…Equality is Better for Everyone…

“The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone”, Published by Penguin Books

Authors: Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

A book review by Peter Kerek

This ground-breaking book first went to print in 2009 and had a second printing in 2010 with a postscript to rebut its detractors. The findings of the authors, however, do not sit well with the established ruling class of most nations, hence the fairly muted coverage in most media.

Neo-liberal economists claim that raising the overall wealth of a society is the best way to increase quality of life for all citizens. In direct contrast to this claim the authors found that societies perform better in all sorts of ways when the distance between the poor and the wealthy are substantially reduced regardless of the overall average wealth of a nation.

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Rana Plaza Victims Remain Uncompensated

By Peter Kerek

Almost a year after the preventable disaster at the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh compensation has yet to be delivered.

Bangladesh trade union leaders are committed to increasing protests if proposed compensation rates are not increased so that they are at least in line with amounts recommended by the United Nations’ International Labour Organization.

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Boots on the Ground in Venezeula: a special report from Kamloops Activist Antoine Ste. Marie

I am currently in a remote area of Venezuela and have been for the last week and a half. It is somewhat difficult to imagine all these events going on outside of the towns of San Simon and Pregonero, where I am based. Here people say these are the biggest protests since the 2002 CIA-backed coup against the government of then leader Hugo Chavez.

               

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The Big Gamble: Ajax Mine and the Corporate Model

November, 2013

By Peter Kerek

 

Many of the AJAX Mine supporters have stated that protestors should be quiet and let the “process” run its course before condemning the proposal. That, however, would require everyone in the protest camp to put an awful lot of faith (“faith” is the thing you need when you don’t have evidence or facts) in a process run by a provincial government that is whole-heartedly committed to the mining industry.

It isn’t lost upon many that the mining industry was a major donor to the Liberal Party; nor should anyone forget the big congratulatory hug from KGHM spokesperson Yves Lacasse and the then Liberal government Environment Minister Terry Lake upon news of Mr. Lake’s reelection. There’s a lot of concern about a government who is so conspicuously cozy with their financial sponsors.

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Corporate Media: When Profits Become Irrelevant

November, 2013

 In some cases, particularly in the media industry, the need to make a profit is irrelevant because the main purpose of the business is to push a political agenda.

One of the grandest Canadian examples is the National Post newspaper. Its purpose was to regularly bombard readers with philosophies that were friendly to the corporate model and push a political agenda that was friendly to the investment/ruling class of capitalists.

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US Attempts to Subvert International Law: Harper Supports

September, 2013

By Peter Kerek

While the US continues to utilize their economic and military clout to gather allies for a new war, world leaders are concerned that the US will once again flout international law by taking unilateral military action against the Syrian government.

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Unifor: Canada’s Big New Union

August, 2013

By Stephen Von Sychowski

The Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union (CEP) have formally joined to form Canada’s largest private sector union representing over 300,000 members. The new union is called Unifor.

Erosion of union density, failure of union organizing, concerted government attacks on unions, global corporations seeking to extract concessions from workers, the threat of right to work legislation, paralysis and dysfunction of some labour centrals, and the need to organize youth have been identified as some of the key challenges facing the labour movement. If these challenges are not faced and overcome, the Canadian labour movement could be heading towards disaster.

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Unemployment Rates: Why is 6% Just About Right?

July, 2013

By Peter Kerek

 Have you ever wondered why economic advisors to Canadian governments suggest that 8 or 9 per cent unemployment in Canada is quite high, 20 % is beyond belief, but 6% is just about perfect?

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Canadian Political Corruption: How Campaign Donations Have Distrorted Government’s Purpose

May, 2013

 By Peter Kerek

 Corruption: 1) use of corrupt practices especially bribery or fraud; 2) morally depraved, wicked; 3) irregular alteration from its original state (Oxford Canadian Dictionary)

 Fraud: 1) the action or an instance of deceiving someone in order to make money or obtain an advantage illegally; 2) a person or thing that is not what it is claimed to be; 3) a dishonest trick (Oxford Canadian Dictionary)

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Participatory Democracy…

…is a governing system where much decision-making authority is given to ordinary citizens.

These decisions often occur at the local level at community meetings, town councils and trade councils. The goal is to empower all people with greater ability to make changes so that local governance is more reflective of the popular will.

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