Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Lana Payne offers a reminder (with reference to Lars Osberg's new book) that extreme and growing inequality is a choice rather than an inevitability - but that it also represents a self-reinforcing trend:
“The Age of Increasing Inequality: The Astonishing Rise Of Canada’s 1%” doesn’t merely detail years of data about how inequality has grown in Canada, but argues why ever-increasing equality is so harmful to our democracy.

Osberg has been saying that for some time. It is a predictable outcome. Those with money get more say and the more money they get, the more say they get. The rich also have no trouble exercising their unlimited access and influence over the political class and political decisions.

Osberg argues that Canada is at risk of instability because of rising wealth disparity. There is little doubt this is also at the root of the rise of populist politics across much of the world, including Canada.

The bottom half of Canada’s population is economically stuck. While the top half have improved somewhat over the past several decades, they find themselves further and further behind those at the very top, the 1 per cent.

That’s because the 1 per cent are taking an ever-growing share of income and wealth. This reinforces a sense of unfairness and insecurity as those at the top are so far ahead of everyone else.
- Meanwhile, Gauri Sreenivasan rightly argues that Canada should know better than to race the U.S. to the bottom when it comes to corporate tax rates and regulations.

- Doreen Nicoll reports on Doug Ford's closed-door meetings to sell off even more of Ontario's fresh water over the objections of affected municipalities. And Ed Finn discusses how corporatist politics are destroying natural forests.

- Finally, Aaron Saad comments on the tragi-comic state of carbon pricing politics in Canada. And Cameron Fenton is dubious that an already-compromised National Energy Board can carry out any meaningful review of a Trans Mountain pipeline expansion within the rushed timeline set by the Trudeau Libs.

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