Sunday, September 03, 2017

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- George Lakey describes how Denmark has built the world's happiest society by building a political movement and an economic model centred around providing for everybody:
Using the crisis as an opportunity, the Social Democrats secured the foundation of the Nordic model, the most successful economic national model yet invented for the common good. The Danish majority loved it, and the unions and family farmers retained political control of the country for the rest of the century. The model became so hegemonic that all the parties were forced to embrace it to remain relevant at all, even the new “right-wing” party that hates immigration while still promoting a robust version of the Nordic model.

What shall we call that model? Describing Denmark as a “welfare state” is, I think, seriously misleading. The Nordic design isn’t welfare for the needy—that’s the old approach that has not worked for any nation in the world, ever. Instead, the Nordic model provides universal services given to all, whatever their income, as a matter or right, supported by progressive taxation that re-distributes income and wealth.
The Danish people did not produce utopia, nor are they first in every measure. Norway has more social ownership of the means of production than Denmark does, and Sweden generates more innovation as measured by patents. The Danes did not end the push-back from the economic elite. Class struggle remains a reality in Denmark, as it does everywhere.

The Danes did, however, end centuries of domination by their 1 percent and empowered the democratic majority to make decisions about the future direction of the economy. They designed a different economy, one that centers labor instead of capital, correctly understanding this shift to be the pre-condition for the abolition of poverty. They also turn to nonviolent direct action to do the heavy lifting when they see it is needed, rather than putting all their eggs in the parliamentary basket.
- Meanwhile, Chris McGreal comments on the promise of democratic socialism as a needed hope for a growing movement of young Americans. Aditya Chakrabortty points out the deprivation and inequality that's leading to a first-ever strike among workers at UK McDonald's. And Rachelle Younglai discusses the Canadian workers who are being left without any hope of stable employment.

- Christopher Cheung interviews Geoff Dembicki about the trend of young voters making their decisions based on climate change - and the prospect that a cohort suckered once by the Trudeau Libs won't be fooled again.

- Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan call out climate change denialists when numerous ongoing disasters are demonstrating the human costs of inaction. And Rick Salutin criticizes much of the coverage of Hurricane Harvey as "rescue porn" which neglects needed analysis as to how damage happened and could be prevented.

- Finally, Alheli Picazo offers some suggestions in dealing with prejudice among people who are willing to listen and reconsider their assumptions.

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