Four pages packed with bad things about the decline in the value of work to working people in Canada. What you’ve been hearing about crap, part time gigs with low wages, it’s all true. Welcome to the new Canada.
In focus. On the quality of employment in Canada
Image: Ellen Forsyth via Flickr/CC
Is work a forever thing? Probably, in the sense it just means doing stuff to secure our existence, yes, you can bet on work. Employment in a complex consumer-industrial society on the basis of some rationalized value system (like, oh, say the Protestant work ethic) that rewards individual merit and builds up community, well, that is turning out to be a whole other thing.
With deindustrialization, financialization, free trade agreements, and automation work may soon cease to exist at anything like the scale we in North America have come to know it. In this piece from Aeon a US academic asks us to get ahead of events and economics and free ourselves from our cultural perceptions. Tone and logic make this a really great piece. Statistics are used to bolster the author’s arguments and the title is nicely provocative to boot!
Image: HomeSpot HQ via Flickr/CC
If you neocon decision makers and market preachers are offended by labour activism, or God forbid, outright Marxist behaviour at the bottom of an unequal society then when will you quit creating conditions for these things that you like so little? Askin’ for a friend.
Everything goes up but pay
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives produces Policy Notes as a reinforcement and alternative to its longer reports. This recent one from the BC office looks in at a topic well in the precinct of anyone concerned with suburban poverty.
…well, at least a federal minister is talking at us about precariousness, nay he appears to be advocating it.
Finance Minister says Canadians should get used to short-term employment. Calling it ‘job churn,’ Minister Bill Morneau told Niagara Falls crowd to expect a number of career changes in a person’s life
image: Lefteris Heretakis via Flickr/CC
Numbers from Seattle, WA indicate city economy did not suffer a spike in unemployment because of an increase to the minimum wage there.
Doomsayers keep getting it wrong on higher minimum wages
image: Kopi Luwak via Flickr/CC
We were thinking a powerful overview would be nice for suburban-poverty.com’s 1000th posting. We came across exactly that in the form of a podcast from US academic Scott Allard.
The suburbanization of U.S. poverty
(August 2016) 19:03
Institute for Research on Poverty
University of Wisconsin
Earlier this year urban planning was said to be the hot new occupation. Nice! Especially if it means we’ll have more people paying attention to the built, spatial dimension of inequality and poverty? Hope so. No kids, it isn’t all groovy, inclusive charettes and pencil crayon renderings of LRTs. Here’s a couple of recent pieces to help the young upstarts dig into the realities.
image: Chicago Transit Authority archives via Flickr/CC
This month the Centre for the Study of Living Standards issued a new report all about income gaps, inequality, job quality and other such things that determine much of daily life in Canada. Among the findings: what looks like a slackening of the connection between advanced education and higher income. Canada’s lowest income brackets have seen an increase in the number of PhD holders therein. This may be evidence of something many of us have observed casually over the years? More study is needed to understand the depth and meaning of these particular findings but if they are true this isn’t really good news. We are supposed to be living and working in a society that needs and respects education and rewards strivers. Maybe that proposition has changed?
Low-wage earners with graduate degrees on rise, new study shows
Trends in low wage employment in Canada: incidence, gap, intensity 1997-2014 66-page .pdf file