The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “wealth

Where Are We Headed Exactly?

Posted on May 8, 2018

Recently I spoke to a group of business leaders on the subject of “wealth and social policy.”  The audience consisted of sincere women and men who had grown concerned that with titanic amounts of wealth being generated in the developed world, little was changing for those whose lives remain in economic stagnation and whose prospect for gainful employment recedes each successive year.  In all of this, governments themselves seemed particularly ineffective. In my city of London, Ontario, recent research revealed that 48% of our workforce is either in precarious or vulnerable work conditions, with little in the way of benefits, pensions, or even a future.  It is a reality that begs the obvious question: if all the wealth is resulting in such little meaningful work,…

Cities – Our Future Battleground

Posted on March 1, 2018

Whatever the future holds, the fate of humanity will be played out in our cities. Seem far-fetched?  It shouldn’t.  This much we know.  In the next 100 years, the greatest migration to cities around the world will occur, with some 7-8 billion people becoming urbanites – more than exist on earth right now.  Nothing in history matches this.  Most of this vast movement will take place in developing nations, but the cities of the West won’t be able to escape the remarkable challenges and opportunities that come from this phenomenon. When you think about the greatest challenges facing us at present, they have been emerging mostly in our urban centers for a half a century or more.  Climate change, poverty, wealth creation, jobs, unemployment,…

Homes Without People

Posted on February 16, 2018

It’s a phenomenon few saw coming, but it’s beginning to turn our perspectives on modern cities on its head.  The point of the spear seems to have begun in New York City – Manhattan specifically.  The number of apartments in that region occupied by absentee owners and renters grew from 19,000 in 2000 to 34,000 by 2011 and has likely mushroomed since.  That’s a jump of 70% in just a decade.  One three-block stretch of the Upper East Side has a 57% vacancy rate for 10 months each year. It’s not just developers and owners excessively purchasing properties and holding on to them as they hold out for higher sales (we have lots of them in Canadian cities).  According to Richard Florida in his…

Inequality in the Fast Lane

Posted on December 14, 2017

In the midst of all the election hubbub following the stunning Democratic Senate win in Alabama, one Republican congressman used the occasion to call on the Republican Party to dump Steve Bannon, one of the early architects of Trump’s presidency. Congressman Peter King is worried over where his own party is headed in recent weeks and although his speaking out against Bannon raised a lot of eyebrows, it was something he said only a couple of weeks earlier that carries much more significance. While the Republican tax cut plan was heralded by some in Washington, King was flummoxed by the nonsensical hurry to get it passed when it was, in fact, the deepest cut in corporate taxes seen in decades. “You’re rewriting a tax…

Can Canada Afford Its Dreams? Follow the Money

Posted on March 22, 2016

IT’S BUDGET DAY, AND ONGOING POLLING SPEAKS to significant amounts of support for the new Trudeau government. The new PM himself has hinted that he is prepared to help lead a reinvigorated progressive movement internationally. It’s still early days, but it’s difficult to deny that the initial impressions of Justin Trudeau internationally have been favourable. To be one of the leaders of global progress, however, Trudeau has to show that his ideas work at home, and on this particular budget day that will be a tall order. We’ll hear the usual spin from politicians, economists, media pundits, and interest groups on the budget’s effects. People will debate the size of the proposed deficit, the effectiveness of investment in infrastructure, and how Canada has to…

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