- France St-Hilaire, David Green and Craig Riddell offer some needed policy prescriptions to fight inequality in Canada:
As first steps toward expanding the share of the economic pie going to workers, the minimum wage should be gradually increased to $15 and the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) significantly expanded. Of course, that economic share would be more secure if workers’ bargaining rights were strengthened. As less than 20 percent of the private sector is unionized, traditional unionization laws have failed to provide the workforce with a voice in their working conditions and sufficient bargaining power to share in economic growth. Moving beyond the traditional approach by granting stronger rights to all workers — union and non-union — holds more promise. As well, the inordinate rise in the share of income held by the 1 percent in recent decades suggests that the bargaining power of top earners should be reduced, particularly through measures related to CEO pay and better corporate governance.- Meanwhile, Jerry Dias writes about the futility of trying to push through the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement in the wake of the Brexit vote. But Murray Dobbin notes that much of the public is unaware of the real effects of trade agreements in general due to minimal and corporate-slanted coverage.
Taking a longer view, several studies have linked early childhood education and family income when the children are young to improved human capital, employment and earnings outcomes at older ages. We believe that initiatives in these areas should be combined with a more radical approach to alter risk-averse attitudes toward education among low-income families by, for example, providing free tuition and some subsidies for higher education for their children.
- Carolynn Look reports on Deutsche Bank’s status as the latest financial actor to recognize that cheap money for banks isn't doing much to boost the overall economy.
- Michal Rozworski argues strongly against the Libs' plans to fund new infrastructure by selling off existing public assets - no matter what name is used for the process. And Murray Mandryk recognizes the folly of even contemplating a selloff of SaskTel when it's both making money for Saskatchewan's public and investing in greater access than people would have otherwise.
- Finally, Anna Dimoff reports on LEAF's work to establish that a lack of child care violates the human rights of families who need it. Alexia Fernandez Campbell discusses the connection between higher wages and healthier children. And Kendall Worth highlights the importance of recognizing the relationship between mental illness and poverty - rather than focusing any conversation solely on instances of the former in the absence of the latter and other exclusionary factors.