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Showing posts from May 17, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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The economy keeps improving. Why aren't wages?

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[The crapification of labour. Weak wage growth continues to hurt workers—and poses a threat to Trump's presidency. *RON*]
Danny Vinik, Politico, 5 May 2017
The April jobs report, released Friday, continued to show good news for the U.S. economy. Employers added 211,000 jobs last month, reducing the unemployment rate to 4.4 percent, a level last reached 10 years ago.

Slow but steady improvement in the labour market has continued unabated for years, but one critical economic indicator has remained stuck: wage growth. Wages have grown just 2.5 percent over the past year, only slightly higher than inflation. Since 2010, nominal wages have grown about 2.5 percent each year, while inflation has averaged 2 percent. Perhaps most concerning, as the labour market has tightened, wage growth hasn’t accelerated.

For all of President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about creating millions of jobs, the real economic challenge of his presidency will be raising the wag…

Green Party campaign manager quit over Andrew Weaver’s bullying, bad policies

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[Ouch! See also: British Columbians do not want a Liberal-Green coalition government: Poll. *RON*]
Damien Gillis, Commonsense Canadian, 8 May 2017
On the eve of his candidate’s kick-off event, Green Party campaign manager Troy Grant reached his breaking point with Andrew Weaver, causing him to resign. “I can’t support the BC Green Party because of Andrew Weaver,” Grant now admits. Here’s why.

Troy Grant is a Vancouver Island resident and environmental activist who, up until a couple of months ago, was running the campaign of Green Party candidate Lia Versaevel. As part of his early groundwork on the campaign, Grant reached out to Common Sense Canadian lead columnist Rafe Mair, a man whose opinions Grant says he has always respected. Intrigued by what he heard about Versavel, Rafe proceeded to interview her, resulting in this relatively glowing review. Rafe being Rafe, though, couldn’t sign off on the piece without one caveat: his disdain for pa…

Clashes in Greece as Thousands Protest Austerity

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[An anti-austerity rally in Greece's capital has turned violent as a general strike halted flights, ferries and public transportation. *RON*]

Elena Becatoros & Derek Gatopoulos, Associated Press / US News & World Report, 17 May 2017

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — An anti-austerity rally in Greece's capital turned violent Wednesday as a general strike halted flights, ferries and public transportation, and thousands joined protest marches across the country.

A small group of protesters threw gasoline bombs and fired flares at riot police after the marches ended in Athens. Police responded with tear gas. The clashes broke out after peaceful marches involving around 12,000 people.

Nearby, protesting police officers blocked the entrance to a Finance Ministry building.

The protests occurred as lawmakers were set to approve another batch of reforms that will impose years more hardship on austerity-weary Greeks.

The new belt-tightening measures that w…

Foreign Workers Taking Jobs Canadians Could Fill: Auditor-General

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[The crapification of labour. The issue - under Trudeau as under Harper - is government support for business models based on peonage perpetrated by corporate welfare queens. "The temporary foreign worker program should be used as a last resort when businesses can't find qualified Canadians to fill those jobs." — Labour Minister Patty Hajdu *RON*]
Jordan Press, Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 16 May 2017
OTTAWA — Canada's temporary foreign workers program is rife with oversight problems that appear to have allowed lower-paid international workers to take jobs that out-of-work Canadians could fill, the federal auditor general says.

Michael Ferguson's examination of the controversial program, part of a battery of spring audits tabled Tuesday, details a litany of problems.

Employers hired temporary foreign workers without first proving they had exhausted all options with the domestic workforce, Ferguson found. At times, request…

Chelsea Manning released from military prison

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[American army private is free after serving seven years of 35-year sentence for leaking classified documents and videos downloaded to WikiLeaks. *RON*]

Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, 17 May 2017

Chelsea Manning, the army private who released a vast trove of US state secrets and was punished by the US military for months in penal conditions denounced by the UN as torture, has been released from a military prison in Kansas after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence.

Manning walked out to freedom after 2,545 days in military captivity. She was arrested in May 2010 outside a US army base on the outskirts of Baghdad, having leaked hundreds of thousands of documents and videos downloaded from intelligence databases to WikiLeaks.

The US military confirmed that Manning was released on Wednesday morning.
The disclosures included Collateral Murder, the footage of a US Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad in which two Reuters journalists and other civilians…