- Dylan Matthews reports on Joseph Stiglitz' work in studying what kinds of systemic changes (in addition to more redistribution of wealth) are needed to ensure a fair and prosperous economy. And Martin O'Neill discusses James Meade's prescient take on the importance of social assets:
Meade therefore came to endorse the extension of the traditional welfare state through the parallel pursuit of both the spread of private property-ownership across all members of society – his ‘property-owning democracy’, which would involve steep taxation of inheritance and capital transfers – and at the same time building up the state’s store of democratic, public capital. If the future were to bring a shift in the sources of prosperity from labour to capital, then we would need to construct an economy in which everyone could benefit from that shift, both as individuals and collectively as democratic citizens.- And Zack Beauchamp charts Branko Milanovic's findings on the massive unfairness and inequality for workers between countries.
While Meade’s diagnosis of the central distributive problems of capitalism largely predicted Piketty’s, his proposals were in some ways rather more radical. Rather than the state having continually to keep running faster and faster to suppress growing inequality through more ambitious forms of redistributive taxation, Meade instead wanted to reform the rules of property-ownership so that trends in capitalism’s development could be made to work for all. Instead of accelerating redistribution, Meade’s proposal involved a radical form of predistribution – a reallocation of property-rights that would completely restructure each individual’s position and bargaining power within the market economy, through giving everyone both a capital stake and a non-labour source of income.
- Rowan Lee points out that Bill Gates for one doesn't buy the argument that low taxes have anything to do with economic growth.
- Murray Dobbin examines the place of free trade deals in converting our commonwealth into private profits, with no room for democratic responses. And Sunny Freeman notes that Joe Oliver is trying to push countries to make it even easier for employers to shed any obligation to workers. But David Dayen offers an interesting (if only partial) fix, suggesting that trade agreements should be paired with the ability for workers to sue multinational corporations along with their international affiliates and contracting partners for abuses.
- Finally, Duncan Cameron argues that the NDP is now the obvious choice for Canadian progressive voters from both a strategic and a principled standpoint. And Lawrence Martin echoes the theme that the election may come down to the question of which opposition leader serves as the rallying point for change - with Tom Mulcair ranking as the better option.