The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “wealth

Middle-Out

Posted on February 25, 2016

“AMERICA’S PREMIER SELF-LOATHING PLUTOCRAT“ – no kidding, that’s what they call Nick Hanauer. He’s been in these blog posts before, where we spoke of his criticizing his peers for robbing the wealth of the United States instead of investing in productivity. He’s now at it again, only this time championing a $15 minimum wage south of the border. Again, his peers and the corporate elite are irate with his position, and small business owners aren’t wild about it either, but his rationale, and the way he publicizes it, is carrying some momentum. In fact, the way he sees it, it’s not the labour leader or minimum wage employee who’s the best face of the effort, but his own. His rationale? “A guy like me…

Election 2015: Will That Be Cost or Value?

Posted on September 18, 2015

IT BECAME ONE OF THE MOST TALKED ABOUT experiments in modern psychology. Around 1970, Stanford researcher Walter Mischel decided to sit a series of four-year-olds in a room and put a marshmallow on a table in front of them. He told them that they could eat the marshmallow right away, but that if they waited until he returned he would give them two marshmallows. Videos shot of the children during that time revealed a lot of squirming and kicking, even kids banging their head on the table. Mischel then followed them through subsequent years and learned some fascinating trends. Those kids that waited until he returned did much better at school and had fewer behavioural problems. Thirteen years later, those kids that waited for…

Broken Trust. Broken Future.

Posted on July 21, 2015

THE CITY OF LONDON, ONTARIO, and its inside unionized workers announced over the weekend that they had reached a tentative agreement, subject to the full approval of both groups. Predictably, opinion was deeply split on both sides throughout the community. The loss of trust across many fronts has made this recent labour conflict perhaps a harbinger of difficult days ahead, as more contracts come up for renewal and disillusionment festers. It’s become a kind of open season on public employees across North America. The rationale, most often produced through extreme ideological politics, is that it’s difficult to justify public sector salaries when money is scarce and job security fragile. Behind it all is the belief that only the private sector can create jobs and that…

The Long Road From Charity to Justice

Posted on July 7, 2015

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HAD EXACTLY one year left before an assassin’s bullet struck him down and traumatized a nation. He had spent recent months attempting to break through the “indifference barrier” by drawing a direct link between racism to poverty. It wasn’t enough, he would maintain, to seek equal rights for black Americans if they remained mired in poverty. And so on this particular night, April 4, 1967, at New York City’s Riverside Church, he laid it out as he had seen and experienced it: “A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside,…

When Government Disappears

Posted on May 19, 2015

THE SIGNS OF IT ARE EVERYWHERE – university tuitions almost out of reach; poverty both systemic and entrenched; the decline in research almost across the board; significant cuts to foreign aid and diplomatic initiatives; and an increasing sense that Ottawa might as well be situated in some other country. Then there is the emotional damage created when a people no longer look to the future with a robust sense of optimism or to government with any real kind of expectation. This collective decline in optimism is, in every way, as significant as the previously mentioned challenges. Government itself is changing and it’s in the process of disappearing. The so-called “austerity agenda” has crippled numerous regions, including southwestern Ontario, and the much hoped for “austerity…

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