Friday, December 01, 2017

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Matt Bruenig examines the multi-million-dollar increase in the household wealth of the U.S.' top 1% over the past decade. And Ian Welsh discusses how the extreme concentration of wealth bleeds into political choices:
The corruption of vast inequality is that it makes some people powerful enough to overthrow democracy: in general (Citizen’s United) and in particular cases.

Most rich people are not good people. It is well established now, in the academic literature, that rich people have an empathy deficit, that they give less as a percentage of their wealth and income, and that (to put it unscientifically) they tend to become assholes. They don’t need to care what other people think, or about their welfare.

But even when they do try to do good, well, they don’t need to go through normal democratic processes: they just buy the results.
Money is power. When the government relies on rich individuals and corporations to do what should be done by government it takes longer and produces less welfare than it should, and it leads to capture by the rich of government.

A 90%+ top marginal tax rate and punitive capital and estate taxes aren’t necessary because “government needs the money”, they are necessary so that the rich don’t become so rich they buy the State.

And that includes the ones who try to do some good...
- Richard Partington writes about new OECD research on the threats to the UK's economy posed by household debt and stagnant wages. And Linda Nazareth discusses how retirement security is declining between generations in Canada.

- Makda Ghebreslassie points out that food banks and other band-aid solutions do nothing to address underlying insecurity and social deprivation.

- Andre Picard wonders whether Canada has forgotten the hard-learned lessons of the tainted blood scandal - particularly as to the dangers of cost-cutting and profit motives when health is at stake.

- Finally, amidst so many real problems in our midst, Michael Coren comments on the right's attempt to fabricate a campus free speech crisis which ultimately means little more than trying to ensure that only reactionary voices get heard.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not rightwing, I've voted every election I've voted in, but yes there is a free speech problem on campusus, a large minority on both the left, but also the right do not believe in free speech anymore.

    It is acrisis.