Showing posts from August 10, 2017

Today's Trumpery


Clearing out the Backlog


B.C. Needs To Show Leadership In 3 Key Areas To Tackle Climate Change

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[Mom and apple pie stuff when it comes to environmentalists' concerns, but it would take a near-complete political and economic upheaval to implement them fully. "A coherent response to the climate crisis requires far-reaching steps to reduce climate pollution, move to a low-carbon economy and save nature at the same time." *RON*]
Jens Wieting, Huffington Post, 9 August 2017

Record-breaking wildfires and heat waves are a reminder that we have little time to save nature, phase out fossil fuels and leap to a low-carbon economy, all at the same time.

British Columbia's unprecedented wildfires are still not under control. August is beginning with a new heat wave and no reprieve from the climate crisis for the new B.C. government.

This ongoing state of emergency is a reminder that our planet is changing rapidly, and that our governments have to act like they mean it, to save our world as we know it.

B.C. has a unique opportunity and mus…

Police use of Compass Card data raises alarm for B.C. civil liberties advocate

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[They are voluntarily providing information about their customers without warrants. TransLink should use more discretion over what information it shares, B.C. Civil Liberties Association says. See also: Privacy concerns raised over TransLink's new fare card. *RON*]

CBC News, 9 August 2017
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is raising the alarm after an investigation revealed TransLink routinely shares rider information with police without warrants or informing riders about it.

If a transit user is registered with TransLink's Compass Card program — a smart card payment system for Metro Vancouver's regional public transit network — the system can store and collect passenger travel data, credit card information and other personal details.

The investigation by news website The Tyee found that in 2016, TransLink received 147 police requests for rider data and fulfilled 111. So far this year, TransLink has received 132 requests and fulfill…

Wealth inequality is even worse than income inequality

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["The top 1 percent of American households in terms of wealth ownership enjoy 35 percent of the pie all by themselves. The top 10 percent own a staggering 76 percent of all wealth. Furthermore, from 1963 to 2013, families in the bottom 10 percent of wealth ownership went from having no wealth at all on average to being $2,000 in debt." Policy suggestions: universal basic income, federal job guarantees, and baby bonds. *RON*]
Jeff Spross, The Week, 10 August 2017
You probably know the numbers on income inequality by now: The share of all income going to the top 1 percent of Americans now stands at around 20 percent, which is a big and disturbing number.

But what about wealth inequality?

Income is a relatively straightforward matter of wages and compensation. Wealth is more mercurial: It can be a physical asset like a car, house, or land. But it can also be a stock or bond or other financial asset.

The effects of wealth also go much deeper:…

The world is facing an inequality crisis and there is no clear solution

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[Social democracy is the only effective tool against rising inequality; populist politics deliver short-term gains for politicians but achieve no real societal effect. *RON*]
David Scutt, Business Insider Australia, 10 August 2017
Economic inequality is rising throughout the world, especially in the US, UK and New Zealand.There is also massive inequality in developing countries. As their economy grows, wealth is not growing equally. Solutions to this have been fairly ineffective with the only real effect being found in the Euro zone and countries such as Norway and Denmark. Populist politics appear to have been a reaction to this growing inequality with the Brexit vote and the election of Trump.  Inequality around the world is growing.

Just look at the chart from AMP Capital below as evidence.

This demonstrates rising inequality, showing what’s known as Gini coefficients for individual developed nations and emerging nations since the early 1980s.