Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- A new Ipsos-Reid poll shows that nearly 90% of Canadians support higher taxes on the rich generally, and million-dollar incomes in particular. And there's an obvious need for change based on how distorted tax systems already are - as Reuters reports on a Congressional Budget Office study showing that U.S. tax deductions, credits and exclusions primarily benefit the wealthy.

- Of course, tax policy is far from the only area of corporatist decision-making designed primarily to benefit those who already have the most. Jeremy Nuttall discusses how the federal government's cover-ups succeeded in protecting HD Mining from a challenge to its abuse of temporary foreign workers; CBC reports on contract manipulation at AECL; and the Leader-Post writes about the Sask Party's decision to turn hospital linen services into a corporate cash cow.

- But it's easier to take offence when insider abuses can be tied to individual wrongdoers. On that front, Michael Harris writes that Mike Duffy doesn't seem to have done much other than what he was told to do by the Cons, while Tim Harper suspects that Pamela Wallin is the next in line under the Cons' bus. Colin Horgan sets out some of the questions that still need to be answered about the Cons' Senate scandals. But the Star recognizes that the Cons' answers have been nothing but evasive so far, while Michael den Tandt reminds us why we shouldn't trust a word Stephen Harper and his entourage have to say.

- At the same time, Paul Saurette is right to observe that right-wing scandals may only serve the cause of anti-government forces in the long run. And so in pursuing the facts, we should be careful to point out how public administration can be carried out more cleanly and effectively - not merely pile on the current set of Con offenders.

- Finally, Ian Welsh draws a distinction between broad-based ethics and narrowly-focused morals - and while I'm not sure I'd use those exact terms, his conclusion is well worth sharing:
To put the needs of the few before the needs of the many, in public life, is to be a monster.  But even in private life if we all act selfishly, as our reigning ideology indicates we should, we destroy ourselves. If we all put only ourselves and those we love first, and damn the cost to everyone else, our societies cannot and will not be prosperous, safe, or kind.

The war of all against all is just as nasty when it is waged by small kin groups as when it is waged by individuals.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:40 a.m.

    With regards to the Ipsos-Reid poll, I hope the Federal NDP and it's provincial counterparts take it as a sign to not shy away from pushing for higher taxes on the rich. If the vast majority of Canadians do support it, it would foolish to try and sit on the fence for the issue or try and avoid it altogether.