Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Bernie Sanders comments on the need to take back political power from the wealthiest few:
Now, more than ever, those of us who believe in democracy and progressive government must bring low-income and working people all over the world together behind an agenda that reflects their needs. Instead of hate and divisiveness, we must offer a message of hope and solidarity. We must develop an international movement that takes on the greed and ideology of the billionaire class and leads us to a world of economic, social and environmental justice. Will this be an easy struggle? Certainly not. But it is a fight that we cannot avoid. The stakes are just too high.
A new and international progressive movement must commit itself to tackling structural inequality both between and within nations. Such a movement must overcome “the cult of money” and “survival of the fittest” mentalities that the pope warned against. It must support national and international policies aimed at raising standards of living for poor and working-class people – from full employment and a living wage to universal higher education, healthcare and fair trade agreements. In addition, we must rein in corporate power and prevent the environmental destruction of our planet as a result of climate change.

Here is just one example of what we have to do. Just a few years ago, the Tax Justice Network estimated that the wealthiest people and largest corporations throughout the world have been stashing at least $21tn-$32tn in offshore tax havens in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. If we work together to eliminate offshore tax abuse, the new revenue that would be generated could put an end to global hunger, create hundreds of millions of new jobs, and substantially reduce extreme income and wealth inequality. It could be used to move us aggressively toward sustainable agriculture and to accelerate the transformation of our energy system away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources of power.

Taking on the greed of Wall Street, the power of gigantic multinational corporations and the influence of the global billionaire class is not only the moral thing to do – it is a strategic geopolitical imperative. Research by the United Nations development programme has shown that citizens’ perceptions of inequality, corruption and exclusion are among the most consistent predictors of whether communities will support rightwing extremism and violent groups. When people feel that the cards are stacked against them and see no way forward for legitimate recourse, they are more likely to turn to damaging solutions that only exacerbate the problem.
- Tom Parkin examines the woeful track record of neoliberal economic predictions, as low taxes and wages and constant austerity have done nothing but ensure stagnation for most and growing inequality. And Toby Sanger discusses the problems with the federal Libs' plan to privatize infrastructure development, while the AP reports on how Carillion's unraveling will affect the services of Canadian jurisdictions who bought the false promise of transferring risk.

- Jen Gerson looks at Sears' history of privatizing profits while dumping risks on the public (along with their longest-serving workers). And Erica Johnson exposes how telecommunications workers are pressured to pressure and cheat customers.

- Meanwhile, Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports on the franchise arrangements such as the ones used at Tim Hortons which serve to concentrate corporate control while leaving workers with little prospect of following suit.

- Finally, Geneva Abdul points out that we shouldn't let the successes of the minimum wage movement paper over the continued lack of pay equity. And Alan Jones discusses how inequality in the UK is being driven by a hollowing out among male workers.

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