Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Annie Lowrey reports on the still-spreading blight of income inequality in the U.S.:
An updated study by the prominent economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty shows that the top 1 percent of earners took more than one-fifth of the country’s total income in 2012, one of the highest levels recorded in the century that the government has collected the relevant data.

The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of all income. That is the highest recorded level ever.

The figures underscore that even after the recession the country remains in a kind of new Gilded Age, with income as concentrated as it was in the years that preceded the Great Depression, if not more so.

High stock prices, rising home values and surging corporate profits have buoyed the recovery-era incomes of the rich, with the incomes of the rest still weighed down by high unemployment and stagnant wages for many blue- and white-collar workers.
 - And Alan Pyke discusses how austerity policies are about as defensible (and as effective) as blood-letting:
Economists have been underestimating the harm caused by pulling back on government spending, according to new work from economists Òscar Jordà and Alan Taylor.

The new work, published in September by the National Bureau of Economic Research, confirms what austerity opponents have long argued: “expansionary austerity” is a myth, and while cutting spending hurts weak economies far more than strong ones its effect on growth is negative in all circumstances.
- But not surprisingly, Stephen Harper is among the loudest voices around the world demanding that we replace effective and evidence-based care with leeches - as Duncan Cameron rightly notes.

- Meanwhile, Niki Ashton calls out the Fraser Institute for knowing precisely nothing about child care (based on its sad excuse for a review of parenting costs).

- Finally, Steve Burgess suggests that Canada's big telecoms try treating customers fairly to reduce the possibility of foreign competitors cutting into their market share - rather than counting on driving competitors away with astroturf campaigns.

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