Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Luke Savage writes that the most compelling case for socialist policies is the importance of expanding on the unduly narrow definition of freedom offered by the right:
Socialists, on the other hand, have long understood that class stratification, poverty, and economic deprivation are in fact both created and necessitated by capitalism: imposed on the majority by the imperative to generate profits, cut labor costs, and commodify every aspect of life.

Real freedom therefore requires a whole lot more than the basic civil and political rights enshrined in a liberal constitutional order. It is simply not enough to be free from arbitrary coercion by other people or the state — true freedom also means independence from the dictates of the market: its bosses, its tycoons, its profiteers, its expropriation of the wealth workers collectively create.
Despite what generations of conservative economists and politicians have insisted, equality and freedom are in fact mutually interdependent — the former being an essential precursor to the latter and its natural and indispensable ally.

By advancing economic rights as the basis for freedom, Sanders is in essence turning the Right’s definition on its head. While there remains much more to be done, his campaign is laying the groundwork for a sweeping redefinition of the political and economic orthodoxies that have long dominated American society — and offering millions a richer and more textured definition of freedom than most have ever known.
- And Brandie Weikle reports on the stress faced by a crushing majority of Canadians due to worries about pay and money problems.

- Andrew MacLeod lists five things to know about a national pharmacare plan. But the most important point comes from David Macdonald and Toby Sanger: we can easily afford to fund it (and benefit from massive long-term benefits) through readily-available revenue sources.

- Meanwhile, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy offers a reminder that taxes targeted at the wealthiest few so their job both in raising revenue and smoothing out unacceptable inequality. And Brian Faler notes that conversely, tax cuts for the wealthy deliver none of the broad economic benefits that are usually promised as a pretext to cater to the rich.

- Finally, Sarmishta Subramanian points out how the underfunding of education exacerbates inequality. And David Baxter reports on how Saskatchewan's school divisions have reached their breaking point after years of cuts and arbitrary decrees by the Sask Party.

[Edit: fixed typo.]

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