Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Erika Shaker points out how condescending attitudes toward public benefits are both making it unduly difficult to develop new programs which would benefit everybody, and threatening existing social safety net. Sean McElwee writes that inequality only figures to grow as an issue as the wealthy try to disassociate themselves from everybody else. And Scott Santens discusses how the U.S.' social benefits are needlessly costly and difficult to access because they're designed more to exclude than to include:
As citizens, we are doing everything we can. Some of us are even tragically dying in our attempts to struggle on, while over 10,000 others have already grown too tired of the struggle to even continue living. As long as wages continue to not rise, and as long as jobs continue to be eliminated due to advances in technology, we have nowhere else to turn but our own safety nets. It is for this reason, it will only become ever more increasingly important for us to look with open eyes and minds at our system of public assistance and how it functions for all of us, poor and rich alike.

If so many of us are already driving on our spare tires, and we recognize the road ahead is only going to get bumpier and more dangerous, then we must together make sure that we either make it quick and painless for us all to get right back on the road when we need assistance, or finally guarantee that no matter what, there will always be another spare tire for all of us.
- Angella MacEwen debates Ben Eisen about the importance of public child care. Ron Waller takes a closer look at the numbers behind Quebec's universal daycare program to show how it produces strong progressive outcomes.

- Justine Hunter reports on how B.C. workers are suffering from the combination of underregulation which caused a sawmill explosion, and a compensation system which is punishing them for being injured. And lest there be any doubt, that's exactly the type of corporatist policy Brad Wall is looking to smuggle into Saskatchewan in the guise of "harmonizing" standards. (Though of course there's still far too much reason for concern about worker safety here even before that process plays out.)

- Finally, Kjell Anderson commits some sociology in exploring how individuals come to be "radicalized". Michael Harris and Glenn Greenwald both weigh in on the Cons' immediate inclination to respond to last week's shootings with an all-out assault on civil rights. And Chris Selley asks that we at least stop short of trying to exile Canadians, while Michael Spratt and Chelsea Moore modestly suggest that policing thoughts might not be the best idea either.

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