Saturday, December 26, 2020

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Boxing Day reading.

- Kyle Hanniman and Trevor Tombe examine the relative fiscal positions of Canada's federal and provincial governments - concluding that while there isn't a need for austerity anywhere, there's a lot more room to maneuver at the federal level than in most provinces (though Saskatchewan is a noteworthy exception). And Richard Murphy points out the absurdity of obsessing over deficits as an excuse not to spend on public goods.

- David Dayen is hopeful that the U.S. is seeing a much-needed antitrust revolution against the consolidation of corporate power - particularly in the hands of tech behemoths. But Umair Haque warns tha its foolish devotion to neoliberal economics is needlessly converting a rich country into a poor one. And Branko Milanovic discusses his concern that the Biden administration will do little more than return (to the extent possible) to a status quo ante whose inequality gave rise to Donald Trump's election. 

- Meanwhile, Nick Bano discusses how the UK's housing crisis was the result of deliberate choices to privilege the profits of landlords over people's right to a home. 

- Kenyon Wallace, Ed Tubb and Marco Chown Oved report on the privatized long-term care corporations which have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in dividends - even as they've cried poor in failing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed countless people under their care. And Moira Welsh takes note of the conditions found by a doctor asked to pitch in to save lives where corporate owners wouldn't.

- Badvertising examines the role of ads in pushing us toward needless and environmentally-destructive consumption.

- Finally, Carl Meyer reports on the Cons' determination to gift another set of handouts to the oil patch - this time by turning climate change policy into a subsidy scheme. But Chiara Eisner discusses how existing emissions tracking has grossly underestimated the damage done by leaking methane. And Bob Yirka highlights how Brazil's forest are being turned into net emitters rather than carbon sinks.

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