Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2016-05-07T14:44:47-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox

A Primer on the Nationwide Prisoners’ Strike | Moyers & Company

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Sep 29, 2016 12:44 PM
"They’re not included in standard labor surveys or employment numbers, but at least half the nation’s 1.5 million prisoners have a job. Some states have a work requirement: any able-bodied prisoner must work or face disciplinary consequences. According to DATA1 from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 700,000 prisoners have daily jobs, helping to run a prison — mopping cellblock floors, mowing lawns, preparing and serving food. They act as GED tutors, they file papers in the chaplain’s office, and shelve books in the law library. A much smaller portion — an additional 60,000 inmates — participate in “correctional industries” programs designed to mimic real-world jobs; the federal prisons’ Unicor program, which had $472 million in net sales last year, is an example of these programs. An even smaller group (less than one percent of prisoners) work for free-world companies under the auspices of a federal program."

Justin Trudeau approves $36-billion LNG ‘carbon bomb’ on B.C. coast

by JBB — last modified Sep 29, 2016 10:01 AM
by Derrick O'Keefe | Ricochet | Just a day after royals William and Kate visited and trumpeted new protections for the Great Bear Rainforest in B.C., the federal government has announced it’s giving the greenlight to a controversial fossil fuel mega-project that threatens both an ecologically sensitive stretch of the Pacific coast and any chance Canada has of meeting its international climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Canadian Housing Bubble, Debt Stir Financial Crisis Fears

by JBB — last modified Sep 29, 2016 09:55 AM
by Wolf Richter | Wolf Street | Everyone is fretting about the Canadian house price bubble and the mountain of debt it generates – from the IMF on down to the regular Canadian. Now even the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warn about the risks.

More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade | NYT

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Sep 29, 2016 09:35 AM
"Trade is under attack in much of the world, because economists failed to anticipate the accompanying joblessness, and governments failed to help." -- While not surprising, it is rather frustrating that "economists" is seen as a single entity here. There are plenty of folks who work on economics, trade, labour, and broader policy who have been saying this for decades. The problem not outlined here (for the same reasons the problem itself was ignored) is that the ideology driving free trade is also the ideology the prevents social supports for workers affected by trade. (Neo)Liberal are going to have a hard time rejecting just part of their ideology around decent work, but keep their ideology on trade. The costs of a true Just Transition for workers is likely going to cost as much as any economic "benefit" to capital that results from free trade.
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