Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Rick Salutin discusses the link between parity of wealth and democratic participation, while pointing out why there's reason for people to engage much more in the latter
(W)hy didn't the majority ever vote to expropriate the rich and take all their stuff? Perhaps it isn't that they were duped by media or agreed with the way things were. Maybe their ambitions were always modest: they didn't begrudge the 1 per cent what they had, so long as it left a decent life for them and their families.

Most people I know are fair-minded in that way. Perhaps, too, they'd rather not do unto others what's been done to them, reducing themselves morally in the process. When the recent eruptions began, it was only because the 1 per cent finally went too far. There's also the fact that in current circumstances a small narrowing of the income gap, a reintroduction of regulation and some concern for the environment may seem almost as utopian as a workers' revolution used to.
- Robyn Allan takes a closer look at Christy Clark's attempt to sell off British Columbia's natural habitat and coast:
There is a false narrative being advanced. Demands to share government revenues — which include income, sales, property, corporate and other taxes—from crude oil pipelines — in order to compensate for their inevitable environmental cost means the best we can hope for is a zero sum game. That doesn’t make any sense — its like saying you can punch me in the face as long as you pay for the dental work.

Clark’s setting herself up as the hard negotiator when there’s nothing to negotiate. British Columbians don’t want heavy crude oil piped through the province or shipped in oil tankers. It’s not a question of whether the economic benefit outweighs the environmental cost — that’s a false dichotomy. There is no economic benefit for B.C., and the study Clark points to — under scrutiny — comes out looking like nothing more than false promises.
- There's never been much doubt that the Cons have been perfectly happy to see public institutions burned to the ground. But I didn't think they'd ever advance that goal quite so literally.

- Finally, if Con cronies peddling insider access say we shouldn't worry our pretty little heads about Con cronies peddling insider access, who are we to question?

[Edit: added link as per comments.]

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