Storage Wars, and its regional counterpart Storage Wars Texas, have made a killing off showing off the unsavoury, grimy side of failed capitalism: buying the contents of abandoned storage lockers in the hope of making a cheap buck. The mediocre aspirations of the show are depressing enough but the lack of class analysis is even more depressing.
Five years after the Great Recession of 2007-08 destroyed the lives of millions of people and cost trillions of dollars, many of the big investment banks that caused the near total meltdown are still involved in shady and sometimes criminal financial gambling schemes that could crash the world economy again.
At the IMF-World Bank meetings this past week, there were plenty of assessments of the state of the global economy that described the post-2008 recovery as anemic. Only a few went so far as to claim that the global economy is comatose. Yet, despite general agreement on the diagnosis, there was little consensus on how to solve the problem.
Dad was once the ATM; he's less absent now, more engaged in family life. As women "lean in" to the workplace and assert themselves, as they should, men are leaning out. This wreaks uncertainty on the economy, but there is a star of brilliant light looming over the ocean, visible in the ever-rising storm.
The wrong approach to poverty reduction is to ignore the problem, letting the ideological conceit that a rising tide lifts all boats obscure the hard reality that many Canadians have no boat -- or access to anyone who has ever had a boat. The answer is automatic top-ups for those who fall beneath the poverty line.
I went from a successful career as a television producer to living in a rent-geared-to-income unit in downtown Toronto, standing in line for a daily meal with many of the city's poorest, sickest and addicted citizens. But in the making of a film, and through the incredible support that was part of the process, I became a rich man.
On top of the generalized global interest about Argentina's move to nationalize its largest energy company YPF, the majority owner of which had been the Spanish energy company Repsol, there is a special local twist as the Mexican President Felipe Calderón has been particularly critical of Argentina's move calling it "very regrettable."