Tag Archives: political aspects

(1155) Grenfell


Here are two thoughtful pieces regarding the atrocious fire in a tower block in London on the 15th.  We can’t help but feel that London’s economic regime, aided and abetted by public policy, produced this fire.  People in authority need to go to jail.
UK public money is available for wars in the Middle East, for surveillance programs run by intelligence agencies, and extensive agricultural subsidies.  The local government body  responsible for the building recently handed out a property tax rebate and is one of the wealthiest in Britain with large amounts of money on hand.  Real property in London represents a vast and profitable churn of billions of pounds yearly and social housing has been a component of that for many years.  Why so little for the Grenfell’s residents?
Already there are several clear lines of responsibility leading to both government and business which indicate the fire would have been prevented had some fairly moderate things been tended to.   Unfortunately, the neoliberal economic regime in the UK is a beast now quite skilled at defending itself from acquiring responsibility for disasters of every kind from questionable privatization drives to botched wars.  We’ll see over the next few years if eighty or more lives are enough to change things.
Christian Wolmar: tower tragedy must mark turning point for council cuts
labourlist.org
Grenfell is a shameful symbol of a state that didn’t care
theguardian.com
(755) Towers for the better
(485) Highrise hell [report]
(321) Rising high

(83) 1 Millionth Tower
(61) Flemo!
image: ChiralJon via Flickr/CC

(1134) BC election 2017


Election time in British Columbia sees suburban issues, and mixed feelings, in the foreground.
Forget Vancouver, BC’s future will be decided by the suburbs. With big city problems creeping into the land of cul-de-sacs and single-family homes, suburban swing ridings are set to determine the outcome of the provincial election
vanmag.com

Some insight from recent US experience?

Environment as politics. New drawings of the relations between residential density and voting behaviour
placesjournal.org
image: Concert Properties via Flickr/CC

(1037) Love basic income

Une affiche qui mesure 8000m2 et pese sept tonne a ete posee, ce samedi 14 mai 2016, sur la Plaine de Plainpalais a Geneve par une centaine de benevoles. La plus grande question du monde y est posee: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR INCOME WERE TAKEN CARE OF? concernant la mise en place d un revenu de base inconditionnel qui sera l objet des prochaines votations du 5 juin prochain. Cette affiche bat le record actuel du livre Guiness des records pour la plus grande affiche du monde. (KEYSTONE/Magali Girardin)

It must be love, the way we keep on coming back to basic income on this blog.  Expecting a deeper discussion of the matter in the near future.
To wit:
A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: A policy maker’s guide to basic income
(link to 42-page .pdf file)

A second CCPA report:
Basic income: rethinking social policy
(link to 62-page .pdf file)

An item from the Summer 2016 edition of Canadian Dimension which was devoted to the topic of basic income:
More smoke than substance in Canadian plans. Ontario wants pilot project, Quebec advocates tiny steps
Canada: please imitate:
GERMANY: single-issue political party founded to promote UBI

(1018) Suburban poverty totally ignored in US election

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”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
brookings.edu

image: Jan Bucholz via Flickr/CC

(1002) Don T & US child poverty

Donald Trump billboard
We keep hearing about all this generalized American anger.  Swathes of the population there are feeling filthy about the way things have turned out after decades of neoconservative nonsense from both sides of a two-party federal system.  This generalized anger in turn explains the success of Mr. Orangeface Clownpants.  Trump has been able to say pretty much any nasty-ass thing he wants to say and still get ahead because of the funk and fury the American voter has sunk into and seethes with respectively.  Rage serves to peg in place political illiteracy these days.  Hillary Clinton offers herself as the calming Mommy to the tantrum-throwing voter and so she benefits from the unfocused rage as well.
So, how about you Americans focus a little.  Dare we even suggest an apoplectic unity on behalf of the children who will someday inherit your republic?  A good starting point would be this kick in the head of a paper from March this year.  Half of all children in America are in poverty or pretty damn near it.  Half of them!  What does the lackluster alumni of US federal political party leadership have to say about this topic during the weirdest of elections ever?  Looks to be pretty much nothing.
Poverty and child health in the United States
(abstract & link to .pdf file)
Council on Community Pediatrics
Why facts don’t matter to Trump’s supporters
washingtonpost.com

image: Thomas Hawk via Flickr/CC

(1001) Who’s city is this?

street scene
The world economy soars into the trillions these days with much of the focus on cities, on real estate.  We found reading this pair of items with our morning coffee in hand aided and abetted some understanding of the picture at high levels.  Wow, just imagine two hundred and seventy billion dollars worth of anything, then try and imagine a quadrillion dollars worth!
Investment in urban land is on the rise. We need to know who owns our cities
theconversation.com
Time to pay for the city we want
thestar.com

image: glassghost via Flickr/CC