Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Dani Rodrik writes that politicians looking to provide an alternative to toxic populism will need to offer some other challenge to a system biased in favour of the wealthy and powerful:
(P)oliticians who want to steal the demagogues’ thunder have to tread a very narrow path. If fashioning such a path sounds difficult, it is indicative of the magnitude of the challenge these politicians face. Meeting it will likely require new faces and younger politicians, not tainted with the globalist, market fundamentalist views of their predecessors.

It will also require forthright acknowledgement that pursuing the national interest is what politicians are elected to do. And this implies a willingness to attack many of the establishment’s sacred cows – particularly the free rein given to financial institutions, the bias toward austerity policies, the jaundiced view of government’s role in the economy, the unhindered movement of capital around the world, and the fetishization of international trade.

To mainstream ears, the rhetoric of such leaders will often sound jarring and extreme. Yet wooing voters back from populist demagogues may require nothing less. These politicians must offer an inclusive, rather than nativist, conception of national identity, and their politics must remain squarely within liberal democratic norms. Everything else should be on the table.
- Meanwhile, Marco Chown Oved reports on the widespread use of tax havens by Canadian businesses - and the tens of billions of dollars lost to the public purse as a result.

- Reuters reports on Credit Suisse's finding that millenials are worse off than the generation before them. And Samantha Beattie reports on new research showing that nearly half of Ontario students have missed school due to anxiety.

- Alissa Tedesco, Katie Boone, Chetan Mehta and Jim Deutch argue that a fair basic income funded by progressive taxes would work wonders to alleviate the health and social consequences of poverty.

- Finally, Tzeporah Berman offers a reminder of the environmental devastation wrought by the extraction of Canada's tar sands.

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