Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Wanda Wyporska highlights the UK's corporate executive fat cats, and argues that it's long past time for the public to stop rewarding them:
So let’s put fat cat pay in context. Yes it has come down slightly, as Sir Martin Sorrell has seen his pay cut from £70 million to a mere £40 million and organisations such as The Equality Trust have campaigned for pay transparency. But excessive CEO pay is also a hygiene issue for business and has been highly criticised throughout 2017. However, as we have calculated, the average CEO earned 242 times the wage of a minimum wage worker, 197 times the wage of a care worker, 108 times the salary of a nurse and 91 times the salary of a teacher. An indictment of the huge gap between those choosing Ferraris and those visiting foodbanks.

Furthermore, as an insurmountable bank of evidence shows, in countries with high levels of inequality (the UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world), there are also higher levels of physical and mental ill health, obesity, incarceration and crime and lower levels of social mobility, educational attainment and trust. So there’s a wider story than just fat cat pay.

Income inequality is a component of and result of a range of other inequalities, such as pay gaps experienced because of barriers such as race, gender and disability. The Equality Trust welcomes the Government’s commitment to legislation forcing companies to disclose their pay ratios and we shall be campaigning on this issue at our Pay Compare campaign. By highlighting the difference in pay between a footballer and the groundsmen, a CEO and the cleaners and the Vice Chancellor and university staff, we hope to demonstrate how unequal our pay systems are, how differently society values individuals, and how we can change this.

Inequality is not inevitable and we can reduce it.
- Meanwhile, Eric Levitz discusses the U.S.' increasing levels of poverty and consumer debt even as economic indicators linked to high-end wealth are seen as positive.

- Jo Littler asks what a more equal society should look like, with particular emphasis on the need to achieve improved equality of actual outcomes rather than pointing to theoretical opportunities. Stephen Tweedale writes about the importance of recognizing the intrinsic dignity and humanity of all people, rather than allowing meritocratic principles to excuse treating some people as more equal than others. And Peter Hicks comments on the value of a range of measures of poverty for different purposes - particularly to distinguish between alleviation and prevention.

- David Suzuki asks that we finally heed longstanding warnings about the environmental damage we're doing to our planet.

- Finally, Michael Harris hopes that 2018 will see Justin Trudeau and his party grow up - though I'd be inclined toward the view that Trudeau has already developed into exactly what he'd planned.

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