Assorted content for your weekend reading. – David Macdonald notes that the federal government’s investments in the wake of COVID-19 have been necessary to keep intolerable burdens off of people who haven’t been able to bear them. Scotiabank weighs in (PDF) on the reality that the costs of inaction wouldContinue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – George Monbiot writes that the UK Cons are using their own botched Brexit as an excuse to set up a disaster capitalist’s paradise. – Canadians for Tax Fairness discusses how the Libs’ inclination to attach draconian penalties to their pandemic income benefit signalsContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Sheila Block highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified the profits accruing to the wealthy few while putting added pressure on everybody else. Chris Brooks notes that the corporate push for “reopening” is occurring with full knowledge that it represents aContinue reading
This and that for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Jackson calls out the Cons for their platform of taking from the many to further enrich the most privileged few. David Macdonald studies what the unspecified cuts promised by the Cons could mean in terms of losses to public services. AndContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Ernest Canning writes about the importance of treating corporatism as a specific and extreme position, rather than allowing it to define the political centre. And Norm McKee rightly argues that Canada’s federal election campaign needs to include a focus on ensuring the richContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – Steven Greenhouse discusses how the U.S.’ economy is rigged against workers. And Eric Levitz writes that Donald Trump’s giveaway to the rich worked only as a scam against the rest of the country. – Matthew Townsend and Scott Lanman point out that minimumContinue reading
“Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.” This quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. is the motto of Canadians for Tax Fairness, an organization that “advocates for fair and progressive tax policies aimed at building a strong and sustainable economy, reducing inequalities and funding quality public services.”Continue reading
Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading. – John Paul Tasker reports on the final report of the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. And Kenyon Wallace highlights the need for meaningful federal action in response – though if the Libs are deviating at all from their usualContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Ahmed Sati offers some important – if belated – recognition of the need to fight against exclusionary bigotry. Jessica Davis focuses on the particular urgency in addressing right-wing terrorism. Thomas Woodley comments on the importance of having our political leaders do theirContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Eugene Lang takes note of the connection between rising populist anger and stagnant or falling wages for far too many people. And Chloe Rockarts writes about Jason Kenney’s plans to make matters even worse in Alberta by declaring war on workers. –Continue reading
Who knew? The facts don’t support the myth that New Democratic Party governments always try to break the bank with health care spending! Just as NDP governments have a better fiscal record than all other Canadian political parties that have formed governments, a new study by the Edmonton-based Parkland InstituteContinue reading
Here, on how Canada is falling further behind the rest of the world on ensuring corporate transparency and recovering income stashed offshore. For further reading…– Transparency International’s most recent report on beneficial ownership is here.– Zach Dubinsky reported on both the UK’s move toward transparency in its offshore territories, andContinue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Canadians for Tax Fairness discusses the appallingly small tax contributions made by Canada’s largest companies, the vast majority of whom have foreign subsidiaries to avoid paying their fair share. – Meanwhile, Robert de Vries and Aaron Reeves point out the unfortunate realityContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
– Bill Moyers writes about the conflict between the wealthy few seeking to preserve their privilege, and the balance of society seeking fairness for everybody:
I keep in my files a warning published in [The Economist] a dozen years ago, on the eve of George W. Bush’s second term. The editors concluded back then that, with income inequality in the United States reaching levels not seen since the first Gilded Age and social mobility diminishing, “the United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.”
And mind you, that was before the financial meltdown of 2007–08, before the bailout of Wall Street, before the recession that only widened the gap between the super-rich and everyone else. Ever since then, the great sucking sound we’ve been hearing is wealth heading upwards. The United States now has a level of income inequality unprecedented in our history and so dramatic it’s almost impossible to wrap one’s mind around.
Contrary to what the president said at Rutgers, this is not the way the world works; it’s the way the world is made to work by those with the money and power. The movers and shakers—the big winners—keep repeating the mantra that this inequality was inevitable, the result of the globalization of finance and advances in technology in an increasingly complex world. Those are part of the story, but only part. As G.K. Chesterton wrote a century ago, “In every serious doctrine of the destiny of men, there is some trace of the doctrine of the equality of men. But the capitalist really depends on some religion of inequality.”
…The winners bought off the gatekeepers, then gamed the system. And when the fix was in, they turned our economy into a feast for the predators, “saddling Americans with greater debt, tearing new holes in the safety net, and imposing broad financial risks on Americans as workers, investors, and taxpayers.” The end result, Hacker and Pierson conclude, is that the United States is looking more and more like the capitalist oligarchies of Brazil, Mexico, and Russia, where most of the wealth is concentrated at the top while the bottom grows larger and larger with everyone in between just barely getting by.
– Chris Lehmann reviews Brooke Harrington’s Capital Without Borders as a useful look at how “wealth management” serves to sever wealth from social responsibility. But Canadians for Tax Fairness point out some good news in the CRA’s response to the Panama Papers – including audits of 60 individuals and corporations caught in the offshoring scheme.
– Unfortunately, John Ivison suspects that the Libs are gearing up to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership to further the trend toward corporate control.
– Phillip Inman reports on the latest study from Global Justice Now showing that corporations are pushing further up the list of the world’s largest economic entities, leaving an increasing number of countries behind. But there may be some opportunity to direct that news toward positive ends: if we’re going to need some outlet for Canadian national pride, surely staying ahead of Wal-Mart should be a reasonable minimum standard for global relevance.
– Finally, Kendall Worth offers some suggestions as to how to teach students about poverty in order to better understand the lives of people in their communities. Alana Semuels points out how the U.S. in particular has gone in the opposite direction by setting up institutional barriers to any serious economic study of inequality. And Peter Armstrong discusses how traditional economic policy is failing to produce the growth that would normally be expected – with a top-heavy distribution of wealth and power looming as the prime culprit.Continue reading
Assorted content to end your week.- Jim Tankersley interviews Joshua Bivens about the relative effects of economic growth and income inequality – and particularly his evidence showing that more people are far better off with more modest growth fairly d…Continue reading
Miscellaneous material to start your week.- CBC and the Star have both started reporting on the Panama Papers – offering a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg of international tax avoidance. And the Star also recognizes why we shouldn’t let grey-area tax…Continue reading
This and that for your weekend reading.- Sarah Anderson, Marc Bayard, John Cavanagh, Chuck Collins, Josh Hoxie and Sam Pizzigati offer an outline as to how to fight back against growing inequality:§ We need to see inequality as a deep systemic…Continue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Thomas Lemieux and W. Craig Riddell examine Canada’s income distribution and find that one’s place in the 1% is based primarily on rent-seeking rather than merit: (I)n Canada, as in the United States, executives and others working in the financial and businessContinue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Michael Schwartz and Kevin Young make the case for a greater focus on influencing corporations and other institutions first and foremost – with the expectation that more fair public policy will be possible if a dominant business sector doesn’t stand in the way.Continue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Canadians for Tax Fairness crunches the numbers and finds that Canada is losing out on nearly $200 billion in assets being sheltered in tax havens. And David Kotz writes about the need for large-scale restructuring to address the glaring flaws in neoliberalContinue reading