Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Public art of the day

Posted: 28 January 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Impeach2014_28

source

mike4jan

Special mention

10616182_10152472189331680_5943976194040548908_n Ben Jennings 26.12.14

54008611009a5.preview-620

Special mention

tumblr_nbc2qccApz1r55d2io1_500 canada-or-bust-burger-king-tax-cartoon-600x460

152973_600

Special mention

la-na-tt-dump-mitch-mcconnell-20140827-001 homeofwhopper_590_396

capitalism kills by Metro Centri

Another study, published by the British Journal of Psychiatry [paywall], has confirmed that “there has been a substantial rise in ‘economic suicides’ in the Great Recessions afflicting Europe and North America.”*

What the authors found is that, suicide rates either increased (for most countries in Europe, where suicide rates had been falling, and Canada, where rates had been stable) or accelerated (for the United States and Poland, where suicide rates had already been rising) after the onset of the latest economic crisis. Their conclusion is that “there have been at least 10 000 more economic suicides than would have been expected in the European Union, Canada and the USA since the Great Recession began in 2007.”

Since “economic suicides” are preventable, the authors offer three options that “may increase mental health resilience during economic shocks”: access to secondary prevention, active labor market programs, and greater gender equality in the workplace. Their view is that “Recessions will continue to hurt, but need not cause self-harm.”

In my view, we can go one step further, by recognizing that the economic conditions that lead to “economic suicides” are themselves preventable. So, in addition to what the authors suggest, we need to consider creating alternative economic institutions—ways of organizing the economic system that make sure people are not forced to pay (because of unemployment, indebtedness, and so on) the ultimate price of severe downturns in economic activity and that undo the causes (including the way corporations are organized and macroeconomic policy formulated) of recessions and depressions in the first place.

 

*I discuss an earlier study, published by Lancet, here.

147871_600

Special mention

kerry-what-if classCOL

hchr

Back in 2011, the communities of Vermont—which Calvin Coolidge referred to as “this brave little state”—managed to survive and rebuild after Tropical Storm Irene.

Now, as Molly Worthen explains, they’re bravely rebuilding the state’s healthcare system, after much pushing and prodding from the Vermont Progressive Party.

The Progressives owe much of their success to the oddities of Vermont politics. But their example offers hope that the most frustrating dimensions of our political culture can change, despite obstacles with deep roots in American history.

Green Mountain Care won’t begin until at least 2017, but Vermont liberals are optimistic. “Americans want to see a model that works,” Senator Bernie Sanders told The Atlantic in December. (Mr. Sanders is an independent, but a longtime ally of the Progressives.) “If Vermont can be that model it will have a profound impact on discourse in this country.”

Before you dismiss that prospect as wishful thinking, consider: That’s how national health care happened in Canada. A third party’s provincial experiment paved the way for national reform. In 1946, the social-democratic government of Saskatchewan passed a law providing free hospital care to most residents. The model spread to other provinces, and in 1957 the federal government adopted a cost-sharing measure that evolved into today’s universal single-payer system.