Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Nicholas Kristof points out how important a stable and effective public service looks from the standpoint of a country which doesn't benefit from one. And Chi Onwurah discusses how the UK Cons - like their right-wing brethren elsewhere - are determined to move in the wrong direction:
"Putting the next generation first” was George Osborne’s branding on this, his eighth budget. Young people have certainly been first in line for punishing cuts to maintenance allowances, housing and welfare, but little else. Back in August I wrote that the Labour Party must take on Osbornomics head on and challenge the narrative of perpetual austerity and the marginalisation of the state.

That remains our duty in the face of a budget that fails to answer big questions about the kind of economy that the next generation will live and work in.

As Jeremy Corbyn eloquently put it, this was a budget with social injustice at its very core.  The billions of pounds already reaped from the wholesale misery of the most vulnerable, were to be spent in the ways best designed to keep the Tories in power and Osborne heir apparent.
(T)he Chancellor’s forward plan is a small disempowered state with eviscerated client local government and a precariat too weak and disorganised to challenge a small, smug, leisured elite. It offers no hope for the vast majority and only the reassurance of the status quo for a lucky few. Obviously, the Chancellor made no mention of that.
- Meanwhile, Roderick Benns interviews David Calnitsky about the results we should look for and anticipate in testing a basic income. And Andrew Jackson writes about the importance of fitting the goals of a basic income into a multi-faceted social safety net.

- The Brookings Institution discusses one of the ways inequality tends to be self-perpetuating, as high school dropout rates are higher in less equal areas.

- Nora Loreto makes the case to start meaningfully challenging the benefits given to Canada's big five banks. (And it's worth noting that the creation of a more diverse financial sector would be just one more plus arising out of postal banking.)

- Finally, Susan Delacourt writes about the conflicting goals of centralized political branding and inclusive governance - and notes that the Trudeau Libs have followed the Harper Cons in emphasizing the former.

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