Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Jesse Ferreras reports that Canada's supposed job growth has included almost nothing but part-time and precarious work. And Louis-Philippe Rochon points out how the influence of the financial sector has led to economic choices which serve nobody else's interests:
What makes governments hesitate to pursue policies they have been told would benefit the economy and the working class?

I am forced to conclude that these choices do not depend on economic factors, but rather on political ones, and in particular, the over-influence of finance and financial leaders in the political arena.

Full employment is possible, if governments chose to pursue it. Nothing stops government from adopting policies that would reduce the great inequalities in income by increasing marginal tax rates, adopting inheritance taxes and more.

Inevitably, however, these policies would hurt the financial elites who have become way too tangled up with the political class. It would also inevitably shift social power toward the working class and away from finance. 
- Jim Stanford writes that much of the dogma underlying corporate free trade deals is at long last being met with scrutiny. And Noah Smith comments on the constant - and unfair - assumption that public policy shouldn't even be considered as a means of improving people's lives absent some discrete market failure.

- Andrew MacLeod reveals the results of the B.C. Libs' attempt to dodge a modest boost to the Canada Pension Plan - showing that two-thirds of respondents favoured the expansion which the Clark government tried to undercut. 

- Jessica Elgot reports on Jeremy Corbyn's call for a maximum wage law in the UK. And the Guardian's panel response offers plenty of food for thought - particularly to the effect that where the problem to be addressed is the disproportionate accumulation of income and wealth, the right policy prescription is likely through taxes rather than regulation.

- Finally, Andrew Coyne discusses the radically difference models which give rise to varied views on a basic income, while noting that Hugh Segal's proposed pilot program will offer a useful study of a model which should appeal to all sides.

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