Friday, February 06, 2015

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Gregory Beatty reports on Saskatchewan's options now that it can't count on high oil prices to prop up the provincial budget. And Dennis Howlett writes about the need for a far more progressive tax system both as a matter of fairness, and as a matter of resource management:
Just a few years ago, the question of tax fairness was relegated to the world of activists and progressive economists. But you know something has shifted when a U.S. president goes on national television and talks about the urgent need to eliminate tax loopholes that benefit only the very rich. That shift is further amplified when he portrays taxes not as a burden but a responsibility — as a way to pay for investments such as education and health.
Even a passing knowledge of history will tell you that profound gaps between rich and poor don't end well. But although that gap deepens every year here in Canada, our leaders haven't been paying attention.

We've been led to believe that tax reform is the stuff of nerds, wonks and high-priced lawyers. In fact, tax reform belongs to us all. Combined with some good old-fashioned political will, it can build bridges (literally and figuratively), invest in students, heal the health-care system and relieve a lot of stress on ordinary Canadians. 
Canada is a wealthy country. But wealth guarantees neither brains nor prosperity. The squandered opportunity of Canada's resources and a delayed federal budget because of a dip in oil prices is a sad reminder of that. 
- Andrew Lodge discusses how the TPP is designed to take needed medicine out of the hands of the world's poor in the name of higher profits for big pharma. And David Sirota observes that the secrecy surrounding the deal can be explained by the fact that the public would be outraged to know what's being traded away.

- Nick Falvo offers some important observations about both the need for secure social housing, and the apparent disinclination of all levels of government to make it available.

- Finally, Boris, Aaron Wherry and the Globe and Mail editorial board all slam both the fearmongering behind the Cons' terror bill, and the Libs' cowardice in letting the Cons gut Canadians' rights in the name of political convenience. And Tim Harper highlights the NDP's role as the lone party in Parliament standing on principle and doing its job.

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