Saturday, December 01, 2012

Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Chrystia Freeland discusses the developing view that inequality can serve to stifle growth and development, while more equitable tax systems and social supports can encourage them:
Set aside any moral or political concerns you may have about rising income inequality – worries about poverty, justice, undue political influence or even social mobility. According to Mr. Dervis, a growing number of economists suspect that once inequality passes a certain point, it may jeopardize economic stability and economic growth.

As his book argues, “rebalancing of the distribution of income may play a role in unlocking the U.S. economy’s growth potential in a sustainable way.”

Now that is a truly radical thought, and it brings us back to Mr. Milanovic’s earlier view that income inequality was a forbidden subject in the United States.

Worrying about the poor is one thing. To contend that equality is necessary for growth is an altogether different and more radical idea. Three decades later, trickle-down economics has met its antithesis. We are set for one of the great battles of ideas of our time.
- And Paul Krugman rightly paints the U.S.' recent election as a well-defined class clash - and one where the public interest won out:
(T)he disappointed plutocrats weren’t wrong about who was on their side. This was very much an election pitting the interests of the very rich against those of the middle class and the poor.

 And the Obama campaign won largely by disregarding the warnings of squeamish “centrists” and embracing that reality, stressing the class-war aspect of the confrontation. This ensured not only that President Obama won by huge margins among lower-income voters, but that those voters turned out in large numbers, sealing his victory.

The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election.
- Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor dig into the details of Elections Canada's continued investigation into Robocon - including complaints in 56 separate ridings. And Sixth Estate puts the latest news into context, wondering why it's taken this long to start seeking even basic contact information for the parties responsible.

- Finally, the Star nicely sums up how the Cons' latest round of international belligerence (this time trying to bully the Palestinian Authority into withdrawing its since-approved application for observer state status at the UN) is only marginalizing Canada on the world stage.

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