Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Josh Bornstein writes that in Australia like elsewhere, the combination of increasing corporate profits, stagnant wages and resulting inequality can be traced to the reduced bargaining power of workers. Jim Stanford notes that New Zealand offers an example as to how to reverse the pattern.And Robert Reich highlights why we shouldn't accept the crocodile tears of the uber-rich seeking to shape any response to growing inequality to protect their own disproportionate concentration of wealth:
If Dimon and the others were serious about helping most American workers – whose real wages have been going nowhere for decades and job security is dwindling – they could use their outsized political influence to push for laws requiring CEOs to consider all their stakeholders, not just shareholders.

Rather than make it harder for workers to unionize, they could fight to make it easier, and to give workers larger voice in management decisions and a greater share of the profits.

Rather than reflexively seek tax cuts, they could push to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans like themselves, so there’d be more school funding to prepare American kids for the jobs of the future.

They could seek a higher minimum wage, a larger Earned Income Tax Credit, universal healthcare, and other measures to make left-behind Americans more secure.
(A)s heads of institutions with the greatest influence over American politics, they also have a duty to the common good and are uniquely positioned to advance it.

For 40 years, CEOs of America’s largest corporations and Wall Street banks have abdicated this responsibility.

We are now living with the consequences. Jamie Dimon and the Business Roundtable can see those consequences as well as anyone.

Rather than announce token jobs programs, they’d be better served seeking to increase the economic and political power of left-behind Americans – many of whom will otherwise continue to vote for demagogues who only make them feel powerful.
- Meanwhile, Joe Demanuelle-Hall highlights the beginning of strike action to force Amazon to treat workers with a modicum of respect and dignity.

- PressProgress reports on the Libs' school meal program which features precisely zero funding.

- In a reminder as to how discriminatory policy seldom survives contact with any system designed to ensure fairness, Nicholas Keung reports on the Federal Court's determination that the Harper Cons' attempt to negate the rights of refugees by labeling specific countries of origin as "safe" is unconstitutional. And Patrick White reports on a judgment awarding tens of millions of dollars in damages against Correctional Service Canada for using solitary confinement to warehouse prisoners with mental health needs.

- Riki Ott and Jack Siddoway point out that while fossil fuel flacks try to pretend there have been major advances to limit the risk associated with offshore drilling and ocean transportation of oil products, the reality is that there's been substantially no improvement in the response to oil spills since the Exxon Valdez disaster. And Laura Parker writes about the need for a coordinated international response to the growing plastic waste crisis.

- Finally, Sean Holman discusses the need for massive improvements in the flow of information between governments and citizens - both to ensure that we know what our leaders are doing, and to require them to listen to the will of the public.

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