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Why do the media always pit labor against capital? – TechCrunch

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The uproar that arose after Dolly Parton rewrote the lyrics to “9 to 5” for a Squarespace Super Bowl commercial revealed a problem with the English language: A worker is no longer a worker.

As she sang in celebration of entrepreneurs:

Working 5 to 9
you’ve got passion and a vision
‘Cause it’s hustlin’ time
a whole new way to makе a livin’
Gonna change your life
do something that givеs it meaning …

Some criticized it, saying it celebrated an “empty promise” of capitalism, as if people aiming to establish their own businesses were “workers” who needed to be protected from powerful corporations. Others grasped that there is more nuance in our economy than ever before and that, perhaps, Parton was on to something.

In fact, her updated lyrics represent a shift in the primacy between capital and labor in the 40 years since she penned the original. Gone is the idea that getting ahead is only a “rich man’s game … puttin’ money in his wallet.” Workers today have a different potential than they did in 1980 when she first sang:

There’s a better life
And you think about it, don’t you?
It’s a rich man’s game
No matter what they call it,
And you spend your life
Puttin’ money in his wallet.

There are abusive corporations, and we do need a better social safety net so that people aren’t at the mercy of the doctrine of shareholder primacy, but that truth disguises a more complicated reality. The divide between capital and labor increasingly looks like an anachronism, a throwback to the language and illusory simplicity of another time. Yet still, the media persists in pushing this false dichotomy; this mistaken idea that labor and capital are two separate and oppositional forces in our economy. Perhaps doing so is human nature.

Or perhaps it simply sells more newspapers or generates more clicks. The media certainly thrives on conflict (real or imaginary) and, along with human nature to try to group things into black and white, the continued framing of our economy as somehow consisting of individual actors who exist solely on one side of the capital/labor line makes for easier narratives.

The truth of this aspect of our economy, as with most things, exists in the gray areas. In the nuance and the movement between groups. The U.S. economy has always been uniquely entrepreneurial, from the discovery of the “new land” to the formation of our government to the expansion of our country and eventually its industrialization. Entrepreneurs have long led the way. Today, nearly 60 million people are entrepreneurial in some way.

The vast majority inhabit the frontlines of the economy. They are freelancers or the late-night business starters that Parton sang about. They are freelancing on the side to earn money to support some other dream, or are stitching together lives for themselves by being their own boss. They’re driving Ubers, delivering meals for GrubHub and selling their crafts on Etsy. Never have more people had more access to expand their horizons through pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams than right now. And they exist in the world of technology, where a single person at a kitchen table has the same power to bring an innovation to market as giant corporations did four decades ago.

Victor Hwang, CEO of Right to Start and a former vice president of entrepreneurship for the Kauffman Foundation, described the capital-versus-labor debate as “the biggest false narrative out there. It’s an artificial narrative that we’ve created: employer versus employee; big versus small; corporation versus worker. All are false narratives and contribute to the incorrect notion that the most important fight in our economy exists between these supposedly oppositional forces.”

But our economic and government funding debates are framed, often by the media, around the idea of capitalism versus socialism, corporations versus workers. That increasingly divisive conversation has some of the hallmarks of a deliberately engineered division, like the ones over climate change or gun rights. Right-wing groups with an interest in freezing the government into inaction figured out how to divide the country into two groups and get them fighting.

Why don’t we have universal health care, parental leave, working infrastructure — all things that would, not incidentally, boost entrepreneurship and small business? We’ve been too busy fighting about a socialist takeover and the evils of capitalism.

The conflict thrives in part because we don’t have the right language to describe what’s happening now: “These debates should be viewed as part of a larger discussion,” Hwang said. “We should be striving to encourage highly innovative people and companies. What are the categories we need to develop? How do you classify someone’s role in the economy?”

What we need as an economy is a system that empowers more people to be producers and entrepreneurs. To solve problems and look for opportunities to create change in their communities. Instead, we’ve built a system that supports incumbents; that thrives on the status quo; that stifles innovation and uses the tactics of division to do so. It’s a tension that stems from our neoliberal worldview that achieved an almost consensus in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Beyond just arguing that free markets and open trade make it easier and better to do business (which we generally agree with), it also implied that the only thing that mattered in our economy was making big companies bigger (while, perhaps, allowing for the occasional upstart — but only those that had the potential to grow quickly and become big companies themselves). Lost was the value of smaller businesses, operating in the in-between spaces in our economy. We don’t even effectively measure their impact.

