The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Homo Economicus

Posted on April 29, 2014

EARLIER THIS MONTH, THE WORLD’S financial leaders met in Washington D.C. at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss what they were going to do about a struggling world economy. Observers were surprised to hear the acknowledgement that capitalism isn’t producing the results many had hoped for following the financial crisis of only a few years ago. Just exactly how they will tackle the growing inequality and poverty wasn’t forthcoming, but still the admission of failure was perhaps a positive step as the world attempts to make sense of what went wrong. There was the open admission from two major plenary panels that we are rapidly becoming a world of extremes  They also conceded that with 67 people now owning half of…

The Declining Melancholy

Posted on April 24, 2014

  IT IS BECOMING AN EVER MORE PUBLISHED theme that capitalism and inequality appear to be walking down the same path. Worse is the growing suspicion that the glaring global challenges facing this generation – climate change, unemployment, debt, widening gap between the rich and poor – are occurring because of modern capitalism, not in spite of it. The more data and economic insight that emerges, the more this hunch is bearing itself out. World Bank executives recently held a discussion in which they wondered if the modern capitalist states have actually blown it – irrevocably. They spoke of how major economic powers like China and India, while investing heavily in Western opportunities, have made virtually nothing since the year 2000. Gone are the…

They Are You

Posted on April 22, 2014

WELL, THEY MADE IT.  FROM THE MOMENT THEY were reunited eight years ago, our twins, Abuk and Achan, were destined to have their lives interwoven for the rest of time. Today they turn 14 and will soon be entering high school. Upstairs, in their room, I can hear them giggling over a video Abuk made her sister for her birthday, and I think, history, humanity and God all blessed Jane and me with the charge of bringing them to this point, and farther. The very fact they are now dying of laughter – together – means that we got some things right. But what must you, their Sudanese mother think, if you can see them now. The last time you saw them together was just…

Poverty in Canada Has a Woman’s Face

Posted on April 17, 2014

FOUR YEARS AGO I ATTENDED AN INTERNATIONAL poverty forum with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.  We had been cooperating on an initiative for helping African girls to stay in school and he was a forceful proponent for equal opportunities in that continent for men and women. At one point he was asked what would be the one thing that he could do, if he had it in his power, to get rid of African poverty.  It was a big question, but his answer was bigger: “Invest in the women of every African country.”  The silence following that response was deafening because everyone in that room was seasoned in international development and Blair’s solution was almost breathtaking in its simplicity and scope. It’s easy…

Cheers For Fears

Posted on April 15, 2014

PARDON THE CHANGE OF WORDING REGARDING the famous new wave band Tears for Fears, but somehow it seemed suitable over these past few days. Last week was like few others for those of us associated with the London Food Bank.  Following 28 years of service to our community, we decided the time was right to consider a new way of doing things, of helping those we traditionally assist to find a more dignified way of getting food than lining up at a food bank. We had known this key moment would be coming for the past couple of years, but now that it had arrived we wondered how our community would react.  Some of it we already knew, through detailed discussions over the last…

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