Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Jim Hightower argues that there's no reason the U.S. can't develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity - and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:
Take On Wall Street is both the name and the feisty attitude of a nationwide campaign that a coalition of grassroots groups has launched to do just that: take on Wall Street. The coalition, spearheaded by the Communication Workers of America, points out there is nothing natural or sacred about today’s money-grabbing financial complex. Far from sacrosanct, the system of finance that now rules over us has been designed by and for Wall Street speculators, money managers and big bank flimflammers. So, big surprise, rather than serving our common good, the system is corrupt, routinely serving their uncommon greed at everyone else’s expense.
The coalition’s structural reforms include:
1. Getting the corrupting cash of corporations and the superrich out of politics with an overturning of Citizens United v. FEC and providing a public system for financing America’s elections.

2. Stopping “too big to fail” banks from subsidizing their high-risk speculative gambling with the deposits of  ordinary customers. Make them choose to be a consumer bank or a casino, but not both.

3. Institute a tiny “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street speculators to discourage their computerized gaming of the system, while also generating hundreds of billions of tax dollars to invest in America’s real economy.

4. Restore low-cost, convenient “postal banking” in our post offices to serve millions of Americans who’re now at the mercy of predatory payday lenders and check-cashing chains.
- Juliette Garside reports on the EU's efforts to get the U.S. to agree to basic reporting to rein in offshore tax evasion. And Heather Long points out Joseph Stiglitz' criticisms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as enriching corporations at the expense of citizens.

- Amy Maxmen notes that a non-profit system can develop new drugs far more affordably than the current corporate model - and without creating the expectation of windfall profits that currently underlies the pharmaceutical industry.

- Jordan Press offers a preview of a federal strategy for homeless veterans featuring rental subsidies and the building of targeted housing units - which leads only to the question of why the same plan wouldn't be applied to address homelessness generally.

- Alan Shanoff comments on the many holes in Ontario's employment standards (which are generally matched elsewhere as well).

- Finally, Dougald Lamont highlights the many ways in which the Fraser Institute's anti-tax spin misleads the media about how citizens relate to Canadian governments.

[Edit: fixed wording.]

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