Wanting to know how the “economy” is doing, we look no further than the fate of the 500 largest publicly traded companies (the S&P 500) or the 30 massive businesses that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average. No wonder people across Main Streets are scratching their heads as pundits describe the economy as thriving by citing the continued rise of the Dow when they can see the millions of small businesses closing all around them.

In our book, “The New Builders,” we describe entrepreneurs as “builders.” Builder is a word with Old English roots in the ideas “to be, exist, grow,” according to the Online Dictionary of Etymology. In a century where change is the lingua franca, builders own the value of their own labor as a mechanism to build independence and, eventually, capital.

We often forget that the majority of these builders — the small business owners of America — create opportunities with the most limited resources. According to the Kauffman Foundation, 83% of businesses are formed without the help of either bank financing or venture capital. Yet small businesses are responsible for nearly 40% of U.S. GDP and nearly half of employment. Perhaps that’s why International Economy publisher David Smick termed them “the great equalizer” in his book of the same name.

Technology has fundamentally changed the landscape for businesses of all sizes and has the potential to enable a resurgence of our small business economy. Rather than pushing a false narrative that individuals need to choose between being a part of the labor or capital economies, we should be encouraging fluidity between the two. The more capital ownership we encourage — through savings, investment in their own businesses, and by allowing more and more people to become investors of all kinds — the more we drive wealth creation and open economic activity for generations to come.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 edition of The International Economy Magazine. 

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City of Brandon – September 18th Media Release – City of Brandon –

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For the last 24 hours: 

Stolen Vehicle Recovered:

At about 9:30 AM Friday morning, a vehicle stolen from Winnipeg was located unoccupied in the 300 block Louise Avenue, by a member on patrol.  The vehicle was seized and towed to BPS where it was subjected to a forensic examination.

Fire in Apartment Complex:

At 1:12 PM Friday, a resident of an apartment within 1400 Pacific Avenue reported fire alarms were sounding in his unit.  Members attended and found an active fire within the suite, which was quickly extinguished.  Investigation revealed that the fire was caused accidentally when the tenant set a bag of groceries on the stove, incidentally turning a burner on, which ignited some of the contents of the grocery bag.

Arrest Warrants Executed:

A 41 year-old male was arrested on the strength of an arrest warrant on Friday evening after being checked in the 1000 block Victoria Avenue.  A police records checked showed he was wanted for failing to attend for identification.  He was processed and released to appear in court on a later date.

A 33 year-old female rom Winnipeg was arrested for possession of property obtained by crime after a vehicle was stopped on the TransCanada Highway.  An arrest warrant, held by the Winnipeg Police Service for the noted offence, was returned during a records query.  The accused was released from custody to appear in court in Winnipeg on December 14th.

An unendorsed warrant for arrest for a 36 year-old Brandon man was executed just before 2:00 AM this morning.  The male was wanted for failing to comply with conditions of an undertaking.  He was held in custody and will appear before the court today.

Boissevain RCMP arrested a 61 year-old male resident of Hartney, MB on the strength of an arrest warrant held by BPS, for failing to attend court.  The accused was later released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court on November 29th.

Ste Rose RCMP arrested a 43 year-old male during the course of an investigation and learned that BPS held an endorsed warrant for arrest for failing to attend for identification.  The accused will appear before the court today on all charges.

Failing to Comply with Orders:

A 22 year-old female was checked by police in the 0-00 block 10th Street just before midnight Friday night.  She was found to be bound by an undertaking that included a daily curfew condition, which the accused was breaching.  She was processed and released to appear in court on December 16th.

A 47 year-old male was also arrested for violating a curfew condition of a release order.  At 4:20 AM this morning, the accused was located in the 0-00 block 9th Street, well outside of his 9:00 PM – 8:00 AM curfew. He too was processed and released to appear in court on December 16th.

Others:

Four males were held overnight under the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act after being located in separate incidents, and being intoxicated to the point they were unable to safely care for themselves.  They will be released once they are more sober.

RELEASE AUTHORIZED BY:

Acting Staff Sergeant D. Lockkhart, #101

B Platoon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, www.brandoncrimestoppers.com or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637).  Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.

CRIME STOPPERS 204-727-TIPS

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How the party platforms compare on future of CBC, media supports – CBC.ca

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The media, including broadcasting and streaming, were the topic of much debate in the months leading into the election. 

Of particular interest to the public was Bill C-10, which was introduced by the Liberals and would have required many digital media companies to promote Canadian content. The bill was controversial, and it did not become law before the election was called.

Debates have raged during the Liberal government about whether Canada’s media industry should receive government support as ad revenues fall, and whether CBC/Radio-Canada should change its programming and funding model.

