Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Afternoon Links

Content goes here.

- For anybody wondering whether the NDP is in a position to keep gaining seats for a fourth consecutive election, the answer looks to be an emphatic yes:
Speaking with QMI Agency in a year-end interview in his Parliament Hill office, Jack Layton said the party is better prepared than ever for an election.

It's booked its campaign plane already, and the party is debt-free, having paid off the last of the 2008 election loan recently.

This year, the NDP also set a new record for fundraising, according to the party's national director, Brad Lavigne, and will be in a position to spend the legal maximum and match the Conservatives dollar-for-dollar for only the second time in the party's history.
- Armine Yalnizyan's Globe and Mail chat on inequality is well worth a look for a survey of the issue. But I find it particularly interesting that the questions look to have been largely either supportive or informational rather than seriously challenging Yalnizyan's viewpoint: after all, can one imagine a chat topic more suited to an astroturfing effort?

- But maybe the corporate sector is more interested in larger institutions rather than one-time chats even in major media outlets. And Erin notes that the World Bank is issuing reports effectively calling for nonstop corporate tax cutting - even though it would seem to have a strong incentive to make sure countries have enough revenue to make payments to it.

- Finally, let's play "spot the flaw" with Andrew Coyne's latest conclusion:
In 2001, when Bush first proposed his tax cuts, the top one per cent of taxpayers earned 18 per cent of all income and paid 34 per cent of all federal income taxes. By 2008, they were earning 22 per cent of the income, and paying 38 per cent of the taxes. Would it be so bad if they went back to paying the same share they did in the Clinton years?
That's right: even leaving aside the lack of context as to how the income and tax levels relate to each other, Coyne happily ignores his own numbers on increased incomes among those making the most money in proposing that their share should never go up - meaning that his "would it be so bad?" appeal is for the other 99% of the population to pay the same share as before with 4% less of the income. And anybody looking for some means of moving the income levels as well as the tax levels back to Clinton-era levels will of course find nothing of the sort from Coyne.

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