Thursday, May 07, 2015

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Canadians for Tax Fairness crunches the numbers and finds that Canada is losing out on nearly $200 billion in assets being sheltered in tax havens. And David Kotz writes about the need for large-scale restructuring to address the glaring flaws in neoliberal dogma:
Despite the resurgence of neoliberal ideas and policies, there is reason to be optimistic about the potential for progressive change in the years ahead. The efforts to revive and extend the neoliberal model cannot succeed in overcoming the current economic stagnation and restoring normal capitalist economic growth without which a capitalist system becomes unstable. A look at similar periods in history suggests that the free-market form of capitalism, which has prevailed since around 1980, is near the end of its life.
The free-market growth machine gave rise to growing levels of household and financial sector debt along with the spread of toxic financial assets, a process that was unsustainable in the long run. In 2008 the current form of capitalism gave rise to a structural crisis, as had those before it.

With this history in mind, what might emerge today? If history repeats itself, there may be another round of restructuring within the bounds of a capitalist system. One possible version would be a new nationalist and statist form of capitalism that brings renewed economic expansion and stability while maintaining employers' currently dominant position in the labor market, a development that would not be favorable for the majority. If the labor movement and other popular movements gain strength, the prospect of a new form of regulated capitalism based on capital-labor compromise may arise. Big business becomes willing to compromise only when threatened by a growing progressive movement.
- Vibrant Calgary offers a look at the first steps toward a poverty elimination strategy for that city. And Charles Hamilton reports on the work being done by Saskatchewan's poverty reduction strategy committee to develop a long-overdue plan.

- But it of course doesn't help when money budgeted for social services is then left to wither on the vine - as happened for nearly $100 million in federal funding last year.

- Justin Ling reports on the Cons' decision to rid themselves of yet another overly-effective watchdog, as Canada's Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers is being cast off for pointing out the abominable conditions in Canadian prisons.

- And finally, Doug Cuthand discusses how C-51 is designed to stifle dissent by the environmental movement, First Nations and other Canadians.

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