- Dean Baker reminds us that we shouldn't let ourselves get distracted from the serious problems with inequality when defenders of the status quo try to change the subject to mobility:
(M)any of the policies that would most obviously promote equality also promote growth. For example, a Fed policy committed to high employment, even at the risk of somewhat higher rates of inflation, would lead to stronger wage growth at the middle and bottom of the wage ladder, while also likely leading to more investment and growth.- Nina Glinski discusses how the rich are the only people seeing any income gains in the U.S. Vijay Das comments on the desperate need for laws to reduce worker exploitation by at least ensuring employees aren't bound to be at an employer's beck and call even when there's minimal hope of receiving actual work. And Murray Dobbin examines how corporatism is threatening Canadian workers in an era of soaring profits and stagnating wages.
It is also important to remember that the well-being of children depends to a large extent on the well-being of their parents. If the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity growth since 1968 (as it did between 1938 and 1968) it would be over $17 an hour today. The children of a single parent earning $34,000 a year would have much better life prospects than the children of a single parent earning $14,500 a year. In this sense there is a very direct relationship between inequality and mobility.
The long and short is that we know of many measures that can both reduce inequality and increase growth. And, if we want to make sure that everyone's children have a shot at a better standard of living in the future then we should make sure that their parents have a better standard of living today.
- Meanwhile, Paul Krugman takes a look at the damage done by austerity in the UK - even as the Cameron Cons try to claim victory based on the fact that morale improved slightly after their floggings were reduced.
- Joanna Kao offers a range of accounts as to how the U.S. (like other countries) is set up to add to the burden of people already facing the challenge of homelessness. But Arthur Delaney reminds us that the solution to homelessness is as obvious as it is effective.
- Alexander Panetta reports that plenty of people within the CIA had their own misgivings about the decision to render Maher Arar for torture which were ignored due to the sheer stubbornness of single officer. And Jim Bronskill discovers that CSIS is already working on sharing yet more questionable "intelligence" internationally with no apparent concern for the people caught in their net. Which means that there's all the more reason for worry about the implications of C-51 identified by Michael Kempa.
- Finally, Suzanne Legault calls for a much-needed update to Canada's access to information laws.