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Showing posts from November 1, 2016

Amnesty International USA to Monitor to North Dakota Pipeline Protests

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[See also: Hwy 1806: Protectors Back Off; Shots Fired and DAPL Security Arrested for AR-15 Attack at Oceti Sakowin Camp, and Canadian banks are helping bankroll the Dakota Access Pipeline. *RON*]

Amnesty International Press Release, 28 October 2016

As tensions escalate at the site of a disputed pipeline close to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) has sent a delegation of human rights observers to monitor the response of law enforcement to protests by Indigenous communities.

AIUSA also has sent a letter to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department expressing concern about the degree of force used against the protests. The organization will also call on the Department of Justice to investigate police practices.

Americans Are Dying Faster. Millennials, Too

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[The article title ignores this finding, and buries this fact in the second-to-last paragraph: "a 40-year-old man in the top 1 percent can expect to live 14 years longer than his counterpart in the bottom 1 percent." *RON*]

Ben Steverman, Bloomberg, 28 October 2016


Death awaits all of us, but how patiently? To unlock the mystery of when we’re going to die, start with an actuary.

Specializing in the study of risk and uncertainty, members of this 200-year-old profession pore over the data of death to estimate the length of life. Putting aside the spiritual, that’s crucial information for insurance companies and pension plans, and it’s also helpful for planning retirement, since we need our money to last as long we do.

EU, Canada sign free trade deal but battle not over

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[There is still a chance that this will end up a dead duck. Or, at very least, be implemented minus the investor state dispute resolution mechanism, which would be a good thing. See: CETA Signing Was A Molehill. Ratifying It Could Be A Mountain.. *RON*]

Robert-Jan Bartunek & Philip Blenkinsop, Reuters, 30 October 2016

The European Union and Canada signed a free trade agreement on Sunday that aims to generate jobs and growth though it must still clear some 40 national and regional parliaments in Europe in the coming years to enter fully into force.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the treaty along with the heads of EU institutions, a step that should enable a provisional implementation of the pact early in 2017 with the removal of most import duties.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement's (CETA) passage has not been smooth.

What's Causing Income Inequality In America? Government Policies That Help The Rich

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[When politicians consistently favor employers over workers, things get unequal very fast. Likewise see: Politics, Not Economics, Are Behind America's Income Inequality. *RON*]

Charlie Sorrel, Fast Company, 1 November 2016
Politics, not money, have caused the rise in U.S. income inequality since the end of the 1970s. A new study from Ohio State University found that, from the '80s onwards, presidential administrations have favored employers over workers, and this has driven income equality.

Authors David Jacobs and Jonathan Dirlam considered many factors for the change, including the decline of manufacturing, or the rise of minority populations (both of which have had a large impact on income inequality), but by studying tax statistics, they determined that "national-level neoliberal political determinants best explain the extraordinary increase in U.S. income inequality."

Presidential administrations have favored employers over…

Legal marijuana could make money for governments, PBO report finds

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[Well, "Duh!" Not to mention savings for police forces (who may, in fact, fear lay-offs): How Decriminalizing Marijuana Saved Philadelphia $9 Million. *RON*]
Ian MacLeod, Ottawa Citizen / National Post, 1 November 2016
OTTAWA — Legal recreational marijuana sales could begin as soon as January 2018 and generate hundreds of millions in preliminary revenue for governments, says a new report by the parliamentary budget officer.

Given an average legal price of $6 to $15 per gram and an average illicit price of $5 to $10, the PBO projects total cannabis market spending at $4.2 billion to $6.2 billion for 2018.

Canadians must lose irrational fear of increased deficits, economist says

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[I don't think this frightens average Canadians; just one-percent-er ideologue politicians. In any case, there is no empirical support for belief higher spending increases inflation, interest rates: Louis-Philippe Rochon *RON*]
By Louis-Philippe Rochon, CBC News, 30 October 2016
As Canada's finance minister consults widely in preparation for the next federal budget, an urgent question on every economist's mind is: Should the federal government increase its spending to help the Canadian economy?

Such a question undoubtedly sends chills down the spines of many Canadians, who have an almost irrational fear of increased deficits. Many labour under the illusion that spending will somehow lead to higher inflation and higher interest rates. Yet there is no empirical support for such fears.

These concerns lead many to argue that fiscal policy is inefficient and the government should reduce spending or risk jeopardizing the recovery. Proponen…