Friday, June 05, 2015

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Peter Poschen argues that the goals of protecting our climate and ensuring the availability of good jobs isn't an either-or proposition:
(C)limate change and the degradation of natural resources increasingly disrupt economic activity and destroy jobs. The International Labour Organization (ILO) puts the productivity losses generated by climate change alone at 7.2 per cent. Cost estimates by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Bank are even higher. Environmental sustainability is not an option from a labour market perspective, it is a necessity.

What is more: proactive policies to protect the climate and preserve the environment can actually create substantially more jobs than the ‘business as usual’ growth. Our review of global and over 30 national assessments concludes that creating up to 60 million additional jobs by 2030 is perfectly possible.

Big strides could also be made in reducing working poverty, notably in agriculture which still employs one in every three workers, over one billion globally. Access to clean and affordable energy, as well as energy-efficient public transport and housing is a powerful way to overcome social exclusion. Access to modern energy alone would significantly improve the lives and could provide entirely new economic opportunity to 1.3 billion mostly poor people. 
- And unfortunately the Harper Cons are proving the same point by ensuring that Canada fails on both counts - most recently by blocking climate progress even as an oil-fuelled economy stagnates.

- Manuela Noriega highlights Bernie Sanders' recognition that reducing inequality is a matter of life and death. But Robert Naiman rightly calls out major media outlets for labeling Sanders as "unelectable" based on his backing policies - such as fairer taxes on the wealthy and a reduction in military spending - which actually enjoy far more popular support than the elite agenda pushed by most candidates in both major parties.

- Meanwhile, Fred Dews reports on Raj Chetty's findings as to how location dictates social mobility in the U.S.  Joseph Stiglitz suggests that the U.S. needs to adopt the "Scandinavian dream" in order to ensure that people's interests aren't completely crushed by corporate exploitation. And Stephen Koukoulas reminds us that inequality just as much damage to growth as it does to fairness.

- Finally, the Economist reports on the IMF's research showing that austerity figures to do far more harm than good in most developed countries (including Canada).


  1. But Sanders IS unelectable. Election to high office in the US is determined by corporate money and access to corporate media. Say things corporate donors and media outlets won't like, you don't get campaign funds or good play in the media. What actual people like has very little to do with it.

    1. I'd distinguish between whether election to high office is currently determined by those factors, and whether it's necessarily so. The question is whether actual people and their preferences can find ways around the influence of corporate money to achieve electoral outcomes, which at least theoretically remains possible - and I hope Sanders will at least test that question to a greater extent than any candidate in recent memory.