Showing posts from October 1, 2016

Robert Reich Has a Startling Formula for Helping to Fix Poverty

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[Universal Basic Income as a solution to under-employment and poverty. *RON*]

By Robert / AlterNet, 29 September 2016

Imagine a little gadget called an i-Everything. You can’t get it yet, but if technology keeps moving as fast as it is now, the i-Everything will be with us before you know it.

A combination of intelligent computing, 3-D manufacturing, big data crunching, and advanced bio-technology, this little machine will be able to do everything you want and give you everything you need.

There’s only one hitch. As the economy is now organized, no one will be able to buy it, because there won’t be any paying jobs left. You see, the i-Everything will do … everything.

We’re heading toward the i-Everything far quicker than most people realize. Even now, we’re producing more and more with fewer and fewer people.

Internet sales are on the way to replacing millions of retail workers. Diagnostic apps will be replacing hundreds of tho…

Which broken Liberal promise most reminds you of Stephen Harper?

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[Ain't it the (sad) truth? *RON*]

If Gerry Caplan is right, the shine is starting to wear off Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals. This week, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna approved the controversial Pacific Northwest LNG plant in British Columbia, enraging environmentalists and Indigenous leaders who trusted Trudeau when he promised a new deal for Canada's First Nations and real action on climate change.

We suspected from election day that Trudeau's promises were far from ironclad (timely then that our Parliamentary Correspondent Karl Nerenberg returns this month). The Liberal Party, and particularly Trudeau who currently stands unchallenged by the two leaderless parties facing him in the House, have enjoyed high approval ratings in the polls. But with this latest flip-flop, the broken promises are starting to stack up.

Maybe you're sad about some of them. Maybe (probably) some of them make you pretty angry. Maybe …

'Backwards' tax system, zoning undermines affordable housing

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[U.S. cities better at giving locals advantage over foreign buyers. I heard about this story from my friend Glen, then saw it this morning in my local paper. *RON*]

Jeff Nagal, Tri City News, 29 September 2016

B.C.'s crisis of high real estate prices is largely self-inflicted, according to a leading housing expert who on Tuesday urged cities and the province to embark on major reforms to deter rich foreign buyers and support local workers.

"We're the victims of overseas capital markets, but we're inviting it," UBC associate economics professor Tom Davidoff told delegates at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Victoria. "We have a big 'Kick Me' sign on our back."

Davidoff argued that city councils are too easily swayed by homeowners, particularly in affluent neighbourhoods, who oppose what he calls reasonable density in the form of townhouses that would provide much more housing supply. The res…

Why is the U.S. Big Pharma lobby sponsoring a conference on the future of health care in Canada?

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[An excellent question. Kiddies, can you say "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)"? *RON*]
By Michael Butler,, 30 September 2016
Over the past two days, a major health care summit has taken place in Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier Hotel. The summit, titled "A New Health Accord for All Canadians," is a partnership between the Canada 2020 think tank and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).

This summit featured a variety of stakeholders and speakers including Senator Chantal Peticlerc, Dr. Granger Avery, the president of the CMA, Dr. Gaétan Barrette, the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, and Dr. Jane Philpott, Canada's minister of health. This summit comes at a pivotal point in the history of medicare with a new health accord being negotiated in coming months and an urgent need for national pharmacare (among many pressing topics).

So it comes as some surprise that when looking at this premi…

Barrel bombs hit largest hospital in rebel-held Aleppo

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[Barrel bombs = Bashar al-Assad = war crimes. See also: At least 250,000 people live under siege in eastern Aleppo. There are fewer than 30 doctors to help them. *RON*]
AFP, Al Arabiya, 1 October 2016

At least two barrel bombs hit the largest hospital in the rebel-held side of Syria’s Aleppo city on Saturday, the medical organisation that supports it said.

The facility, known as M10, had already been hit by heavy bombardment on Wednesday along with the second-largest hospital in the area in what UN chief Ban Ki-moon denounced as “war crimes.”

“Two barrel bombs hit the M10 hospital and there were reports of a cluster bomb as well,” Adham Sahloul of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said of Saturday’s attack.

Both facilities were put out of service by Wednesday’s bombardment, leaving only six operational hospitals in the eastern parts of the city, according to SAMS.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group…

Canadian Wages Flat Year-Over-Year

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[If it seems like the only thing growing are your bills, you're right! *RON*]
Tania Kohut, (CFPL AM) AM 980, 30 September 2016

If it seems life keeps getting more and more expensive and the only thing not increasing is your paycheque, you’re not the only one — incomes in Canada are largely stagnant.

Statistics Canada data released Thursday shows average weekly earnings for employees, nationally, was $955 in July. That’s an increase of a paltry 0.1 per cent from 12 months earlier.

Only two of Canada’s 10 largest sectors, educational services and construction, saw an average increase in wages over the previous 12 months.

Average weekly earnings grew in three provinces: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.