Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your weekend reading.

- Gerald Caplan writes that we all bear some responsibility for growing inequality - and how we'll need to use our electoral power to reverse it:
(S)elf-sacrifice is not going to be the key to reducing inequality, with all the great damage it inflicts on society. Government needs to act, and Mr. Mackenzie offers perfectly realistic policies to any party that is seriously committed to greater equality. For example, the tax break on stock options generously provided by our government is worth a cool half-trillion to the top 100 – a nice day’s “work,” for sure. And since federal corporate taxes, an affordable 29 per cent only 15 years ago, now stand at 15 per cent, we can expect Mr. Mackenzie to report even higher rewards for his hearty band next January.

Anyone who dabbles in the field for even a moment knows there are lots of ideas for reducing inequality. Some are political non-starters but others are quite simple and workable. Knowing what to do is not the issue. The issue, as usual, is the political will to attack the problem frontally. The NDP is so far proposing a distinctly modest increase in corporate taxes, which is more than its opponents. As of now, with an election less than a year away, the big winner once again, and still champion, is inequality.
- Marc Lee rightly challenges the theory that any steps to deal with climate change should exacerbate inequality by being revenue-neutral.

- But Susana Mas reports that the Cons are once again refusing to consider any increases in revenue, and using their failed bet on an oil-dependent economy as an excuse to cut even further into Canada's public services.

- Karl Nerenberg notes that in addition to having the only plan to combat inequality, the NDP is also the only one party is willing to treat voters like adults. But it's worth noting that the NDP isn't the only party with a relatively detailed policy document: the difference is that the NDP has enough respect for members and the public alike to make its policy work readily accessible, while the Cons force non-members to go on a scavenger hunt (or at least search their site from the outside) to find theirs.

- Finally, Stephen Maher recognizes that the greatest threat we face from acts of terror lies in the people who would use the excuse to crack down on civil rights and freedoms.


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