Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jonathan Malesic writes that while millennials may be facing the worst of an economy set up to push workers into precarity, the workforce as a whole is dealing with high levels of burnout. And Jacques Marcoux and Katie Nicholson report on research showing that work-related deaths in Canada are severely underestimated in official statistics.

- Bloomberg News reports on the growing number of Canadians who can't meet their financial obligations. And Andrew Jackson points out that the problem is one of private exploitation, not taxes which are actually entirely manageable:
In 2016, the “average Canadian” paid an effective combined federal-provincial income tax rate of just 9.0 per cent – just nine cents for every dollar of income from employment, investments and government transfers. While that figure does not include sales taxes and social insurance contributions, it will surely strike most as quite a modest amount considering all of the benefits of public spending in the form of income support programs, social programs and public services.
The data also rebut the common view that the income tax “burden” has been increasing. In fact, the average effective rate has fallen from a peak of 11.3 per cent in 1997, two decades ago, to 9.0 per cent in 2016, and the effective rate on the top 1 per cent has fallen from 34.5 per cent at the peak in 2007 to 30.6 per cent in 2016. The effective tax rate on the 75th percentile has fallen from 19.1 per cent to 15.8 per cent over the same period.

So why all of the populist tax rage? One can only speculate, but perceptions are clearly not being shaped by the facts. Stagnant or falling real incomes for many Canadians are the result of low rates of growth of earnings and other forms of income, not rising income taxes.
- John McDonnell makes the case to make a definitive turn away from Thatcherism and austerity in 2019. 

- And finally, Bob Hepburn discusses the Ford government's moves behind the scenes to push privatized health care.

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