I'm sure that whatever gets proposed in the Throne Speech on September 23, we will get one response from the political RW: "We can't afford it" - especially if it's any form of UBI #cdnpoli /1
BUT - the real question is "can we afford not to"? The COVID-19 shut-in of the economy revealed some very interesting things about our existing social safety net - especially EI. /2
First of all, it showed us that the employment economy has changed, more substantially than our politicians realized. /3
While many still work in "traditional" (as in Industrial Revolution era) jobs, a large number of people work on contract, or are otherwise self-employed (e.g. "gig economy") /4
This shift is significant, and started in the 2000s, with more and more companies shifting to outsourcing and contract workers for "non-core" tasks. (Which would broaden to core tasks that were "too expensive"). /5
Structurally, the economy has shifted enormously. We need to acknowledge that. The social safety net hasn't kept up with those shifts, and the gaps became undeniable when COVID-19 struck. /6
We can quibble over whether an "enhanced EI", or a more broadly based UBI model is more appropriate, but that is a comparatively small discussion. The fact is that we need a different set of tools. /7
The current social safety net, embodied in programs like EI, was engineered in the days when you had 2 major classes of workers: employees and entrepreneurs/small business owners. /8
Full-time work was the norm, and part time jobs were usually entry-level or designed to fill specific gaps. Today, major enterprises rely almost exclusively on part-time "casual" labour, and workers often hold 2 or more jobs down in an effort to make ends meet. /9
Part time jobs are no longer the domain of students working for "pocket money". Far from it. /10
Small businesses are much more volatile than they used to be, often with very brief existences - especially in tech sectors where the Silicon Valley aphorism of "fail fast" rules. /11
Many more workers exist in the grey zone of being contractors or "gig workers", with virtually no support at all when things go south as they did in March. /12
Whatever model is proposed at the end of September, we have to remember that the landscape that once existed and allowed the existing system to function has changed enormously. /13
While it may be easy to argue that "we just need to give business the right stimulus", the fact of the matter is that the structure of employment has changed, and so must the programs designed to protect workers.

Business stimulus is no longer adequate policy. /14 ~fin~

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More from @MgS_2011

4 Sep
[Thread] It seems that Danielle Smith has forgotten a little bit of basic history (fairly recent stuff too) #ableg #abpoli /1

In general, the conservative/libertarian mantra of "gotta balance the budget at all costs" (slash-and-burn cuts), and "OMG, taxes are _TOO_ high" (tax cuts for the wealthy) just makes me angry because it is short sighted, and narrow minded. /2
But Smith's reasoning in today's column is exceptionally misguided, both because it fails entirely to understand historical context, but also because some of it is simply outright wrong. /3
Read 20 tweets
1 Sep
A little bit on the NDP's over-the-top attack on Chrystia Freeland's grandfather.

I'm going to approach this from a human factors perspective, because the attacks are making a number of very broad assumptions that deserve to be addressed. /1
First of all, C. Freeland was born in 1968 - 20 years after the end of WWII.

This is significant. Her grandfather was born in 1905, so he was 63 when she was born. /2
That means, for all intents and purposes, she came to know him in the 1970s, and he passed away when she was 16 - still a high school student. /3
Read 16 tweets
26 Aug
So, I see once again the "Real Names Only" on social media crowd is getting going over this story. /1 #cdnpoli #abpoli

I'm going to say this again:

Go down this road, you effectively muzzle women online and deny them a voice. /2
Many women online take an anonymous handle _because_ they have been stalked, doxed, and harassed IRL, and putting their identity out there creates a real danger to themselves and their families. /3
Read 13 tweets
22 Aug
Since our conservative media has decided that "Canadians are lazy", let's take apart the latest pile of steaming garbage that The Globe and Mail decided to not paywall. /1


This thing is basically conservative talking point bingo in one 700 word column.

a) Workers are lazy
b) Borrowing money is "placing a burden on future generations"
c) You can _NEVER_ pay people more than they would get from working /2
Let's begin. We start with the concept of "Moral Hazard". /3
Read 26 tweets
19 Aug
Let's talk a bit about the ways media bias creeps into our discourse. /1
I'm going to point to two articles, both of which are based on the same Associated Press piece. /2
Read 12 tweets
6 Aug
[Thread]: What follows is speculative, more my own musings on some of the gambits that Trump may attempt to use to remain in office. /1
The first point I want to make here is that while most of this ignores both the US Constitution and the conventions that have evolved around the Constitution and elections, Trump himself has argued that he has absolute powers in an emergency.

This is an important assertion: Trump THINKS this way - regardless of whether he's "right" or not, this is how he looks at things (and he clearly has a collection of people around him who are quite willing to play along). /3
Read 33 tweets

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