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How much is enough? The politics of capitalism and wealth

in Business/Columnists/Poverty Reduction by
David Thomson, who according to Canadian Business, has a family net worth of more than $41 Billion.

Many of us who work at The Advocate spend a lot of time thinking about how life could be better for people in our Kawartha Lakes community, and for all Canadians. That is, how do we achieve a more equitable society, within a capitalism framework, where there isn’t such a great chasm between the wealthiest and the poorest?

When we consider these questions we refer to the kind of wealth that defies all sense of decency. As of June 8 last year, the world’s richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.

As I wrote in a feature story in last month’s Advocate, too many of us from all political stripes seem to believe that the ‘free market’ needs to be left alone to do its thing to make lives better for people. It is the ‘trickle down’ lie that has been perpetuated for decades, all the while inequality continues to increase.

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Myth busting two big lies as we fight to keep basic income alive

in Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction by
Just 87 people in Canada have more wealth than 12 million Canadians.

As advocates, we are fighting hard to keep the basic income program alive here in Lindsay. We are heartened by the strong support coming in, and yet we are also dismayed by comments that constantly circle around two big lies.

One is the idea that we can’t afford the pilot program.

The other is that the poor are ultimately lazy.

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We need public policy for the common good, in common purpose

in Business/Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction by
We need public policy for the common good, in common purpose
The economic system abdicated its former role as a system that could take of us. 

Small ‘c’ conservatism runs deeply in Kawartha Lakes. Government is largely seen as something to be wary of, even when setting needed public policy, and not overly beneficial for people’s lives.

There is an abiding faith that it is the economic system – not the political system – that will straighten everything out, if people could just get out of the way and let the ‘free market’ do its thing.

Centre-right politicians – both Liberals and Conservatives — talk like that about the economy, about the market, as if our economic system just happened naturally – as if the rules of the game weren’t written by human beings.

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Lindsay’s Tim Hortons not willing to talk about wages, employee incentives

in Columnists/Community by
Lindsay's Tim Hortons not willing to talk about wages, employee incentives
We continue to talk about Tim Hortons as if it’s a Canadian company. It is not. In 2014, there was a $12.5-billion takeover of Tim Hortons by Brazilian-based 3G Capital.

Last week’s national headlines were dominated by the Tim Hortons brand. Not surprising.

In nearby Cobourg, the owners of the local Tim Hortons there (who just happen to be Ron Joyce Jr., son of Tim Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce, and Jeri-Lynn Horton-Joyce, daughter of Tim Horton) decided they could no longer afford to pay staff for workday breaks.

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