Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Matt Bruenig discusses how UK Labour's plans to ensure workers have an ownership stake in major corporations fits into the wider principle of common wealth:
The Labour Party’s John McDonnell recently unveiled a policy that would require large corporations with more than 250 employees to gradually place 10 percent of their shares into Inclusive Ownership Funds (IOFs) owned by workers. Under the plan, workers in each firm would exercise the ownership rights of the IOF shares and annually receive up to £500 of their shares’ dividends.

Along with nationalizing certain utilities, giving workers representation on corporate boards, and reinvigorating the trade union movement, collectivizing the ownership of a portion of company stock through the IOF scheme is meant to be a step towards democratizing the ownership and control of the UK economy.
(T)he need to come up with practical socialist governing ideas seems to be what is motivating the recent renaissance of the idea in the last 6 years or so. The surprising success of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK Labour Party has prompted policy organizations like IPPR to reinvigorate the idea so that it can be adopted ahead of the next UK election. In the US, a burgeoning socialist movement sparked by Bernie Sanders has pushed think tanks like People’s Policy Project to do the same thing.
Nonetheless, it is heartening to see the Labour Party pick up this long-standing socialist idea and run with it in earnest. The Inclusive Ownership Funds offer a promising strategy for gradually shifting ownership of the economy out of the hands of an oligarchic class and into the hands of Britain’s workers and its society as a whole. It is not a panacea to all that ails the British economy, but it does set it down the path towards a democratic socialist future.
- Bill Curry reports on the latest report of Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux indicating that while the federal government has money to spare, there's an urgent need for increased transfers to ensure provinces can meet their responsibilities. And the CCPA's Alternative Federal Budget offers a road map toward ending poverty and transitioning toward a sustainable economy in the relatively near future.

- Meanwhile, Katherine Scott points out the need for far more than sporadic awareness and action in pursuit of gender equity.

- Emilee Gilpin reports that the Libs' response to the Trans Mountain court decision about insufficient consultation and regulation has been to give interested parties a grand total of a week in which to register for a new hearing. And Jim Bronskill reports on the federal government's attempts to stifle any public knowledge of the steps taken to spy on environmental activists.

- Finally, Thomas Walkom writes that Canada should be walking away from NAFTA talks ather than keeping up the laughable pretense that the U.S. - particularly under Donald Trump - can be counted on to respect its continental commitments.

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