Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Nick Hanauer discusses the futility of "educationism" which treats schools as the only factor in social outcomes without recognizing the importance of inequality and precarity in restricting opportunities for far too many children. And PressProgress points out that Brian Pallister's Manitoba PCs - in keeping with right-wing dogma - are determined to make matters worse for people already getting by with low incomes.

- Michael Spratt writes that Doug Ford's cuts to Legal Aid will end up costing more than they save (in addition to undermining outcomes in Ontario's justice system). Cory Coleman reports on the long-term damage being done by the Saskatchewan Party's failure to maintain the province's health facilities.

- David Climenhaga highlights how Canada's right has decided to pattern itself after Donald Trump in full, including by exhibiting an utter aversion to facts and proclivity for gaslighting. And PressProgress calls out Brad Wall (among other prominent Cons) for eagerly pushing climate denialism.

- Robert Reich argues that Elizabeth Warren's plan to revive the concept of industrial policy in the public interest offers a needed alternative to the corporatist view that the economy exists solely to serve the already-rich:
Smartness and openness go together. An open, explicit industrial policy becomes a national competitive strategy. A hidden industrial policy becomes a haven for political payoffs – a form of corporate welfare.

Which may be why big business in America killed off industrial policy in the 1980s. Such talk threatened to expose how much public money big business was raking in without doing anything in return.
Warren proposes enlarging federal research and development, and targeting it on leading technologies. These R&D investments would be “spread across every region of the country, not focused on only a few coastal cities”. The products that emerge would be built by American workers.

Her Green Manufacturing Plan proposes allocating $150bn annually for the next decade to renewable, green, American-made energy products, along with a dramatic expansion of worker training to ensure Americans have the skills for the anticipated new jobs.

It’s a national investment in our future. “Over the next decade, the expected market for clean energy technology in emerging economies alone is $23tn,” she explains.

It would also be good for the world. She calls for a Green Marshall plan, “dedicated to selling American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy technology abroad and a $100bn commitment to assisting countries to purchase and deploy this technology.”

As Trump erects tariff walls and rolls back federal efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Elizabeth Warren is promoting a positive economic nationalism designed both to advance America’s workers and respond to one of the most profound crises confronting the world.
- Finally, Jim Bronskill reports on a directive allowing Canada's military to collect and use information about Canadians with minimal controls or oversight.

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