Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Matt Phillips and Karl Russell write that the next severe financial meltdown may not be far away, and that student and consumer debt (along with new derivatives from corporate debt) look to be at the centre of it. And Stephen Long points out that the suppression of information about deceptive lending practices is only ensuring that banks continue to face potential liability.

- Deborah de Lange notes that the building of housing in unsafe areas such as flood plains is one of the symptoms of an unequal society. And Kathleen Martens reports that the tearing down of tent cities in British Columbia isn't being paired with any plan to find housing for the residents who lack it. 

- Luisa D'Amato observes that if Ontario had taken up its opportunity for a proportional electoral system, it wouldn't have Doug Ford running roughshod over a province based on 40% of the popular vote.

- Doug Cuthand discusses the need based on the continued recognition of the Indigenous rights recognized both by nation-to-nation treaties and Canada's Constitution.

- Finally, Bernie Sanders makes the case for a progressive front across borders to counter the billionaire-funded nationalist international underlying the spread of right-wing populism:
We must understand that these authoritarians are part of a common front. They are in close contact with each other, share tactics and, as in the case of European and American rightwing movements, even share some of the same funders. The Mercer family, for example, supporters of the infamous Cambridge Analytica, have been key backers of Trump and of Breitbart News, which operates in Europe, the United States and Israel to advance the same anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim agenda. Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson gives generously to rightwing causes in both the United States and Israel, promoting a shared agenda of intolerance and illiberalism in both countries.
Together governments of the world must come together to end the absurdity of the rich and multinational corporations stashing over $21tn in offshore bank accounts to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and then demanding that their respective governments impose an austerity agenda on their working families.

It is not acceptable that the fossil fuel industry continues to make huge profits while their carbon emissions destroy the planet for our children and grandchildren.

It is not acceptable that a handful of multinational media giants, owned by a small number of billionaires, largely control the flow of information on the planet.

It is not acceptable that trade policies that benefit large multinational corporations and encourage a race to the bottom hurt working people throughout the world as they are written out of public view.

It is not acceptable that, with the cold war long behind us, countries around the world spend over $1tn a year on weapons of destruction, while millions of children die of easily treatable diseases.

In order to effectively combat the rise of the international authoritarian axis, we need an international progressive movement that mobilizes behind a vision of shared prosperity, security and dignity for all people, and that addresses the massive global inequality that exists, not only in wealth but in political power.

Such a movement must be willing to think creatively and boldly about the world that we would like to see. While the authoritarian axis is committed to tearing down a post-second world war global order that they see as limiting their access to power and wealth, it is not enough for us to simply defend that order as it exists now.

We must look honestly at how that order has failed to deliver on many of its promises, and how authoritarians have adeptly exploited those failures in order to build support for their agenda. We must take the opportunity to reconceptualize a genuinely progressive global order based on human solidarity, an order that recognizes that every person on this planet shares a common humanity, that we all want our children to grow up healthy, to have a good education, have decent jobs, drink clean water, breathe clean air and live in peace.

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