Friday, October 05, 2018

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Nicholas Shaxson writes that the UK's disproportionate dependence on the financial sector is akin to the resource curse facing Western Canada among so many other jurisdictions:
(T)he finance curse had more parallels with the resource curse than we had first imagined. For one thing, in both cases the dominant sector sucks the best-educated people out of other economic sectors, government, civil society and the media, and into high-salaried oil or finance jobs. “Finance literally bids rocket scientists away from the satellite industry,” in the words of a landmark academic study of how finance can damage growth. “People who might have become scientists, who in another age dreamt of curing cancer or flying people to Mars, today dream of becoming hedge-fund managers.”
To argue that the City hurts Britain’s economy might seem crazy. But research increasingly shows that all the money swirling around our oversized financial sector may actually be making us collectively poorer. As Britain’s economy has steadily become re-engineered towards serving finance, other parts of the economy have struggled to survive in its shadow, like seedlings starved of light and water under the canopy of a giant, deep-rooted and invasive tree. Generations of leaders from Margaret Thatcher to Tony Blair to Theresa May have believed that the City is the goose that lays Britain’s golden eggs, to be prioritised, pampered and protected. But the finance curse analysis shows an oversized City to be a different bird: a cuckoo in the nest, crowding out other sectors.
- Matt O'Brien discusses how current estimates of inequality miss large amounts of wealth sheltered from taxes. And Paul Krugman reminds us that Donald Trump is the ultimate example of government by and for the selfish motives of tax cheats.

- John Clarke discusses how Doug Ford's government is inflicting extreme austerity on Ontario, while Willy Nolles contrasts the Ford PCs' stinginess with injured workers against their eagerness to hand billions to businesses. And David Climenhaga comments on Ford's Very Angry White Men tour - which of course stopped in Saskatoon yesterday before arriving in Calgary.

- Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström discuss the need for a carbon price merely to avoid more than doubling the temperature increase committed to by the world's governments. But Brent Patterson rightly argues that we ultimately need to pursue climate policies far more ambitious than the pricing schemes currently on offer. And Liam Britten reports on the potentially disastrous effects of British Columbia's liquid natural gas scheme.

- Finally, Joe Virgillito highlights how carbon pricing can contribute to a reduction in income inequality. And Rob Merrick reports on the UK's plan for a digital services tax to ensure that the corporations profiting from effective online monopolies pay something approaching their fair share.

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