Just ahead of a national governor’s convention Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has signed a law banning local increases to the minimum wage rate above her state’s rate of $7.25 per hour.
Governor Mary Fallin signs minimum wage hike ban in Oklahoma
2014 minimum wage rates by state
National Conference of State Legislatures
Sitting thinking about physical health and the general quality of life in the sprawl and what do we come across on Fast Company’s site but this article with its catchy title. The links in it take you through to a University of Utah study associating denser metropolitan areas with higher rates of personal well-being and success.
Urban sprawl: get fat, stay poor, and die in car crashes. A new report on metro density says it straight: quality of life improves in compact cities.
Social mobility for poor children is held back by suburban sprawl according to a new report. If we want to see people of modest means and their kids go somewhere in life we better make sure they enjoy access to good, cheap public transit. This item from Al-Jazeera links you through to the report which comes from Smart Growth America and the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Urban Center:
Study: suburban sprawl hurts social mobility
image: USDA via Wikimedia Commons
This blog may have to order the construction of a new library annex to house all the reports on suburban poverty it come across. UK-based Smith Institute has just added to our holdings with the release of its findings after looking at suburban poverty in Wales and England. Nearly seven million people are in poverty in suburban areas in the two countries. The majority of the poor in Wales and England are now actually found in suburbs. According to the report suburban poverty went up by thirty-four percent between 2001 and 2011. The high cost of housing is expected to aggravate things in the future although the report identifies several possibilities for mitigating suburban poverty. On that list is a careful application of increased density in support of higher frequency public transit to increase connections between suburban residents and the public realm.
Wave of Action demonstrations got underway in continental Europe today. The intention is to register unhappiness with austerity and herald a return of the energies behind the Occupy movement. North American mainstream media seems intent on ignoring/under reporting the Wave of Action but that will likely change. Austerity has burdened Europe for some time now and the Wave of Action is just the next part in a much longer and deeper social tradition of serious public reaction to government policy than is found in North America.
Released just days ago is a major report from Catholic agency Caritas Europa describing the socio-economic difficulty faced by millions that has called forth austerity and a host of angry reactions to it. Devastating reading. A growing underclass of people in several countries in the EU are even having trouble keeping themselves fed. Photos of children picking food out of street garbage is not the preferred image associated with a continent known for its culture and beautiful public spaces.
Official notions of recovery are challenged in the report. It sets out the origins and scale of the problem and the deeply unjust nature of austerity in which those who did not create the crisis are asked to bear a punishing set of correctives dictated by those who did. This report describes the origins and key impacts of the crisis with a special emphasis on the hardest hit nations.
Wake up North America.
Caritas Europa. Crisis monitoring report, 2014. The European crisis and its human cost. A call for fair alternatives and solutions
116-page .pdf file
Canada’s richest 86 people have enough moolah to buy all the stuff in New Brunswick. All the cars, iPods, boxer shorts, hair dryers, pension funds, antique tractors, light planes, houses, bikes, miniskirts and everything else that equips an entire province is what we are talking about. All that material wealth would be required to match the wherewithal of less than 100 people. Incredible! During World War II Canada had about twelve million people: nearly the same number of lower income earners you need to match the wealth of this privileged 86 today. It’s almost as if Canada has become a giant machine for making rich people richer.
If this wild wealth ratio isn’t sinking in try this infographic from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s Twitter feed.
Outrageous fortune: Canada’s wealth gap
image: detail of New Brunswick’s flag via Wikimedia Commons
Would you like to compare Canada’s cash stash to the G7 cash stashes? Our balances, as a percentage of GDP, are way ahead of theirs, have been for over a decade. Proof that Canada’s employers could sustain:
- higher minimum wages & living wages
- increased wages, benefit plans, longer vacations & stronger pensions
- new hires
- training schemes
- paid internships
- research, development & innovation
- higher taxes for social programs, environmental protection, culture & public transit
Yes, they can afford these things and have money left over. If direct taxation is so abhorrent to the parties concerned then we can all think up some other creative approach to resuscitating this dead money.
Corporate Canada tops global list of cash hoarders
see also: (491) Cash stash 2.0
aaaaaaaa(489) Corporate money stashing hurts Canada [Report]
image: Barbara Lock via Wikimedia Commons
One of Canada’s longest serving neocons resigned his post as federal Minister of Finance today. Jim Flaherty provided the requisite appearance of boardroom steadiness while in the job but child poverty remained stubbornly high during his team’s times. Child poverty here is about thirteen percent – the same as it was in 1989, which is pretty much a lifetime ago and happens to be the year in which Parliament promised to eradicate the scourge of child poverty by 2000. Not really getting a lot of attention in the farewell coverage.
Child poverty in Canada & Ontario since 1989
image: a great, big lemon by Cassandro via Wikimedia Commons