Sunday, January 03, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Ian Welsh summarizes why inequality is intrinsically problematic:
Even where people’s needs are met, the more unequal a society the more unhealthy everyone is and the more unhappy they are.

Those who feel lower on the totem pole also perform worse than they otherwise would.  Remove the feeling of inequality, and they perform better.

This is before we get to the social effects, which are pernicious.  Those who are at the top of the heap distort politics to keep themselves at the top of the heap, and engage in repression.
Inequality is thus a political and organizational negative. It ensures that more effort goes into unproductive and destructive activities which are of benefit to a few at most than would otherwise.

Inequality is unhealthy, makes people unhappy, and distorts politics in terrible ways.

This is intrinsic to inequality.  Beyond a relatively low level, there is no such thing as “good” inequality.
- And Joseph Stiglitz discusses how austerian economics have caused global economic stagnation. 

- Roger Annis laments the Libs' refusal to follow through on their promise to ensure that the Canada Pension Plan provides a reasonably secure retirement for all Canadian workers. And the New York Times' editorial board rightly concludes that a lack of retirement savings represents a reason to expand public pensions, not to slash them in the hope that people will find money to put away if only they otherwise stand to suffer enough.

- Finally, Doreen Nicoll writes that we have ample resources to end child poverty - but that we need to start by designing policy to help children rather than squeeze parents. 

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