Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Thomas Edsall discusses how increased atomization is making it more difficult for people to join together in seeking change, no matter how obvious it is that there's a need to counter the concentrated power and wealth of the privileged few:
The cultural pressures driving inequality are...reinforced by heightened competition that has accelerated the decline of unions, served to justify the Republican refusal to raise minimum wages and undermined the workplace stature of employees. The result has been not only surging incomes at the top and little or no growth for the rest, but a withdrawal of community from those who need it most.

All of which brings us back to the question of why there is so little rebellion against entrenched social and economic injustice.

The answer is that those bearing the most severe costs of inequality are irrelevant to the agenda-setters in both parties. They are political orphans in the new order. They may have a voice in urban politics, but on the national scene they no longer fit into the schema of the left or the right. They are pushed to the periphery except for a brief moment on Election Day when one party wants their votes counted, and the other doesn’t.
- Meanwhile, Canadians for Tax Fairness highlights a new petition campaign to demand that Canada's political parties promise a more fair tax system in this fall's election. And Karl Nerenberg warns that the Cons have moved to make it more difficult for progressive voters to be heard.

- Natalie Kitroeff reports on a new Economic Policy Institute study showing how childhood poverty starts to create an unfair playing field as early as kindergarten. And David MacDonald examines how the wealth gaps which give a small number of people a head start only increase through the course of a person's life.

- Finally, Brad Plumer discusses the difficulty in motivating politicians to act on climate change when the benefits lie decades down the road (and are may not be readily noticeable in light of the damage already done to our planet). But George Monbiot rightly argues that we should be able to marshal our love of each other and the world around us as a rallying force. And Emma Howard reports on a Dutch legal precedent which may lead toward greenhouse gas reductions being ordered by courts where governments fail in their responsibilities.

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