Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Alan Freeman discusses the U.S.' decline based on anti-tax dogma - and warns of the same result in Canada if we don't stand up for our collective interests:
The U.S. has always been a capitalist society but it always believed in meritocratic principles, allowing smart, hard-working individuals to advance through strong public schools and publicly-funded state universities. That’s all but disappeared now as is social mobility in the U.S. Better chance of getting ahead if you’re a child of immigrants in Canada than south of the border.

I’m convinced this is not a winning strategy for America or U.S. business long-term. Impoverished government will mean crumbling infrastructure, an under-educated work force and huge social problems.

Thankfully, we’re not there yet in Canada.

The libertarian right has always been weaker here and despite the Harper government’s best efforts — the unnecessary cut in the GST is the most egregious example of its boneheaded fiscal management — Canada’s education, health and social systems remain adequately funded by tax revenues.

But I worry every time groups like the Business Council of Canada start complaining about the need to match the Trump corporate tax cuts, for the sake of “competitiveness” and threaten all sorts of dire consequences if we don’t march in lock-step with the Republican right. If we follow that advice too closely, our children will soon be studying from ripped 30-year old textbooks on computers running Windows 98.
- Meanwhile, Jim Stanford crunches the numbers to show how that pattern is playing out in Australia's budget - with a right-wing government assuming wage growth while taking steps which suppress it. Robert Sweeny comments on the consequences of Danny Williams' upward redistribution of income. And David Macdonald and Sheila Block point out how Doug Ford's "middle class" tax slashing would primarily benefit the wealthy, while Michael Laxer notes that Ford's subsidies for poverty-level wages would encourage employers to rely on exploiting workers.

- Amy Hadley reports on the individual effects of Ontario's basic income pilot, while the Green Institute offers a discussion paper (PDF) on the combination of a secure basic income and a reduction in the work people need to perform to survive. And Dayton Martindale interviews David Graeber about busy work which keeps people employed but unhappy, while David Spencer discusses the health implications of excessive work.

- Chris Dillow wonders whether the effect of a job guarantee would be to make capitalism more sustainable, or to lay the groundwork for a new economic structure. And Annie Lowrey notes that there's still a great deal of uncertainty as to what the U.S. Democrats' developing promises on the subject actually mean.

- Miles Kampf-Lassin discusses the Workplace Democracy Act which would at least provide U.S. workers with far more ability to organize.

- Finally, Murray Mandryk writes that the fallout from the La Loche shootings highlights the continued lack of mental health support in Saskatchewan - particularly in rural communities.

No comments:

Post a Comment