CCEC Blog
Search
 

Wealth inequality is growing in Canada and in the US.  But our political parties seem not to notice, are they on the take?

Last week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published a great analysis of the wealth concentration in Canada.  In BORN TO WIN,  David Macdonald reviews the census data to clearly show how our tax system, public investment strategies, and regulatory efforts serve the rich very well.  He note in the introduction that over the 17 year period ending in 2016 the 87 wealthiest families in Canada saw their wealth grow by 37%, more than twice the rate at which was experienced for middle class families.

American academic Karen Petrou is raising the same issues south of the border, this interview in Bloomberg is great, laying the groundwork for her new book to be published early next year.  She is a harsh critic of both the way banks have been regulated and monetary policies - to the disadvantage of the many.

Both of these arguments clearly outline a problem that is bigger than 'windfalls' that benefit some home owners.  Housing affordability and precarious employment are a consequence of public policy decisions, that systemically favour the wealthy.  As Macdonald states, "... in general Canada’s tax system is set up to encourage concentration of wealth at the very top." 

 

.

 

 

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Check out this video from the Tyee as they explain the three proportional representation voting systems proposed by Attorney General David Eby. This fall in the electoral reform referendum, British Columbians will be asked whether they wish to switch from first-past-the-post to an electoral system of proportional representation. They will then be asked to rank three different proportional representation systems:

  • Mixed-member proportional
  • Rural-urban proportional
  • dual-member proportional.

If this referendum moves forward, the ballots will be mail-in.

An informed vote will require a comprehensive understanding of our current system in addition to the proposed alternatives. Be sure to follow The Tyee as they explore the issues.

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Proportional Representation 
What is it?  What does it mean to me?  
Do BC elections put the right 'representatives' in the legislature?  Many want the system changed. And now change is being proposed.

BC residents will participate in an electoral reform vote this fall. You will be asked two questions:

1. Which should British Columbia use for elections to the Legislative Assembly? 

  • The current First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system. or 
  • A proportional representation(PR)  voting system.

2. If British Columbia adopts a proportional representation voting system, which of the following voting systems do you prefer?

  • Dual Member Proportional (DMP)
  • Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)
  • Rural-Urban PR 

Learn more:

  • Fair Vote Canada in BC is pro - Proportional Representation. They say that first-past-the-post delivers majority governments to parties with 39% of the vote. With proportional representation, if a party earns 30% of the vote, they get 30% of the seats. 
  • The “No Proportional Representation in BC Society” favours keeping our current, “First Past the Post” or “FPT
  • Get involved and participate in the conversations and debates. 
Share your thoughts on this issue.
Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

A recent book by Nancy McLean presents an unnerving overview of the 'plot' being pursued by wealthy Americans to permanently install the privileged classes (and undermine traditional democracy) - Democracy in Chains.

This blog post from the Institute for New Economic Thinking provides a quick and stirring overview of the research and the story.  McLean has stumbled upon the work of an obscure, and shadowy economist named James McGill Buchanan who may have been the architect of the libertarian revolution being pursued in the United States over the last quarter century.  Buchanan wrote widely on the interests of those with 'property' and how those interests could and should be preserved.The Koch brothers were keen supporters of Buchanan's work.

The book outlines how the efforts on many fronts, from a biased judiciary to a hobbled legislature, have all been part of a comprehensive vision to preserve the wealth and power of a self-righteous elite.  It challenges progressive people to think bigger, and to reconsider the political landscape.  Those who are committed to the ideal of democracy, and to a socially just world, need stand up. Ordinary people must protect the fundamental institutions and principles of liberal democracy. Buchanan counsels the 1% to re-write constitutions and legislation to the disadvantage of 'everyone else'; to construct a cozy relationship where governments simply serve the interests of the uber wealthy. The extent to which his ideas are being implemented is frightening.    

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

DEADLINE June 8, 2018!  
Make sure your voice is heard!  

