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Poverty gives way to inequality and the Great Frustration

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Oct. 20 2012
Inequality has increased – and when that happens, economists have shown that there’s a corresponding collapse of social mobility, the ability to escape your income group for a higher one… When the rich get richer, the poor usually get poorer. But the converse isn’t true: Countries with strong redistributive systems and free economies are usually both wealthy and equal.

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Posted in Equality History | 2 Comments »


The poor ain’t what they used to be

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Sep. 29 2012
… everything has changed. The poor are still with us, but they aren’t who they used to be. And “ending poverty” doesn’t mean what it used to mean… now that the inequality is no longer international but within nations, there’s a “need for a fundamental reframing of global poverty as largely a matter of domestic distribution… Growth by itself isn’t going to do it… There will still be a lot of poor”.

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Tear down those mountains of cash

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

21 July 2012
… debt is not the major problem. That was four years ago. Today, a far bigger threat is… cash hoards… at least 45 per cent of Canada’s biggest companies are hoarding cash rather than investing in employment or capital. None of it is going into research and development, expansion of market share, new offices and factories or, crucially, on employing people. Nor is it going into tax revenues, since cash reserves – and some of the earnings that contribute to them – escape the taxman, giving companies an incentive to not invest.

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The world’s losing its workers. How will we compete?

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Feb. 11, 2012
The world’s supply of working-age people will soon be shrinking, causing a shift from surplus to scarcity… There are currently almost five working-age Canadians whose income taxes pay the pension and health-care costs of each retiree; within 20 years, there will be only three. As a result, according to Ottawa, health-care costs will double and social-service costs will rise by a third… Immigration has spared Canada from the worst of aging, but immigrants adopt host-country family sizes very quickly, so they’re a temporary fix.

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London riots rupture the ruling class

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Sep. 17, 2011
Mr. Cameron denounced them as the product of the “slow-motion moral collapse” of British society… While everyone agrees the rioters were the product of a morally challenged community prone to family breakdown, these things are a symptom, not a cause… prisons… are being used too much and are actually producing criminality, not reducing it… an even larger problem lies in schools, which still allow – and often encourage – students to drop out at 16… Most of the rioters live in… grim postwar public-housing complexes (known as council estates)… last month the inner city finally came to call…

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Norway shows we must expose dangerous fictions

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Jul. 30, 2011
There’s nothing wrong with criticizing immigration, even urging that it be stopped completely. Or with condemning “multiculturalism,” however it’s defined, or with arguing that religion, even specific religions, is bad for society. Those are important topics in a democratic society… But these writers have created a larger fiction, one with dangerous implications… they conclude with a millenarian message of impending societal takeover, in which the demographic and cultural fictions are combined into an urgent warning that, unless an unspecified something is done, we’ll all be under “their” command.

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Why did all the West’s big centrist parties go down the drain?

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

May. 21, 2011
For decades, they were the untouchable monoliths of politics: The big nation-wide parties that straddled the centre ground, leaning slightly to the left or right, capturing big swathes of votes across the spectrum, forming the lion’s share of national governments during the half-dozen decades after the Second World War… Suddenly, they are falling apart, their gradual seepage of voter support during the past 10 or 15 years exploding into sudden ballot embolisms.

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Posted in Governance History | No Comments »


Look east and south: Witness the end of post-colonialism

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Jan. 8, 2011
… we are witnessing the end of the post-colonial era in politics and economics. In China, Brazil and a dozen other countries, the type of thinking known as “post-colonial” – defined as a stark choice between angry resistance or humiliating subservience – has simply ceased to matter in political and business relations… While post-colonialism clings on in Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Zimbabwe and a handful of other places, it has vanished from most of the world with amazing speed.

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Tearing apart the British welfare state: Tories impose jobs on the ‘workshy’

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Nov. 12, 2010
Almost a century after the modern welfare state was created… Britain’s Conservative-Liberal coalition government are hoping to tear it apart completely in a radical act of cost slashing… At its core is a far more controversial effort by the Conservative-led government to push a large population of uneducated, perpetually unemployed Britons… into the labour force.

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In solving the financial crisis, let’s not resort to ‘social cleansing’

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Nov. 13, 2010
The gap between the poor and the super-rich is not important (as long as we are able to tax the super-rich)… If we manage to bring back growth at the expense of equal opportunity, it will be, as the mayor suggests, a time of social cleansing and lasting impoverishment and division. The consequences of that would be far more serious than a mere recession.

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