Saturday, December 19, 2015

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Charlie Cooper reports on the UK's increasing wealth inequality, with the richest 10% now owning half of all wealth. And Facundo Alvaredo, Anthony Atkinson and Salvatore Morelli highlight (PDF) how even the best information we have now likely underestimates what's being hoarded by the richest few.

- Chris Dillow points out why even if inequality didn't itself interfere with social mobility, we couldn't count on such mobility alone to produce fair outcomes.

- Nils Pratley writes that one of the most prominent recent sources of growing inequality - being the gap between executives and other workers - could be narrowed by giving the latter a role in setting the former's pay.

- Kenneth Arrow and Apurva Sanghi discuss the increasing recognition that health is an essential building block for social and economic development. And Ariana Eunjung Cha reports on new research showing the vast majority of the risk of cancer comes from social and environmental factors.

- Finally, Terry Milewski points out that the Libs' election promises are changing far more quickly than the policies they promised to improve. And Gary Younge comments on the need for progressives to develop a movement which can hold regular influence over policy, not just win elections occasionally:
People complain that Corbyn is not electable. They might be right. Electability is not a science. But the more pertinent question is: imagine if he was?

He could soon find that not only is the parliamentary Labour party not up to the challenge of taking on global capital – nor is the nation state he would be leading. This is not a new problem. Indeed, it is precisely because it has gone on challenged, but virtually unchecked, for more than a generation, that political cynicism has intensified. Whoever you vote for, capital gets in.

This was the experience of Syriza. After standing on an anti-austerity platform, winning the election, putting its negotiating position to the test in a referendum, and winning, Syriza was forced to buckle when confronted by the might of the European Union leadership. The party was later re-elected to implement austerity in much the same way as the centre left party it eclipsed had done.

Each case, in its own way, has demonstrated both the potential of electoral engagement and the limits of democratic control. The left is finally developing the strategic skills to gain office; it has yet to work out how to exercise power in the interests of those who put it there.

No comments:

Post a Comment