The Government of Canada believes all Canadians deserve access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford. A human rights-based approach to housing focuses on ensuring that every Canadian has access to a safe and affordable place to call home. It is grounded in the core principles of accountability, participation, non-discrimination and inclusion.

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

So much clamor about taxing those who don't want to pay tax, even though they have won a big prize in our BC Real Estate Lottery.  Indeed, the added tax on higher valued homes is fair and the best way to fund schools and social services. Two excellent pieces appear in the Vancouver Sun this past week.  One by two UBC academics is concise and on point.  Another by Alex Hemingway of the CCPA is also great.

The federal government is government is parading the idea of HOUSING AS A HUMAN RIGHT.  Their consultation has been extended to close June 8th. You can contribute your thoughts.  While the text of their appeal seems heavy on rhetoric and light on action, those of us with a voice should chip in.  Unfortunately, the much hyped National Housing Strategy promises no more federal funds for community housing.  Funding is frozen at the level it has been for almost two decades (@$2B).  Meanwhile, CMHC is extracting fees from middle income Canadians and paying a 'dividend' to government of some two or three times that much.  They boast, "In 2017, we also declared dividends totalling $4.7 billion to our shareholder, the Government of Canada. An additional dividend of $1 billion was approved by CMHC’s Board of Directors on March 22, 2018."

 

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

The struggle for a low carbon economy is political and economic.  Last month, Kinder Morgan stopped all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and said it wants assurances by the end of May in order to proceed.  They are demanding that two conditions be met by May 31.  The two conditions are: final clarity on its ability to construct the project through B.C. and adequate protection of KML shareholders.

On May 16, Bill Morneau, Canada’s Minister of Finance, announced that the Federal Government will give a ‘taxpayer bailout’ to any company that wants to build Kinder Morgan’s tar sands pipeline.  The Premier of Alberta says that it is vital to the Alberta economy, and outrageously threatens to ‘turn off the tap’ for shipping oil to BC.  You may recall that in February, the Alberta Premier had boycotted imports of BC wines in response to BC's call for further review of the oil-spill risk from this pipeline expansion.  

There is a lot of opposition in BC from politicians, environmental groups and the average citizen.  There are many reasons. For example:

·        The current NDP BC Government of Premier Horgan ran on a promise to stop the project arguing it is not in the public interest.

·        Aboriginal people hold the underlying title to land that the pipeline expansion will be crossing — so many feel their approval is needed, not the federal or provincial governments'. The Aboriginal people’s opposition is backed by the recognition of Aboriginal title by the Canadian constitution and over 150 court decisions.

·        The City of Vancouver is against the increased tanker traffic and oil spill danger in Burrard Inlet; and the City of Burnaby is against the hazard to residents and community of more than doubling the tank farms on Burnaby Mountain. 

·        We need to focus on renewable energy and move off fossil fuel dependency.  Even Saudi Arabia has invested in the largest global solar energy project.  Carbon, if released into the atmosphere, will heat the planet.  We cannot afford more global warming. There are more long-term jobs based on a green economy than would be gained by the pipeline expansion.

There are many articles and editorials on the Kinder Morgan May 31 deadline.  Here are a few that are noteworthy.

April 30 http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/robyn-allan-government-aid-key-to-trans-mountain-pipeline-expansion

May 15 National Observer https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/05/15/opinion/whats-behind-kinder-morgans-may-31-ultimatum-follow-money

What do you think?  Please comment. 

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Our 'housing crisis' is not a local issue, it is the result of global capital flows and the rich pursuing their interests.  That is the argument outlined in The Tyee; William Rees puts the case forward - referencing economics and ecological logic. This is a very good analysis.

Rees also also builds links to the growing foreign investment in agricultural land all around the world. The free flow of capital alters local markets and undermines local communities; putting democratic institutions at risk.

 

Currently rated 0.0 by 0 people

Search

Recent Posts

Categories

Month List

home | memberdirectprivacy policy | contact | site map
© 2015 CCEC Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.