Monday, January 09, 2017

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Sean McElwee offers his take on the crucial failings which have led the U.S. Democrats to their current nadir in which principles and values have been discarded in the pursuit of power they've failed to secure.

- Mike Konczal and Marshall Steinbaum highlight the importance of effective government to counterbalance corporate control:
If there is one thing that both the Depression and the Great Recession taught us about how the economy works, it is that corporate power is a threat to public well-being—that it extracts its own rents. The economy’s only effective protection from that power is to be found in an activist federal government unafraid to deploy countervailing power and provide essential services in the form of public options and regulated utilities.

...Real free-market economics has little time for powerful countervailing mechanisms to private power like antitrust or banking regulation, let alone a healthy labor market powered by robust aggregate demand and full employment as government policy. Furthermore, whether the “pro-growth” policies advocated in this symposium would actually deliver growth and genuine security for everyday workers, much less challenge the power the elite have over the economy, is unclear. Luckily, the New Deal that Simons was hoping to keep at bay gave us a better set of tools to build an economy that serves the interests of the many, not the few.
- Joseph Stiglitz discusses the glaring uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration as a barrier to any substantial economic forecasting. And Jerry Dias and Maude Barlow offer their suggestions as to how a renegotiation of NAFTA could produce far better results for citizens of all of the countries involved.

- The Star's editorial board criticizes the lack of federal action to ensure that indigenous children have access to child welfare services. And Vicky Mochama writes that it's particularly galling to see the federal government whine that it doesn't have the money to comply with its human rights obligations while it plans high-priced birthday celebrations.

- Finally, Colin Freeze reports on CSIS' plans to collect bulk data for unspecified purposes without any apparent public notice or debate.

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