Saturday, February 02, 2013

Saturday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Saturday reading.

- Hamida Ghafour writes about the effect of tax avoidance by the world's wealthy on the lives of the rest of the population - particularly when coupled with austerity pushed based on a lack of revenue:
The OECD is a fierce defender of free-market capitalism. But Saint-Amans says politicians are realizing that rules set up in the 1920s need reform because allowing corporations and the very rich to hang on to huge amounts of wealth is bad for the economy.

“When you have a political crisis, I am sad to say it, you have political support and political heat,” he says in an interview from OECD headquarters in Paris. “European countries are turning to corporations and saying, ‘You don’t want us to become bankrupt. Please, pay your taxes and let’s make the changes together, otherwise we collapse. And if we collapse so will you.’”

Last year, several G20 finance ministers asked him for a report on how big companies move vast profits around the globe to avoid being taxed. Saint-Amans will release the report on Feb. 12.

“I didn’t anticipate it would happen so fast,” he says. “The fiscal crisis has turned into a budget crisis. . . . The ministers from G20 cannot explain to their people that they should pay more tax but big, profitable companies will not pay more.”
- Doug Saunders notes that Canada's foreign policy has taken a colonial turn in Africa as the Cons work to promote resource interests rather than humanitarian issues.

- Paul Wells rightly argues that the Cons' attempts to silence Kevin Page only prove he's done his job properly. But that doesn't mean that, say, Canada's unemployed should be satisfied with being declared "bad guys" as a badge of honour when there's an opportunity to challenge the government that's attacking them.

- Meanwhile, Sarah Schmidt reports that the Cons are likewise slamming the conclusions of their own sodium working group, and instead insisting that Canadians shouldn't bother caring how much of a health risk is found in their food.

- Finally, the New Union Project offers an update on the merger between CEP and CAW.

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