Thursday, July 09, 2015

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Thomas Lemieux and W. Craig Riddell examine Canada's income distribution and find that one's place in the 1% is based primarily on rent-seeking rather than merit:
(I)n Canada, as in the United States, executives and others working in the financial and business services sectors have been driving the growth in top incomes. Unlike in the United States, however, the oil and gas sector has also played an important role in income growth at the top, especially in more recent years, and holders of medical degrees have lost ground. Their results for engineers and computer scientists suggest that technological change is only a modest part of the explanation of what has happened at the very top of the distribution in this country. Overall, the fact that the rise of top incomes has been much greater in certain sectors, such as finance, and among senior executives is more consistent with a pattern of rent (excess earnings relative to market-determined earnings) creation and extraction specific to those sectors than with a competitive market for skills.
- Meanwhile, Daniel Tencer reports that in keeping with that rent-based model, even periods of economic growth aren't leading to income gains for any but the most privileged of Canadians.

- Hanna Trudo finds that Jeb Bush is taking the Cons' mindset to its logical conclusion in his campaign message: blissfully ignoring the fact that people working long hours are already falling behind, and blaming them for not working more. And Ella Bedard reports on the Jobs, Justice and the Climate movement looking to fight corporatism, inequality and climate change all at once.

- The Union of Concerned Scientists exposes how the oil industry has deliberately fostered climate denial while recognizing that the science of climate change isn't in doubt, while Suzanne Goldenberg focuses on Exxon's actions in particular. But it's worth remembering that oil barons have been buying politicians as well as PR - and Elizabeth McSheffrey reports on how the B.C. Libs rake in millions from the tar sands.

- Finally, Canadians for Tax Fairness points out how Silver Wheaton is avoiding taxes - and pleading innocence only in the sense that much of Canada's resource industry similarly shifts profits and manipulates prices in order to avoid paying its fair share.

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