"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome." Jane Austen spoken by Catherine Morland in 'Northanger Abbey'
If it looks like Vancouver, it's probably San Francisco
The inflationists have bet the farm on housing in all the global markets that attract non-resident buyers. When I look at my long term (since 1956) Canadian Housing Starts with Census overlaid chart, it strikes me that we actually need a lot more housing if we want to see affordability again. But the price to rent ratio does not incent the construction industry. If offshore money is willing to buy physically depreciating negative yields, then let's help them along. Perhaps a public-private (us-them) partnership is in order. We build them, they finance them.
Trapped in Silicon Valley
This isn’t a partisan issue. Conservatives who believe in U.S. sovereignty should be outraged that ISDS would shift power from American courts, whose authority is derived from our Constitution, to unaccountable international tribunals. Libertarians should be offended that ISDS effectively would offer a free taxpayer subsidy to countries with weak legal systems. And progressives should oppose ISDS because it would allow big multinationals to weaken labor and environmental rules. Elizabeth Warren 2015
Those worried about the climate implications of the TPP need look no further than the Energy Advisory Committee to the United States Trade Representative, comprised predominantly of executives from the fossil fuel industry, including from Chevron, Halliburton, Nuclear Energy Institute, General-Electric Oil and Gas, Caterpillar, and other major fossil fuel corporations. Sierra Club 2015
Some 600 corporate trade advisers, with names like Halliburton and Caterpillar, are listed on leaked drafts published by WikiLeaks... Based on those drafts, we also know that the draft agreement includes a provision for what’s called “investor-state dispute settlement.” (ISDS). This little-known mechanism was initially created to protect corporate investments in countries where the rule of law is immature or at risk. In reality, it often empowers corporations to sue sovereign nations over any policies that conflict with their supposed right to the profits of free trade – including health and environmental policies designed to serve the democratically determined public interest. The Guardian 2014
WikiLeaks is raising $100,000 reward for TPP
History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense