Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Ed Broadbent and the Broadbent Institute are putting together a strong public push on the problem of growing inequality - featuring a video, op-ed and research paper (PDF). For more, see coverage from Rachel Mendleson, Natalie Stechyson, and CBC News.

- Today's handy reporting tip from Bill Curry: when corporate profits rise at the same time as rates are reduced, that's irrefutable evidence of causation. But when corporate profits were previously higher under a higher rate, that's a "blip" to be ignored.

- Jill Lepore offers a history of the political lie factory intended to reduce voters to mere consumers. And Allen Gregg follows up on the importance of reason in politics with a simple suggestion as to how to turn the tide:
What’s disconcerting about all of this is not just the substance of these bills, but why a government would want to disguise that substance. Maybe dismantling the Wheat Board or sending more potheads to jail is a good thing. But before we make those decisions, let’s look at all the facts; have a full and rational debate; and make a reasoned decision on what is best for all the parties involved. For voters to determine whether they support these measures requires that they know what is at stake and what the government is actually doing.

Moreover, for the rule of law to work, the public must have respect for the law. By obfuscating the true purpose of laws under the gobbledygook of double speak, governments are admitting their intentions probably lack both support and respect. This too explains this government’s obsession with secrecy, message control and misdirection.
History has also shown that tyrants can have a truncated shelf life if the citizenry enters the public forum and, armed with facts, reasoned arguments, and thoughtful ideas, engages in a loud debate. In the case of those who would stand against reason, our silence will be perceived as consent. There’s too much at stake to be silent.

If it feels lame to suggest that the solution about what to do next is to talk to each other more, I invite you to review history and ask yourselves what role public discourse has had in the toppling of dictators and despots. Right now, there seems to be a very one-sided conversation going on and the powers that be are leading it. We have our hands on the easiest levers the world has ever known by which to spread an idea and lead our own conversation. Let’s use them. 
 - Finally, Mike Sandler proposes a citizen's dividend as a means of addressing both inequality and economic stagnation.

No comments:

Post a Comment