Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Michael Hiltzig examines the evidence showing that austerity serves as a major obstacle to economic growth. And Ian Hussey argues that Alberta (like other jurisdictions) is out of budgetary balance due to a lack of income rather than any need to cut social supports.

- Branko Milanovic studies (PDF) the historical relationship between inequality and long-term economic growth and finds no reason to think the former does anything but impede the latter:
More political power and patronage implies more inequality. The frequent claim that inequality promotes accumulation and growth does not get much support from history. On the contrary, great economic inequality has always been correlated with extreme concentration of political power, and that power has always been used to widen the income gaps through rent-seeking and rent-keeping, forces that demonstrably retard economic growth.
- In a similar vein, Gonzalo Vina reviews Anthony Atkinson's Inequality - What Can Be Done? and highlights the primary theme that inequality is a matter of choice rather than inevitability. And Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengtsson report on the gusher of money being used to fund climate change denial one of the more obvious ways in which accumulated wealth is grossly distorting policy choices.

- Andrew Coyne makes the case for a strong emphasis on a minimum income rather than just a minimum wage.

- Malcolm French offers a useful reminder as to what we can expect to happen immediately following this fall's federal election. And I'll point back to my own warning as to what can go wrong if the Harper Cons choose not to give up power without a fight.

- And finally, Ethan Cox interviews Ed Broadbent about Canada's current political scene.

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