The parties have made some significant pledges when it comes to media and the public broadcaster. Here are the highlights:

Liberals

If the Liberals are re-elected, their platform pledges to introduce legislation that would require digital platforms, such as  Facebook, to share a portion of revenue generated from news content with Canadian news outlets.

“This legislation would be based on the Australian model and level the playing field between global platforms and Canadians news outlets,” the platform says.

Similarly, the Liberals are pledging to reintroduce legislation to change Canada’s Broadcasting Act. They’ll make it a requirement for foreign web giants, such as YouTube and Netflix, to promote Canadian content.

Most parties are proposing that web giants such as Facebook contribute financially to the Canadian media industry. (Paul Sakuma / The Associated Press)

The Liberals are also promising to extend insurance coverage related to the COVID-19 pandemic for media production stoppages. They also say they’ll double the government’s current contribution of to the Canada Media Fund to support Canadian television production.

When it comes to CBC, the Liberals want to “update CBC/Radio-Canada’s mandate to ensure that it is meeting the needs and expectations of today’s Canadian audiences with unique programming that distinguishes it from private broadcasters.”

They say they’ll provide $400 million over four years to CBC with the aim of making the public broadcaster less reliant on private advertising during news and current affairs programs.

At a press conference in Aurora, Ont., on Monday, Justin Trudeau said his party will always support the media.

“I am happy to stand here and defend the work that media does as an essential part of our democracy,” he said. “We will always be there to support and thank members of the press for doing the important work of bringing things forward, of challenging all parties and anyone who wants to lead this country, and holding leaders to account.”

Conservatives

Like the Liberals, the Conservatives are also proposing that Google and Facebook pay royalties for Canadian news content — adding that they will look at best practices from countries that have taken a similar approach, such as Australia and France.

They’ll also do a “full review” of the CRTC’s mandate, with a focus of “ensuring that it better reflects the needs of Canadians and doesn’t prevent Canadian broadcasters from innovating and adapting to changes in the market.”

They’re promising to repeal Bill C-10, which was the Liberal effort to require web giants to promote Canadian content. Instead, they are promising an alternative approach that would require digital streaming services to reinvest a “significant” amount of their Canadian revenue into making original Canadian programs.

The Conservatives are pledging to end the media bailout initiated by the Trudeau government in 2019, when it  set aside nearly $600 million over five years to support media outlets.

“While we support Canadian media outlets, they should not be directly receiving tax dollars,” their platform reads. “Government funding of ‘approved’ media undermines press freedom, a vital part of a free society.”

When it comes to CBC, the Conservatives pledge to review the mandate of CBC English TV, including CBC News Network, and also English digital news. The platform adds that the review would look at the viability of a “public interest model like that of PBS in the United States, ensuring that it no longer competes with private Canadian broadcasters and digital providers.”

They’re also proposing a separate legal and administrative structure for Radio-Canada, while also ensuring the French-language broadcaster does not charge user fees for its streaming services or operate a sponsored content department.

The Conservatives are proposing a review of CBC’s English TV and digital news operations. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

At an announcement in Saint John earlier this week, O’Toole said he does not believe CBC should compete with the private sector in certain areas.

“The public interest mandate is critical in terms of rural communities being connected, in terms of keeping Canadians informed, and that’s the public interest side I like,” he said.

“What I don’t like is competition with the private sector that is holding on by a thread … in English television and in digital, competing and hollowing out jobs in the private sector, leading to less choice, less options, less voices.”

He also reaffirmed that his government would end public financial support for media outlets.

“We also have to look to end the direct government supports to media, but work with them to try and make sure they transition to the digital space, to this new media environment,” he said. “We need to balance the playing field with the American web giants, and we will do that, while protecting freedom of speech and Internet freedom.”

NDP

The NDP are also promising changes to the Broadcasting Act, with an aim of creating “a level playing field between Canadian broadcasters and foreign streaming giants,” according to its platform.

The platform says the party will make Netflix, Facebook, Google and other digital media companies pay corporate taxes and contribute to Canadian content in both English and French.

“Most Canadians now get their news from Facebook, and Netflix is the largest broadcaster in the country,” the platform says. “But despite the Liberals promising to take action, these web giants still don’t pay the same taxes or contribute to funding Canadian content in the same way traditional media do.”

The party says it will put a priority on partnering with independent Canadian producers and on increasing funding for TeleFilm and the Canada Media Fund, although it doesn’t say how much.

The NDP is pledging to increasing funding for CBC and Radio-Canada “to help reverse the damage of decades of funding cuts under both Liberal and Conservative governments.” The platform doesn’t specify an amount.

But in an interview with the advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, Singh said he’d look into bringing funding for the public broadcaster to levels seen in other countries.

