Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Joseph Stiglitz discusses how the Republicans' tax scam is designed for the sole purpose of further enriching their already-wealthy donors, while Theodoric Meyer notes that it also stands to make loads of money for lobbyists.

- Jagmeet Singh makes the case for Canada to work on a tax system which is more fair to citizens - making for a far more constructive contribution than Susan Delacourt's effort to stoke anti-tax sentiment for little apparent reason. And Patrick Collinson comments on the need for a tax system which ensures that inheritances don't exacerbate existing inequality:
Firstly, let’s call a halt to the nonsense that the money goes to kids, or to young adults needing a hand up the property ladder. The average age at which someone receives an inheritance is 61. These people are certainly not “kids” – indeed, many of the recipients of unearned inheritances (largely created by property inflation, not personal endeavour) will be grandparents themselves.

Now let’s look at who receives the money. The report reveals how it doesn’t really go to those who need a leg-up – it goes to those who already have assets. Resolution looked at the millennial generation – generally those seen as reaching their late teens and early 20s after 2000 – and found that the ones who haven’t got on the property ladder are likely to be those whose parents also never made it. In contrast, 83% of millennials who have bought their homes have parents who also bought their own homes.

You can see where inheritance is going. What it does is simply entrench inequality and make the divide between the housing haves and have-nots wider.
Social mobility risks grinding to a near halt, making it much more difficult to become wealthy from one’s own endeavours. Society will, more than ever, be run for the benefit of a trustafarian gerontocracy of the 60-plus who inherited property, not a society where entrepreneurial vigour counts.
- Owen Jones points out the combination of skyrocketing prices and declining service in the UK's rail industry as just another example of the consequences of ideological privatization.

- Aditya Chakrabortty discusses how the UK's social programs have been cut and rendered impossible to navigate in order to divert money to the Conservatives' tax slashing.

- Finally, Elizabeth Schulze examines Finland's basic income experiment after a year, and finds that the main question being raised is whether to go further in extending income security.

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