Sunday, March 04, 2018

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Andrea Gordon offers the latest on the inequality caused by forcing schools to rely on fund-raising for basic equipment and activities. And Wanda Wyporska comments on the class pay gap which sees children of less wealthy parents face lifelong disadvantages:
The report pointed to the intergenerational dominance of the professional class. As the report found “the odds of those from professional backgrounds ending up in professional jobs are 2.5 times higher than the odds of those from less advantaged backgrounds reaching the professions.” Tellingly, it goes on to say that “45% of earnings inequalities are passed across generations”, which should worry us all greatly. Especially when you take into consideration the Longevity Science Panel’s report this month reiterated that ‘of the many factors comprising the Index of Multiple Deprivation, income levels have the most powerful influence over neighbourhood death rates.’ So the relationship between class and income matters, because a boy born in 2015, in one of the most advantaged 20% of neighbourhoods can expect to live 8.4 years longer than his contemporary born in one of the least advantaged 20% of neighbourhoods. This has increased from 2001, when that gap was 7.2 years.

Starkly, 73% of doctors are from professional and managerial backgrounds, but fewer than 6% are from working-class backgrounds. 

The deck is stacked against working class and poor children, as some may be as far as 12-18 months behind their peers when they start primary school, a gap that gets ever more cavernous as many fall further behind. Although education isn’t the only engine of social mobility, it’s clear that those who can afford to work unpaid as interns, secure work experience through family connections and have recourse to the bank of Mum and Dad, are likely to earn more and to gain jobs in the professions.
- Rebecca Burns discusses the criminalization of debt as an additional gratuitous punishment for people living in poverty. Laurie Monsebraaten notes that a reasonable quality of life is out of reach for far too many people in Toronto. And Nick Bunker highlights the dangers of relying on household debt to drive economic activity.

- Daniel Triesman points out that public policy which exacerbates inequality can largely be traced to a lack of understanding as to where people fit on the income spectrum - not to mention just how far that spectrum extends at the top end. And Paul Krugman writes that anybody who isn't already among the U.S.' privileged few will lose out from the Republicans' tax giveaways to the rich.

- Finally, Mike De Souza notes that the federal government's assumptions about oil production suggest that new pipelines would serve little purpose until at least 2030. And Andrew Nikiforuk discusses the growing recognition of the dangers of fracking.

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