Saturday, August 04, 2018

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Michael Laxer writes that Doug Ford's attack on people who stood to be helped by a basic income demonstrates the cruelty of austerian politics. But we shouldn't take the callousness of right-wing parties as reflecting the preferences of most voters, as the Angus Reid Institute's poll on poverty in Canada examines attitudes toward the people facing it and the options available to address it - including the widespread recognition that poverty is primarily a matter of circumstances beyond an individual's control:
  • Two-thirds of Canadians (65%) say the federal government is doing too little to address poverty, and approximately the same number (64%) feel this way about their provincial government
  • More than seven-in-ten (72%) say poor people are poor because of circumstances beyond their control, rather than a lack of effort on their part
  • A similar number (65%) say wealthy people are wealthy because they had more advantages in life, rather than because they worked harder than other people
- And Eric Levitz points out new data confirming that in the U.S., policies such as increased public enterprise are far more popular than the Republicans' template of tax giveaways to the rich and austerity for everybody else - even though they're hardly ever discussed by the political class.

- The Economist discusses how the world is losing the war against climate change. And Christopher Pollin interviews Naomi Klein about the need for divestment from fossil fuels as part of the public response to negligence by political leaders.

- Lisa Johnson reports on the threat to sockeye salmon posed by a warming Fraser River. And Emma Lui notes that Nestle has pumped over a billion litres of water out of the Aberfoyle well since its permit expired - and that it's showing no willingness to stop in the absence of public action.

- Finally, Andre Picard discusses how the Netherlands have taken harm reduction several steps further than Canada by allowing for drug-checking to protect against contamination.

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