- Michael Leachman debunks the claim that progressive tax rates on the rich cause any problems from an economic development standpoint. And Daisy Srblin argues for a strong and unapologetic movement toward a fairer tax system:
It is now up to the left to provide an alternative. Let’s stop tinkering with a broken model, and instead come up with something new and radical, based on the fundamental principles of redistribution and fairness.- Meanwhile, the OECD's Employment Outlook examines how income inequality tends to be sustained over the course of one's life.
What could this system look like? The Fabian report ‘Tax for our Times’ provides plenty of ideas. Reasserting the salience of tax as a tool for good is vital – more needs to be done to connect the payment of taxes to the funding of strong, popular services, argues Fabian general secretary Andrew Harrop. Next, says LSE Professor Howard Glennerster, the left needs to commit itself to shifting the burden of taxation away from earned income and on to wealth, where inequalities are much greater. We should tax property and assets far more progressively.
More than this, we need to discuss tax in a way that is value-driven. A fairer tax system is a moral imperative; reform is an essential step in the path to a more equal society, and the left should be unapologetic about this. A redistributive tax and benefits system will enhance social mobility, allowing people to fulfil their potential, irrespective of background.
The left must therefore push for this vision of society and proudly defend tax, shaping its future reform by making the debate more publicly accessible. Tax reform should neither be locked away by politicians from public view, nor left to the expert few: it needs to be put back in the hands of the many. The public want to contribute to a system that is fair, and the left must show them how that might look.
- Marc Lee examines the Cons' home renovation tax bauble and finds it to be as useless as most of their election-buying schemes. And PressProgress highlights the fact that Canadians don't buy a word of the Con's economic spin:
Stephen Harper thinks his economy is "head and shoulders above" the rest of the industrialized world, but what do the Canadian people think?
Well, according to a newly released internal report prepared for the Privy Council Office (that's the bureaucratic arm of the Prime Minister's Office, by the way), the three words Canadians thought best describes Stephen Harper's economy are "uneven," "fragile" and "weak."
As the report explains, "there was a fairly consistent narrative across locations to explain the choice of those words":
- Finally, Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood studies the effect of investor-state dispute settlement as used by resource corporations to undermine environmental policy. And Thomas Walkom writes that we should be hearing far more about the dangers of the TPP while voters are in a position to challenge its imposition."The economy was seen as uneven mostly because of the regional disparities in growth, wealth and job creation. Some also talked about income inequalities, perceived shrinking of the middle class and local poverty as signs that the economy was uneven. Fragile was another key choice of attribute for the state of the economy. This sense of fragility was created mainly by participants’ impressions that Canada was vulnerable to shocks that may not be of its own doing. The drop in oil prices and the subsequent devaluation of the Canadian dollar were seen as signs of that fragility. Almost all participants were aware of the sharp decline in oil prices and of the devaluation of the Canadian dollar."