Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Ian Welsh calls out the latest example of deceptive use of COVID-19 data to minimize the risk people continue to face, as the CDC is failing to investigate or report on cases which don't result in immediate hospitalization even if they lead to long COVID. Vaughn Palmer writes that British Columbia's plan to lift public health measures appears far too likely to run into the realities of increasingly dangerous variants. And Andrea Woo, Laura Stone and Marieke Walsh report on the still-changing vaccination plans which are seeing the intervals for a second dose reduced in a number of provinces.

- Wency Leung highlights the risk of COVID outbreaks in high-rise buildings with insufficient ventilation. And Emily Anthes reports on new research showing that both ventilation and preventative testing are essential elements to keeping schools safe.

- Mitchell Thompson reports on Tim Hortons' anti-union and anti-fair wage strategy. And Samuel Fleischman and Wen Zhuang interview Jane McAlevy about the important of organizing to build worker power - particularly in increasing participation and involvement among people who aren't drawn to activism on their own.

- Trish Hennessy writes that we'll emerge from the pandemic into a changed world - but need to ensure the change we see involves collective action in the public interest.

- Finally, Angella MacEwen and Jonathan Gauvin make the case for sharing the wealth rather than facilitating its accumulation:

Economic inequality isn’t just unfair; it also creates a deeply dysfunctional economy. The more those at the top make decisions based on increasing their own wealth rather than our shared wealth, the less the economy can perform its role of sustaining people and our societies.

There are clear and concrete solutions that we can implement as a society - if we have the political will.

Wealth accumulation in Canada has been fostered and facilitated by political decisions:

  • Corporate and personal tax cuts have allowed the wealthy to accumulate more wealth — and more power.
  • This power has been used in turn to pressure governments to deregulate — especially by reducing protections for workers, consumers, and the environment.

Taxing the rich is a real possibility to address both income and wealth inequality, by:

  • Creating an annual net wealth tax is a good start toward a fairer economy, but is not enough on its own.
  • Changing how we tax capital gains will raise almost as much money as a modest wealth tax.
  • Increasing the tax rate for corporations, closing loopholes, and increasing taxes on the highest income earners will make the economy more equal, and raise revenue that can be used to fund important public investments.

These proposed tax changes are actually quite moderate, and well within the range governments in Canada have set in recent history. While this means that doomsday predictions about devastating impacts to the economy are clearly exaggerated, it also means that we need to do more than just tax wealth — we need to also change the built-in levers in our system that ensure the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.

1 comment:

  1. Vaughn Palmer, while technically a journalist, is basically a BC Liberal. It's not unlikely that plans to reopen in general will run into problems with variants, but not because of single dose vs. double dose. Palmer's just trying to come up with a reason the government's "get everyone at least one dose" plan is somehow a bad idea, which it isn't.