“I want us to get to a point where we’re not among the lowest funded in the world. We need to be competitive with what other jurisdictions are doing. … We want to have properly funded, well-funded public broadcasting,” he said. “I’m definitely prepared to increase [funding].”

People’s Party

The People’s Party has said during the campaign that it would end the media bailout “to guarantee that Canada has a free and independent press,” according to a news release from the party.

With regard to CBC/Radio-Canada, the People’s Party would either defund and privatize it, or it would change the funding model to a partly donor-driven one like those with NPR and PBS in the United States.

“What we need are free and independent media, not media that are dependent on the government for their survival and profitability,” PPC Leader Maxime Bernier said in a statement.

Greens

The Green platform says the party is in favour of regulating social media platforms and streaming services through the CRTC “as envisioned in Bill C-10.”

The party also wants the CRTC to reserve more bandwidth for independent and non-profit stations, and it is pledging to create an independent commission to study the concentration of media ownership in Canada.

With respect to CBC, the party says it will “provide a stable base-funding” for CBC’s English and French operations, but additionally wants to see programs in Indigenous languages and programming that encourages learning of Indigenous languages.

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Social media strategies played important role in pandemic election: experts – CTV News

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Bakhtawar Khan excitedly waited, her friend holding two cellphones and a camera, for her turn to get a photo with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

The 20-year-old, like most people showing up to political rallies across the country, wanted to share the image with friends and followers on social media.

“I feel like a lot of people are telling me not to vote for NDP because it will be a split with the Liberals,” Khan said. “But the way I look at social media, I don’t think it will be true this year.”

Khan, like people across the country, says she gets all her political and election information from social media.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been spending even more time on their social media and all the political parties are hoping to take advantage to tap directly into their voter base. But just because someone likes or shares a political post doesn’t necessarily translate at the polls.

Experts across the country are watching to see which party’s social media strategy paid off the most on election day.

Half of Canadians, regardless of age, use Facebook weekly to get news on current events and politics, said Oksana Kishchuk, a consultant with Abacus Data.

Social media has become a vital player in building support. It’s not just about posting either, she said, as parties have to consider good photos, snappy clips and current trends.

“Mastering these techniques will be important,” Kishchuk said.

As election day comes closer, she says all three main parties are taking the strategy of “target and spend.” In the last week or so, each has spent $400,000 to $600,000 on advertisements on Facebook and Instagram. The Liberals and NDP are using that cash to share messages focusing mainly on their own strengths, while the Conservatives have put a focus on Justin Trudeau, she said.

 The most recent polling by Abacus shows Liberals in the lead with their social media strategy, Kishchuk said, but impressions of Singh and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole rose significantly during the election.

In particular, Kishchuk said she’s interested to see the outcome of the New Democrats focus on TikTok to connect with younger voters.

“Very few (users) are using TikTok as a main source for news,” she added.

Tori Rivard says she joined the app because of Singh after seeing “a lot of hype” from the leader through her friends’ social media accounts. Now, she is excited about the party and even showed up to a campaign stop in Ontario.

“I think it’s super important especially with millennials and gen Z because social media is how we get all of our information pretty much,” Rivard said. “So (Singh) being engaged on there makes us more likely to seek out more information elsewhere.”

Tamara Small, a professor of political science at the University of Guelph, said she thinks TikTok as a campaign strategy is more of a “stunt” and will be less influential at the ballot box.

“As a tool of persuasion, it’s a bunch of people who cannot vote, and a bunch of people who, if they can vote, don’t likely vote,” she said. “So, thank goodness it’s free because you wouldn’t want to spend money there.”

Small also cautioned that social media can get party faithful excited but has less impact on flipping people’s partisanship.

“The whole thing is a big echo chamber,” she said.

“If you are going to go on social media you are unlikely to follow the leader of the party that’s ‘the worst’ because why would you do that to yourself.”

Social media is a double-edged sword for political parties, said Kim Speers, a professor at the University of Victoria. It has the potential to garner new support by sharing what the party stands for

“It also has the potential to decrease support if negative (information) is found on a current candidate’s social media account or if the messaging is or can be negatively misinterpreted,” she said.

Both the Conservatives and the New Democrats removed candidates or saw them resign because of their social media history.

All parties are taking a hybrid approach, she said, which includes social media ads, videoconferencing and in-person campaigning. She said NDP are focusing on new social media platforms, the Liberals have a more traditional approach with things like Facebook ads and the Conservatives are using a virtual approach, with online question-and-answer sessions and rallies.

The mix is important, Speers said, because when it comes to social media the parties “may have followers but they need voters more.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2021.

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