Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Jo Littler writes about the illusion of meritocracy, and how it has contributed to the unconscionable spread of inequality:
Over the past few decades, neoliberal meritocracy has been characterised by two key features. First, the sheer scale of its attempt to extend entrepreneurial competition into the nooks and crannies of everyday life. Second, the power it has gathered by drawing from 20th-century movements for equality. Meritocracy has been presented as a means of breaking down established hierarchies of privilege.
The fact is, meritocracy is a myth. Social systems that reward through wealth, and which increase inequality, don’t aid social mobility, and people pass on their privilege to their children. The Conservatives have made this situation far worse by raising the inheritance tax threshold. And their reintroduction of grammar schools would involve using extremely narrow educational measures to divide children and to privilege the already privileged (often with the help of expensive private tutors). As the geographer Danny Dorling has said, it is a system of “educational apartheid”.
It is not hard to see why people find the idea of meritocracy appealing: it carries with it the idea of moving beyond where you start in life, of creative flourishing and fairness. But all the evidence shows it is a smokescreen for inequality. As Trump, May and their supporters attempt to resurrect it, there has never been a better moment to bury meritocracy for ever.
- Meanwhile, Luke Harding, Nick Hopkins and Caelainn Barr discuss how anonymous corporate structures facilitate corruption and tax evasion. And Sophia Harris reminds us of the Libs' broken promise to close the stock option loophole.

- Justine Hunter reports on the B.C. Libs' continued exploitation of massive corporate donations to try to cling to power, while David Ball reports on the connection between those donations and industry lobbyists. And Kai Nagata notes that we can add U.S. trophy hunters looking for the opportunity to kill grizzly bears to the list of dubious groups supporting Christy Clark.

- Damian Carrington points out the latest research from the World Meteorological Organisation showing how carbon pollution has pushed our climate into unprecedented extremes. Emily Atkin writes that the corporate-funded climate denial industry is expanding into denying the existence of air pollution in any form. And the CP reports on the latest oil spill into a key waterway near Bragg Creek, AB.

- Finally, the Star's editorial board rightly argues that the Trudeau Libs have done nothing to earn the public's trust when it comes to the federal government's obligations and responsibilities to First Nations - meaning that it's long past time to start funding fair services on reserve.

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