Monday, December 05, 2016

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- David MacDonald examines how Canada's tax expenditures systematically favour higher-income individuals over the people who actually have a reasonable claim to public support:
This study finds that Canada’s personal income tax expenditures disproportionately benefit the rich and cost the federal treasury nearly as much as it collects in personal income tax. The study examines the income distribution of benefit for the 64 personal income tax expenditures for which there is available data. Out of the 64 tax expenditures, 59 of them provide more benefit to the top 50% of income earners than the bottom half, with the largest share going to the richest 10%. The cost of those 59 expenditures totalled $100.5 billion in 2011 alone. 
And given the Libs' broken promise to act against the stock option loophole, there's reason for serious skepticism that their review of the tax system will address the most obvious favouritism for the rich.

- Daniel Tencer reports on the spread of inequality and low-wage work in Canada. And Tom Parkin discusses Peter Julian's work to build more inclusive growth as a priority both for the federal NDP and in the wider political system.

- Joe Fantauzzi studies the closely-related issue of precarious workers' reliance on predatory payday lenders, due largely to a lack of access to basic financial services which most people take for granted. And Bob Weber reports on research showing that the Nutrition North program - which tries to deal with access to food solely through subsidies rather than regulation - is doing little to promote either the availability or affordability of basic groceries.

- Finally, Moira Weigel documents the carefully-fabricated phantom enemy that is "political correctness" - and how a figment of right-wing demagogues' imaginations has become a powerful force in shaping electoral outcomes.

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