All posts by Dr. Strangelove

The Impact of Economic Inequality

“Marshalling a formidable wealth of data, Wilkinson
and Pickett plot a range of negative outcomes –
reduced life expectancy, low educational
qualifications, high crime, high proportions of
teenage pregnancies, high incidences of mental
health problems – against the level of income
inequality within countries. In case after case a
strong trend emerges: those countries, including
the UK and US, with a higher degree of disparity
between the highest 20% and lowest 20% incomes
fare worse on measure after measure than more
socially equal countries such as Japan, Sweden
and Norway. So, while the poor in the highly
unequal USA may be richer than the poor
elsewhere (in terms of purchasing power), they fare
significantly worse than their ‘poorer’ peers in
more equal countries. In highly unequal countries,
the difference in outcomes between the richest
and poorest is seen more at every point along the
scale; in unequal countries, people who are just a
bit poorer than the richest experience many more
problems. While these problems are felt most
keenly at the bottom end of the scale, they extend
the whole of the way up, meaning that countries
with greater inequality have more problems as a
whole.” — Source

Bob Rae and the Permanent Campaign

“One of his central points is about the permanent campaign – how political parties, led by the federal Conservatives, have changed the nature of politics to be more and more based on simplistic slogans driven by ever more polling. ” The Globe and Mail

Also of Note

Bad Timing: How Canada’s Prime Minister Walked Into His Own Electoral Trap

“At one rally, two female reporters were abused later by members of the audience. “You’re a lying piece of shit,” said one man, a propos of nothing, who became known as #AngryCon. Compared to the invariably courteous Trudeau, relaxed in the presence of other humans, and Mulcair, who happily holds public rallies of the NDP faithful and unfaithful, Harper sticks with his base: older, white, male, rural.

That base doesn’t photograph well. Canada is a genuinely multicultural nation. It’s almost as if Harper wants to win, but only with the votes of people he can stand. However, even those people worry about soaring house prices, lousy interest rates on savings, traffic jams from neglected infrastructure and unemployed children. Canadians are sick of this feeling of rot, this economic precariousness.

Summer polls are reliably unreliable, but Harper has walked into an electoral trap of his own making.” — The Guardian