Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Ed Finn reminds us that ending child poverty makes good economic sense in addition to being a moral necessity:
The same huge financial benefit would be reaped in Canada from an equivalent investment in curbing poverty here. Based on the variance in populations and socioeconomic issues, it’s clear that, if it would save more than a trillion dollars in the U.S., it would save as much as $100 billion annually in Canadian dollars.

Unfortunately, given the deeply entrenched neoliberalism rampant in both the United States and Canada, it’s highly unlikely that Rank’s strong anti-poverty case will fare any better with politicians on either side of the border than did similar previous studies.

The prospect of saving billions in the future by spending more to alleviate child poverty today doesn’t appeal to conservative corporate CEOs or their political minions. They are fixated on maximizing profits in the next quarter, not in 10 or 20 years from now.

The same avarice-fueled capitalist myopia that keeps them plundering non-renewable resources, polluting the environment, and propagating inequality also compels them to keep on keeping children poor. The less spent on helping the poor, the higher their profits. It’s that blatant.

Blinded by greed, committed to turning their millions to billions, their billions to trillions, these modern-day robber barons remain indifferent to the poverty, misery, deprivation and distress they inflict on billions of other people.

Tragically, their most traumatized victims are the young, the helpless, and the innocent – those most in need of adult love and care.
- Robert Frank notes that even billionaires are recognizing the grossly distorted distribution of income and wealth - and the social harms which result. And Jennifer Ditchburn discusses the need for genuine policy to deal with the future of work, rather than distractions from the reality that financial security is out of reach for far too many people. 

- Ben Zipperer points out how the U.S.' minimum wage has eroded to the point where it serves as a guarantee of poverty.

- The Independent reports on polling showing a strong majority of Britons looking to bring railways back under public ownership.

- Finally, Seth Klein and Vyas Saran counter any attempts to muddy the waters in British Columbia's electoral reform referendum by pointing out how simple and fair a proportional system can be.

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