes uncollected throughout the Big Apple. Nearly all the city’s garbage crews have stayed home. “We’ve never had prestige, and it never bothered me before,” one garbageman is quoted in a local…

Carbon Pricing Becomes a Cause for the World Bank and I.M.F.

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[The devil lies both in the details (too low a price does no good) and in the enforcement - how many environmental agreements have been signed that aren't worth the paper they're printed on? This isn't even a non-binding non-agreement; it's just a fond wish, warmly expressed. *RON*]

By Coral Davenport, New York Times, 23 April 2016

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are pressing governments to impose a price tag on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, using economic leverage and technical assistance that institutions like the United Nations cannot muster.

The campaign by two of the largest international lenders comes as world leaders have begun to sign the Paris agreement on climate change, the United Nations accord that is supposed to commit nearly every country to take action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The document opened for signatures on Friday and will remain open for a year.

But the leaders of the…

Canada's Oil And Gas Job Losses Will Be Huge In 2016: Report

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[And the price of gas will come down by half, when? And Trudeau will make an appropriately sized investment in the alternative energy industry in Alberta, when? *RON*]
By Jesse Ferreras, 23 April 2016, Huffington Post

Canada's oil and gas industry could see major job reductions this year. But not all is lost.

The sector stands to lose 16,530 jobs, according to optimistic estimates; but less optimistic projections see the industry shedding as many as 24,425 jobs in 2016, says areport by PetroLMI, a Calgary-based body that gathers labour market data on the petroleum sector.

Those declines would come on top of 28,145 jobs that were lost in 2015. Both years will have seen drops of 12 per cent if the most pessimistic estimates are born out.

The losses will sting hardest in Alberta, the centre of Canada's oil and gas industry, where as many as 16,855 jobs could disappear this year.

Meanwhile, B.C. could lose up to 2,140 jobs, Saskatchewan coul…

Another European city will experiment with giving people unconditional free money

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[The Swiss are holding a referendum, Utrecht is doing a trial, as will Ontario, and Finland has expressed an interest. *RON*]

Will Martin, Business Insider, 19 April 2016

Lausanne is joining the growing list of places looking to experiment with a universal basic income.

Politicians in Lausanne — a city of around 150,000 people in Switzerland — have adopted a motion to carry out a pilot scheme for basic income in the city.

Lausanne's city council has taken on a non legally-binding motion for the experiment, passing it by 39 votes to 37 last week, the Basic Income Earth Network reports.

There aren't any concrete details yet about how any pilot scheme would work, other than that it would be similar to the experiment planned in Utrecht in the Netherlands.

It would only include a small sample of Lausanne's population, and require funding from regional and national governments.

The Green Unreality Show

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[Politicians from 175 countries, including Trudeau, agree to keep doing whatever they intended to do anyway. *RON*]

 By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal, 22 April 2016

The climate deal negotiated in Paris and signed in New York Friday is not a treaty. It is not enforceable against the U.S. or anybody else. It waves vaguely at the idea of a $100 billion adjustment fund for poorer countries, to be filled in later by somebody else, maybe.

Like all such international agreements, it’s a giant PR exercise designed to put a global imprimatur on what domestic politicians want to do anyway. In China and India, that’s grow their energy output any way they can. In President Obama’s case, it’s continue to dish out green mandates and subsidies that please his entourage.

Economist Bruce Yandle coined the term bootleggers and Baptists for political coalitions of true believers and their more self-interested fellow travelers. The climate movement is t…

German finance minister objects to tax transparency proposals

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[He can still say this with a straight face in the wake of Mossack Fonseca: politicians and corporations are all the 1%. The corporations say "Jump" and the German finance minister asks "How high would you like?" *RON*]

Jim Brunsden, Financial Times, 23 April 2016

EU plans to force multinational companies to publicly reveal the taxes they pay in different countries have hit a political obstacle as German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble expressed strong concerns about the measure.

“Sometimes there is a contradiction between transparency and efficiency,” Mr Schäuble said at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Amsterdam on Saturday. “We have to be cautious about lining someone up to be pilloried publicly.”

Schäuble added that Germany’s regional governments, which have an important say over tax policy, are firmly against the proposal.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chaired the meeting, acknowledged that EU na…