The decline of reading causes a decline in thinking, which in turn impairs social and political participation

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. --Joseph Addison. The number of newspaper readers is plunging by the millions in most countries, including Canada and the United States. This decline is driven by the hundreds of metro dailies that have been forced to close, merge, or drastically reduce their size or … Continue reading The decline of reading causes a decline in thinking, which in turn impairs social and political participation

CEOs, politicians no more likely to heed scientists’ latest global warming deadline than they were all their previous alarms

With few exceptions, the world’s economic and political leaders are not long-term thinkers. The CEOs seldom look beyond the next business quarter, the politicians beyond the next election. If they do occasionally peer into the future, it is usually to anticipate the increase of their profits and power. They assume that the reign of global … Continue reading CEOs, politicians no more likely to heed scientists’ latest global warming deadline than they were all their previous alarms

Global warming and corporate greed combine to destroy forests with fire and felling

The razing of millions of acres of forests by wildfires has been increasing in scale and intensity for the past few decades. This year has set new records for the number of trees and shrubs destroyed by fire – not just in the United States and Canada, but also in many other countries, including England, … Continue reading Global warming and corporate greed combine to destroy forests with fire and felling

Latest report on Canada’s shoddy child care is unlikely to reduce government neglect

A recent report on Canada’s abysmal failure to protect and care for the country’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens – its children – made headlines and stirred ripples of shame and outrage. Compiled by Children First Canada and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, the study found that children in Canada suffer from shockingly high … Continue reading Latest report on Canada’s shoddy child care is unlikely to reduce government neglect

Trade union issues get scant coverage in the modern mainstream media

Back in the 1960s, 1970s, and into the ‘80s, almost all of the large newspapers in Canada had a reporter who specialized in labour-management relations. Wilf List covered labour for the Globe and Mail for an amazing 35 years. I wrote a labour relations column for the Toronto Star for 15 years (1968-1982), and the … Continue reading Trade union issues get scant coverage in the modern mainstream media

Official rates of employment overlook poorly-paid jobs, poverty, inequality

The recent Statistics Canada report that Canada’s unemployment rate had dropped to 5.7%, the lowest in four decades, was greeted with great jubilation by politicians, most economists, and the mass media. They welcomed the “good news” that the vast majority of Canadians now have jobs and so presumably are being spared the stress and strain … Continue reading Official rates of employment overlook poorly-paid jobs, poverty, inequality