(1020) Taking hits

Accidents involving walkers and bicycle riders struck by motor vehicles are a troubling, costly aspect of sprawl.  They appear to be  built right into the whole matter of community life structured around automobiles and the infrastructure provided for them.  This bodily damage really has to be stopped.
More than 1000 cyclists and pedestrians hit on Toronto streets since June 1. New statistics show vulnerable road users struck at rate of one every two and a half hours
The morbid and mortal toll of sprawl.  The ‘elephant in the living room’ of rising and preventable US traffic deaths is government funded roads in drive-only places

image: davidd via Flickr/CC

(1019) Making stuff

We see that one feature of deindustrialization is the idealization of manufacturing as a source of employment at good wages and for good purposes.  Taking raw materials and adding value to them by transforming them into cars, musical instruments, Christmas ornaments, kitchen appliances and so forth is upheld by most as a good thing.  Known as a font of pride and prosperity for many communities in the past, we often hear lamentations at the loss of industrial jobs and detect a fear at the spread of precarious work in its place.  Others nurture their nostalgia for the industrial past, wishing to make America great again, for example.
With such things in mind, we came across a couple of features recently.  One looks into the economics of returning the United States to a manufacturing-based economy (not gonna happen).  The second pays a visit to a city in China that churns out a vast daily tonnage of plastic crap for consumption via dollar stores in formerly industrial places (Merry Christmas!).  The third takes a position on Donald Trump’s neocon nihilism (not pretty).
Can we bring back many factory jobs? Let’s do the math
The Chinese city bursting with tchotchkes
citylab.com (see embedded links)

Why Trump won’t save the rust belt

image: aNto via Flickr/CC

(1018) Suburban poverty totally ignored in US election

”That brings us back to the election, and why it matters that this campaign season has failed to acknowledge the new geography of poverty.”

Ever the sentinel of suburban poverty in the United States, the The Brookings Institution spoke up earlier this month as a truly loony election rolls into autumn.

Suburban poverty is missing from the conversation about America’s future

image: Jan Bucholz via Flickr/CC

(1015) Depressed, anxious workers and the bottom line [Conference Board report]

happy worker
Anxiety and depression cost Canada’s economy in a big way.  Lost hours and lost productivity is extracted from reinvestment in businesses, and from profits and wages.

Employers, please wake up to this $50 billion dollar thing.

Depression, anxiety cost Canadian economy billions, Conference Board says. ‘There is a gain for the employer in acting … on mental health in the workplace’


(1014) Peel Living state of (dis)repair

Brampton Map2
The Thursday edition of sister newspapers The Brampton Guardian and The Mississauga News contain reportage of a serious case of neglect in publicly-funded housing.  This is the kind of high-value, socially conscious reporting from the midst of daily life in the region (the unit is in Brampton) that these papers should be all over.  Coasting along on real estate and car advertising is great but to survive in what is pretty much rapidly developing into a post-newspaper world local papers better get their hands on powerful content and keep on proving their relevance.  Fighting for people is one way to do that.

The situation is awful to read about.  Hopefully the coverage, two full pages in the print editions as well as digital attention, will make a difference.   Peel Region is home to some of Canada’s best housed and most privileged citizens.  Spend any time here at all and you come to know that isn’t the case for everyone.

Peel Living begins maintenance review and inspections to determine state of repair