Global Conflicts, 9 to 5, Ontario Votes
Marc Ross Weekly
June 10, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Marc Ross Weekly = Commentary + Analysis at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits
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1) Does UK PM Theresa May rescind Trump's invite to the UK?
2) Does Trump send Pence to attend NATO summit?
3) Do Midwest governors rebuke Trump's behavior in Canada?
Global conflict continues to rise, index shows
Deutsche Welle, reports the world has become less peaceful over the last ten years, mostly due to conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. An international index paints a dark picture, although with some brighter spots.
Europe was the most peaceful region in the world in 2017, while the Middle East and North Africa were the least quiet, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), said in its 12th annual report published in London on Wednesday.
"There is an ongoing deterioration in global peace," Steve Killelea, head of the Australia-based IEP, told DW. "It's gradual and it's been going on for the last decade."
The conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and the spillover effects into other areas have been the primary drivers in the decline of global peace, Killelea said.
The IEP's Global Peace Index (GPI) found that in 92 nations peacefulness fell in 2017, with improvements in only 71 countries. Killelea told DW this negative trend has continued for the fourth year in a row.
According to the GPI, the Middle East and North Africa region is the least peaceful region in the world. At the bottom of the 163-state ranking are Syria, with Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia not far ahead.
The gig is 9 to 5 and is the employment is formal
On Thursday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found less than 4 percent of workers--5.9 million persons--held contingent jobs.
Contingent jobs are as those assignments which are temporary in nature.
In addition to contingent workers, the BLS survey also identified workers who have various alternative work arrangements or what many of us refer to as gigs.
In May 2017 the BLS data found there were 10.6 million independent contractors (less than 7 percent of total employment), 2.6 million on-call workers (1.7 percent of total employment), 1.4 million temporary help agency workers (0.9 percent of total employment), and 933,000 workers provided by contract firms (0.6 percent of total employment).
So roughly 10 percent of American workers in 2017 were employed in some form of what the government calls “alternative work arrangements."
This broad category includes Lyft drivers, freelance designers, and people employed through temporary-help agencies — essentially anyone whose primary source of work comes outside a traditional employment relationship.
As reported by the New York Times, this far from a boom in gig work and goes against conventional wisdom when to comes to employment.
“I think everybody’s narrative got blown up,” said Michael R. Strain, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
The largest category of alternative workers, independent contractors, are disproportionately in their mid-40s or older and familiar in sectors like construction that have not been disrupted by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. They earn about as much, on average, as standard employees, and are relatively happy with their arrangements: Nearly eight in 10 say they prefer being an independent contractor to being an employee.
Outside of plumbers, roofers, and general contractors, most Americans work 9 to 5 in a formal work environment.
Think populism is slowing down? Check out how Ontario voted
Populism establishes a beachhead in Canada's most prosperous and most important province of Ontario.
To understand what will happen with American politics and upcoming elections, I find exploring elections in other Western democracies to be an essential tool.
Last Thursday night, Doug Ford was elected as the next Premier of Ontario. A new expansion of populism now confronts Canada. Think Trump lands in Ontario.
CBC's Chris Hall wrote, "Doug Ford — the bombastic, blustering and populist former Toronto city councilor — is going to be the next premier of Canada's most populous province. His victory, convincing as it was, came with an exclamation mark. He put an end to 15 straight years of Liberal rule."
Toronto Star columnist Edward Keenan echoed the same scripting "Ford era promises a rocky road ahead for all of us."
He went onto say "the next four years under Premier Doug Ford: constant reasons to wonder about the malice vs. incompetence debate, with a loud portion of Ford’s supporters hoping and cheering for the former option. And many of the rest of us hoping instead for the latter, because perhaps if a problem is caused by incompetence, there is some hope it will be fixed, as those who caused it realize their mistake or grow more competent and capable."
@Richard_Florida tweeted: Ontario went from being a pro-urban province/ state like California or New York to joining the ranks of anti-urban Red states ...
I don't see the expansion of populism around Great Lakes stopping any time. Until CEOs of multinational corporations, Governors, and Mayors show leadership and engage voters in the Midwest on the value of globalization, this will be the result at the ballot box.
Endless outrage by the coastal elites will do little to change election outcomes.
Cross the Hudson and be in Cleveland.
Cross the Potomac and be in Detroit.
This is the three-part question facing US voters in 2018 and 2020: Do we protect the jobs of the past or invest in the jobs of the future? Do we subsidize the grey hairs or invest in today's 8th graders? Do we want to be part of a global world or not?
Voters today want protection, subsidies, and unilateralism.