Monday, March 06, 2017

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Louis-Philippe Rochon chimes in on why Justin Trudeau's faux populism is entirely beyond belief when compared to his actions while in power:
Since coming to power, the prime minister has openly pursued policies that have only exacerbated the economic situation by raising corporate profits, and by contributing to the existing precarious job market.

For instance, his unflinching support of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is not all good news for Canadians. In a recent study using the United Nation's Global Policy Model, economists Pierre Kohler and Servaas Storm estimate that in the long run, CETA will actually cost Canadians jobs.

"CETA would lead to net losses in terms of employment, personal incomes, and GDP in Canada," the authors say.

Moreover, Trudeau has also mused publicly about privatization and deregulation, core ideas of the neoliberal model that exacerbated income inequalities and contributed to the great financial crisis in 2007.
But the oddest of contradictions is that after more than a year in office, Trudeau has done nothing, or very little, to alleviate the burden of the working class and reduce inequality.

After all, he is prime minister and there is much he can do. He has the ability to put an end to many of the ills he mentioned.

Don't like high corporate profits? Well, tax them, and raise corporate tax rates. Don't like low-paying jobs and precarious part-time jobs? Well, stop complaining and do something about it: actively pursue job creation or better yet, full employment.

You want cities to adopt a living wage? Then call a meeting of mayors in Canada and spearhead the policy. Show them the benefits of such a policy and how it would help working families, single mothers and young Canadians.

Don't like corporations not paying their share of taxes? Then close those loopholes that allow them to have offshore accounts that rob the government of billions of dollars in revenue.
- And Miles Grant highlights why the prescriptions to deal with poverty and inequality from the neoliberal centre are utterly useless.

- Stephanie Ross discusses the growth of precarity both in work and in life. And Jason Hickel points out the role a basic income could play in reducing its effects on both fronts - provided it's seen as a matter of rights rather than charity. 

- The Economist analyzes the potential effects of a tax on automation both to fund needed social supports, and to ease anticipated technological adjustments. 

- Finally, Martyn Brown argues that John Horgan's success in this year's British Columbia election depends on his taking a strong stance in favour of a people's agenda. And Libby Davies offers similar advice to the next federal NDP leader, while also highlighting several of the policy areas which look ripe for development.

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