A Few Thoughts on Week 34

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  • Obviously the big story (but not the only story from this week) is the election results across the border. A friend of mine said something profound when talking about what the next 4 years could look like in response to Biden/Harris winning. “Empathy is infectious so I also like to think we come together collectively to do good more so when there’s an empathetic leader in place.” The outpouring of joy on social media and in big US cities was amazing to see but that doesn’t fix the division. As a pragmatist, winning the election was the first steps.
  • I think the Beaverton sums it up pretty well in this tweet.
  • Some really interesting ballot initiatives were also decided last week.
    • Colorado rejected a 22 week abortion ban. On the flip side Louisiana placed additional restrictions on abortion protections via amendment to state constitution with 62% support.
    • California ballot measure that would classify gig employees (Uber/Lyft drivers) as employees failed to pass.
    • Oregon legalized mushrooms and decriminalized other drugs with funding for drug treatment centres coming from revenue from marijuana sales tax.
    • Rank ballot initiative is losing at time of writing in Alaska 46-54.
    • 5 states (New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, Mississippi and Arizona) legalized pot in various ways ranging from full legalization with sales and taxing to recreational to medical.
    • Florida has a $15 per hour minimum wage via ballot initiative.
  • Locally, I guess we are talking about the hospital again at council which means I need to bake something.
  • Transit is seeing ridership plummet.
    • I happened to be digging around in transportation data for our region and stumbled upon this:
  • The above data is a breakout of how and how long it takes people in the Windsor CMA to get to work on a regular or irregular commute. Despite having one of the shortest commute times in Canada, for those who take transit face the longest commutes.
  • The Ontario Budget came out and almost no one paid attention.
    • There were some interesting elements for example the Province looking to support business by matching property tax cuts by municipalities with equal cuts in their educational property taxes.
      • Educational property taxes are about ~40% of school board budget. The province does state that they will match any reductions with new funding to boards.
    • I posted all of Windsor and Essex County (including the municipalities) mentions on twitter.
      • I’m sad that Jed’s Restaurant doesn’t exist.
    • Another fun one seems to be a “Stay-cation” tax credit in 2021. “Support for up to 20% Ontario Tourism expenses” – what those expenses are remain to be scene but my guess is hotel and campground, travel or car rental, admission fees to attractions etc.
    • Parents will be getting another cheque ($200 kids under 12, $250 13-18) for their kids… unfortunately us single people don’t get anything.
      • Would Izzy qualify?
  • I had a great podcast shared with me call Her Climb which is about women of colour in the corporate world.
  • A great book/report by the McConnell Foundation looks at the last 4 years of Social Innovation in Canada. They will mail you a copy if you want a printed version.
  • Mike Moffatt released another post on Basic Income this week looking at better alternatives. In the same vein I stumbled across a great webinar by the Broadbent Institute featuring Simon Black and Armine Yalnizyan on whether UBI would be good for Canada.
  • Daily numbers are less important than the 7 day averages
    • Oct 12 – 18: 6.14 cases per day
    • Oct 19 – 25: 5.14 cases per day
    • Oct 26 – Nov 1: 7.28 cases per day
    • Nov 2 – 8: 11.85 cases per day
    • So ya….
  • I was also wondering what day is the worst for cases so I went and counted from my tracking. There might be some minor variation from official counts as I haven’t been revising earlier numbers.
  • I have said numerous times on this blog and social media that there really isn’t any point to debate on social media. From my personal experience the result tends to be a mob mentality (this is a great piece btw but it is long and complex) that is driven by ideological purity or loyalty to attack someone who holds valid criticism. I have always been open to meeting and discussing, but very few every take me up on it.
  • Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t tumble down a rabbit hole on debating an issue or policy every now and then. Unfortunately in the online environment, the ability to play devils advocate without fault often leads to circular argument based on ideology.
    • I also don’t claim to always be right or always know all of the details or nuances of a situation and if I make an error I will correct myself. You can find various corrections on a number of posts on this site.
  • That being said, I am very selective when and where I engage online. So if you wonder why I don’t respond unconstructive comments on Facebook, well that is the point. The goal of the Facebook algorithm is to amplify posts that breed conflict and controversy, which attracts eyeballs which puts money Zuckerberg’s pocket. I respond and it all tumbles down hill and we have created an Internet of Beefs.
  • All that I do know is the only way to have a constructive conversation is to take it off of social media. That does not mean it should be private, public acts are open to public scrutiny. For anyone who wants to respond here, the comment section is (and has) always been open and my personal email is listed on the blog’s main page.

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