Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Robert Reich writes about the laughable spin that the Trump Republicans' giveaways to the privileged and elimination of supports for the vast majority of people result in anything approaching a meritocracy:
The monstrous concentration of wealth in America has not only created an education system in which the rich can effectively buy college admission for their children. It has distorted much else.

It has created a justice system in which the rich can buy their way out of prison. (Exhibit A: money manager Jeffrey Epstein, who sexually abused dozens of underage girls, yet served just thirteen months in a private wing of a Palm Beach county jail.)

It has spawned a political system in which the rich can buy their way into Congress (Exhibit B: Reps. Darreill Issa and Greg Gianforte) and even into the presidency. (Donald Trump, perhaps Starbuck’s Howard Schultz).

And a health care system in which the super-rich can buy care unavailable to others (concierge medicine).

Meritocracy remains a deeply held ideal in America. But (the) nation is drifting ever-farther away from it. In the age of Trump, it seems, everything is for sale.
- Paul Krugman offers a reminder that the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us is the result of policy choices rather than inevitable trends. And James Meadway discusses the need to develop a new, broader movement in support of egalitarian economics.

- Meanwhile, the Alberta Federation of Labour highlights how Jason Kenney is determined to make matters worse.

- Bee Wilson writes about the drastic changes in our food production and consumption patterns over a period of just a couple of decades. And Cam Goff is rightly concerned that the Libs want to tilt Canada's plant breeding system toward rent-seeking and exclusion rather than collaborative evolution.

- Finally, Branko Marcetic points out that corporatism and anti-regulatory zealotry are behind the deaths in two Boeing 737 Max 8s (along with countless other avoidable tragedies).

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