Highlighting recent economic studies and developments.
Corporations not all that responsible
Corporations with the highest “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) rankings tend to pay lower taxes – and spend more lobbying against taxes – than lower-ranked firms, accounting experts have found. While claiming to do great things, these corporations actually contribute less to society through funding for public services. Is this because they see CSR as a way to cover up their tax dodging, improve their bottom line, or both? Whatever their motives, huge corporations like Starbucks, Amazon and Google are being shamed for avoiding taxes, and facing growing public pressure to pay their fair share.
Massive TPP deal a Transnational Profit Plan
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal will cost over six million jobs, including 58,000 in Canada, according to a Tufts University study. The deal also won’t deliver much of an economic boost – if any – for Canada. The TPP is less about trade and more about corporate power and profit. The clear winners are corporations, who gain expanded power and control at the expense of citizens and governments. Under the TPP, wages and labour’s share of national income will decline, and inequality will grow. Canada signed the TPP in February, but ratification could take up to two years.
Internet for all
ACORN aims to bridge digital divide
The rising cost of living, especially for food, has meant low-income families are cutting back on food, rent and other necessities to maintain their internet service. Home internet service is essential for children doing homework, for job searches, and to access government services. Low-income advocacy group ACORN is calling on the federal government to force telecom companies to provide low-income families and individuals with $10-per-month high-speed internet service.
CUPE calls for action to close gender wage gap
Canada’s gender pay gap is one of the largest among industrialized countries. The gap has grown recently, and is often worst for Aboriginal and racialized women, and women with disabilities. Closing this gap is a CUPE priority – and finally some governments are listening. At an Ontario government consultation, CUPE Ontario called on the province to close the gender wage gap through more funding and targeted wage increases to occupations and sectors dominated by underpaid women. The province must also strengthen and fund pay equity commitments; implement employment equity; stop contracting out and privatization; protect precarious workers; raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour; reduce barriers to unionization; and provide affordable child care. Federally, MPs have passed NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson’s motion calling for action on pay equity.