SVB: From the valley to the chasm
While relatively unknown outside of Silicon Valley, SVB was among the top 20 American commercial banks (the 16th largest), with $209 billion in total assets at the end of last year, according to the FDIC. It’s the largest lender to fail since Washington Mutual collapsed in 2008 during the global financial crash. So, contrary to some reports, SVB is no minnow.
The brutality is in the budget
The city is responding to very real safety concerns by shuffling more money into policing and away from services we rely on to get through our everyday lives. For the people who suffer most from this shrinking of the public sphere they are not only left unsupported, their preventable crises are increasingly likely to be met with police, whose toolbox is limited and often actively damaging.
Can more for-profit health care be stopped?
The new health accord between Ottawa and the provinces provides more money, but it could also easily bring an even faster rollout of for-profit provision of health care across the country. Right now, it’s pretty much up to the provinces to determine health care spending. But there are big differences between what they are doing and saying about for-profit care.
Combatting the ruinous greed of the developers
The acceleration of upscale redevelopment will force up rents, drive out low income tenants and facilitate the removal of the numerous homeless shelters and other vital services that have long been based in this area. This clearing process will be conducted ruthlessly, as property values and developers’ aspirations take priority over human need.
Busting the rent control myth
Improved rent controls alone will not solve the housing crisis, but they can play a major role. With the evidence on our side, and a rigged market on the other, it’s long overdue for cities and provinces across Canada to pursue improved, expansive rent controls, and help bring the outrageous and unchallenged influence of speculators to an end.
BC’s logging industry is using mill closures as a political tool in its fight against regulation
The coincident timing of sawmill closures and the BC government’s plans to improve the sustainability of the province’s logging sector suggests that the industry isn’t just responding to market conditions; it’s sacrificing workers and communities as a political threat designed to scare Premier David Eby out of implementing any meaningful new regulations.
Why news of population decline and economic slowdown isn’t necessarily a bad thing
Sure, the end of economic expansion and population growth is a challenging prospect. But it’s not nearly as daunting as the crisis we are setting up for ourselves if we continue to destroy nature through wasteful consumption and pollution. China’s slowdown is a welcome opportunity to get our priorities straight and set ourselves on a path of sustainable happiness and wellbeing.
The life and death struggle for public health care
As health care provision moves closer to collapse, the most destructive course of action is to offer privatized medical care to those with the means to pay for it, while forcing the rest of us to line up for the sub-standard remnants of the public system. Given the prevailing political agenda, it is hardly surprising that this threat is looming over us.
Imperialism is inscribed in the very DNA of capitalism
John Smith’s Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century: Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism’s Final Crisis argues for a theory of contemporary imperialism grounded in super-exploitation, outsourcing, and global labour arbitrage. It is a highly readable and clarifying text that offers a comprehensive analysis of the global shift of production to the South in recent decades.
Keynes and the left
The ideas and theories of John Maynard Keynes still dominate the economic views and policy proposals of the leaders of the labour movement in the major capitalist economies. Keynes is seen as offering a ‘third way’ between the pro-capitalist ‘free market’ economics that dominates the universities and is often perceived as the opposite of dangerously revolutionary Marxian economics.