Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Andrew Jackson reviews the OECD's economic recommendations for Canada - featuring a much-needed call for fair taxes on stock options:
Special tax breaks for stock options primarily benefit senior corporate executives, especially CEOs of large public companies who are commonly given the right to buy shares in the future at heavily discounted prices. Options make up a big slice of the total compensation of senior corporate executives.

90% of the benefits of the stock options tax break go to the top 1% of taxpayers. The stock options tax break costs the federal government $785 million per year, according to the Department of Finance.

Stock options are not only unfair, they are also economically destructive in that they encourage corporate executives to boost short-term profits just before options become due. This comes at the cost of long term corporate performance according to Roger Martin, former Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
- Meanwhile, Robert Reich points out a few more corporate leaders who are sounding the alarm about the threat of inequality. Paul Krugman does some quick math as to how austerity continues to damage the global economy. And Paul Buchheit lists a few of the more egregious anti-equality policies which are serving to enrich the wealthy at the expense of everybody else in the U.S.

- Noel Ortega writes that any discussion of a more sustainable, more equal economy needs to take into account our planet's ecological limits - most notably the dangers of climate change. Chris Rose and John Upton both discuss Nicholas Stern's observation that we may be severely underestimating the damage we're doing by using our atmosphere as a dumping ground for greenhouse gases. And Kat Sieniuc discusses how climate change is also at the top of the list of issues which demand policy action as a matter of protecting public health.

- Paul Thomas reminds us that it's thoroughly self-defeating to trading our ability to shape policy in the long run for short-term material gains. And Hopi Sen offers some rules for aspiring politicians.

- Finally, Tabatha Southey and the Beaverton stand out from the pack in commenting on Peter MacKay's view of female judges.

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