Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Ben Casselman and Andrew Flowers discuss Raj Chetty's research on the U.S.' glaring lack of social mobility and fair opportunities:
Children from poor families are much less likely to work in adulthood than children from middle-class families. Only about 60 percent of children from the poorest families are working at age 30, compared with 80 percent of children from median-income families.2 And the relationship extends beyond the very poor; the higher a person’s parents were on the earnings ladder, the more likely he or she is to work as an adult — at least until the very top, when employment rates dip again.
When the children of affluent families do work, they make a lot of money. The chart below shows how much 30-year-olds earn given their parents’ income. There’s a steady increase until the top few percentiles of parental income, when it spikes. The average man whose parents were in the 97th percentile earns about $60,000 at age 30; the average man who grew up in the richest 1 percent earns more than $80,000. (This measures only wage and salary earnings, so it doesn’t factor in any other advantages these young adults might have, such as trust funds, lower student debt, or parental help with housing or other expenses.)
- Karen Jusko studies (PDF) the U.S.' social safety net and finds that it falls short of meeting even half of the needs of low-income individuals. 

- The Canadian Labour Congress points out the widespread dangers raised by the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And Brent Patterson reminds us how the TPP will enrich pharmaceutical multinationals at the expense of citizens and health care systems.

- Dennis Pilon refutes the claim that Canada is constitutionally trapped in an unrepresentative electoral system. And PressProgress highlights the unfairness of false majorities - no matter which party happens to benefit from one at a given time.

- Finally, Paul McLeod exposes examples of widespread abuses of power by the RCMP which typically don't get released to the public. And Jim Bronskill follows on the revelation that CSIS has wrongly collected tax data by reporting that the Canada Revenue Agency has no idea what information was improperly shared.

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