Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Andrew Jackson thoroughly demolishes the argument that after three decades of wage stagnation and soaring corporate profits, Canada's economy somehow needs to see workers suffer even more:
The reality is that the pay of most workers has stagnated in real terms over the past thirty years as the profit share of  GDP has increased at the expense of wages, and as wages have become much more unequal with more and more of the total wage and salary bill going to the top 1% made up mainly of senior executives. As the OECD recently reported, since 1990, 6% of total national income has been shifted from wages to profits and the pay of the top 1% combined.

And a recent Statistics Canada study documents the stagnation of real hourly wages of the majority of Canadian workers between 1981 and 2011. Over that entire thirty year period, the average hourly wage of full-time workers rose by just 14% (and that includes the top 1%.) . This compares to growth of over 50% in real GDP per person over the same period.

The view that wages are “too high” boils down to saying that workers have no right to share in rising national income, all of which should go to profits and senior managers. That is, to say the least, a curious basis on which to sell the proposition that workers have any kind of stake in our current economic arrangements.
- Following up on yesterday's column, Mark Lemstra also sees plenty of reason for optimism in the Canadian Medical Association's focus on the social determinants of health.

- Althia Raj writes about the electoral boundary revision process in B.C. (featuring a commissioner's remarkable declaration that public input will be ignored) and Alberta (where there's reason for optimism in a shift toward better urban representation similar to that proposed in Saskatchewan).

- Sixth Estate is far too kind in responding to David Akin's pointless criticism of one of the most useful tools for accountability we've seen in Canadian politics.

- Finally, I'll give Michael Fougere this much: he's absolutely right that at the moment, the City of Regina's core business isn't so much land development or public administration as catering to private land developers. But this fall's election would seem like a rather important opportunity to change that focus.

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