Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Joe Cressy argues that we need to take strong progressive positions to highlight the kinds of public investment which need to be made, rather than buying into right-wing spin about slashing taxes and eliminating public institutions:
Public investment is about social justice, taking care of people and making sure our communities have affordable housing, public transit, child care, clean air to breathe and water to drink.

Now, when progressive candidates talk about investing in communities, we are often labeled as ‘tax-and-spenders,’ as if that were something to be ashamed of.

The reality is that taxing, spending, and regulating are the core functions of government, no matter who holds office. The difference lies in how you prioritize spending.

Instead of running from the word ‘tax,’ we need to look at what we are actually doing with our resources. Are we taxing fairly, and are we investing in things that will make life better? That should be the ‘bottom line.’
- Which fits nicely with Ken Neumann's view that we should demand better in the next federal election (and in our political system generally), not just settle for any alternative.

- Meanwhile, Celia Carr laments the stigmatization of people living in poverty. And Danielle Kurtzleben notes that based on our actual standards of fairness, we should instead be far more critical of CEOs who extract massive amounts of wealth at the expense of workers.

- Jason Fekete reports on the Cons' obscene expenditures on media monitoring and communications

- Finally, Barrie McKenna discusses how the fetishization of small business leads to our spending billions on programs which don't accomplish anything of value. And I'll note that we shouldn't merely be drawing distinctions between small and large businesses either, as we'd do far better to highlight the importance of public services - as Janet Newbury does:
We don't have to choose between supporting the public sector and economic prosperity: investing in the public sector is good for our economy.

A good jobs plan for B.C. would enhance the public sector -- particularly supporting jobs in health and human services. It would replace the current trend towards temporary, resource-dependent jobs with a commitment to maintaining stable, permanent jobs that contribute to societal well-being. Creating and maintaining public sector jobs can foster our social and economic well-being by ensuring the quality of vital gap-reducing social services, and by building a strong and stable workforce in B.C.

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