Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- The Equality Trust makes its submission to a UK study of social mobility by pointing out the need for increased equality as the first step:
To genuinely improve social mobility in the UK, the over-arching policy priority has to be for a massive and sustained reduction in economic inequality (so both income and wealth). This will require bold policies and, crucially, for such policies to be carried forward as an integrated Inequality Reduction Strategy, embedded across all government departments. Our new national Manifesto for a Fairer Society outlines the sort of policy changes required.

While we support the dissemination of best practice that promotes high educational attainment we are sceptical that it will have much impact. Interventions that try to correct for the impact of inequality on social mobility (early years education intervention, parenting interventions and so on) have (a) a very weak evidence base and (b) fail to address the "causes of the causes" (thus the interventions will be needed for ever and ever) and are (c) very expensive and, therefore, subject to changes in governments and political priorities (and in relation to political priorities, we would like to state that there is no evidence that expanding grammar schools will improve our education system or our chronic social immobility, in fact, quite the reverse).

In any event, such interventions cannot be expected to correct the enormous dead-weight of problems created by inequality for families - debt, long working hours and chronic stress leading to more mental and physical illness.
- Allie Conti discusses a new research paper on the detachment of the ultra-rich from the rest of society. And Jay Willis notes that the Trump administration's giveaways to the wealthy are only making matters worse.

- Meanwhile,  Bruce Japsen points out how Trump's barriers to social benefits will drastically increase administration costs and limit access without serving any useful purpose.

- Raffy Boudjikanian reports on TransAlta's laundering of its coal lobbying effort through the University of Alberta.

- Finally, Palko Karasz writes about the wave of ocean-dumped garbage now hitting the Dominican Republic and other coastlines. Julia Short points out how climate change has made our oceans more acidic than they've been in millions of years. Umair Irfan discusses what has made rising temperatures particularly dangerous for residents of areas not build to account for them. Ryan Cooper offers a reminder that reining in climate change offers substantial economic opportunities, while ignoring it will only cause economic harm in the long run. And Jonathan Watts highlights how our consumption of natural resources has continued to grow to increasingly unsustainable levels.

No comments:

Post a Comment