Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Through the newly-developed Progressive International, Grace Blakely writes that we don't have any choice as to whether our future will be planned - only as to whose interest are taken into account in the process:
Our choice is not ‘to plan or not to plan?’ but ‘in whose interests should we plan?’

The case for democratic public planning is clear. The inefficiencies, inequities and corruption generated by state-monopoly capitalism do not result from centralisation in itself, but from centralisation absent the centrifugal force of democratic accountability. There is a strong case to be made that, in the wake of this crisis, the resources by then under the command of the state should be allocated by the public, for the public. Absent this plan to democratize the economy, this crisis — and the suffering of so many millions of people it has caused — will have been for nothing but capital itself.
- The Economist highlights the opportunity to flatten the climate curve along the way. And Marc Lee points out some of the options for a low-carbon reboot of Canada's economy, while Adam Radwanski discusses the push to demand that the Libs make use of them.

- Abacus Data offers a detailed look at the progressive plan Canadians support - including both increased taxes on the rich, and investments in social priorities - as we rebuild from the coronavirus pause. Matthew Yglesias notes that even in the U.S., there's plenty of public support for public spending to finance a recovery - particularly if it's paid for by fair taxes on the wealthy. And Brian Jones also notes the importance of finally ensuring the lucky few contribute to the common good.

- But then, Norman Solomon discusses the class war being waged by the privileged in order to exploit the pandemic to further consolidate their control while denying any meaning to what everybody else is losing. Paul Krugman writes about Donald Trump's plan to sacrifice tens of thousands of Americans in the hope of securing temporary gains in the stock market. Owen Jones points out how the well-connected are able to extract preferential treatment from the business sector with reference to Boris Johnson's circle of close associates. And Eduardo Porter and David Yaffe-Bellany highlight how another generation is facing diminished long-term prospects as it emerges into an economy which is both crumbling generally, and top-heavy in its allocation of any gains.

- Finally, the Globe and Mail's editorial board rightly asks why testing and tracing which has long been promised - and which is known to be the only feasible option to increase activity without enabling the spread of COVID-19 - is still lacking in far too much of Canada. And Bruce Arthur writes about the need to make sure our lockdown actually results in the development of an effective public health strategy, rather than merely hitting the snooze button on an even more catastrophic wave of infection.