Friday, January 22, 2021

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- David Brancaccio and Rose Conlon write about the tendency for people involved in deliberately-rigged contests to believe their success is the result of skill rather than manipulation - offering an important comparison to wealthy people who can't sort out luck from merit in their own riches and power.

- Scilla Alleci discusses the prospect that the new year will see the public begin to collect a reasonable share of the revenue currently being sucked up by COVID profiteers and environmental scofflaws. Ian Vandaelle reports on CIBC Deputy Chief Economist Benjamin Tal's recognition that increased taxes on the wealthy are likely - and properly - on their way. And Michael Smart suggests looking to a capital gains tax instead to both increase revenue, and limit the disproportionate accumulation of wealth.

- Supreet Kaur, Sendhil Mullainathan, Suanna Oh and Frank Schilbach examine the effect of financial security on workers, showing that even a modicum of reassurance about cash on hand produces demonstrable improvements in productivity. And Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca study the effect of minimum wage increases on restaurants, finding that higher-quality businesses do just fine when required to pay a fair wage. 

- Veena Dubal and Juliet Schor write about the need to ensure that gig workers have the same protections available to traditionally-classified employees. 

- But Josh Rubin points out that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been disproportionately felt by lower-income workers, while the already-secure have largely thrived. And Pia Arenata takes note of the health dangers of precarious work as people are forced to risk the spread of a deadly virus for want of other options to support themselves.

- Neil O'Brien highlights why we can't merely ignore anti-social COVID spreaders.

- Finally, Robert Reich discusses the need for radical action to avoid slipping back into the same "normal" which allowed Donald Trump to take power.

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