Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Carol Goar rightly criticizes Stephen Harper's plan to deal with an apparent recession by making Canada's economy even worse off through yet more cuts. Andrew Jackson writes that denying or ignoring an economic downturn won't make it go away, while Louis-Philippe Rochon traces its origins to the Cons' own ill-fated choices. And Michal Rozworski makes the case for stimulus which would both boost our economy in the short term, and better position it for the longer term:
(T)here is a space and an opening here in which to push for alternatives. The coming election is an opportunity to push the debate towards more than fumbling the ball better or worse. Far beyond that, however, there is room to orgainize around and popularize economic alternatives. The mainstream of the environmental movement is calling for jobs alongside climate justice. And here is a list of demands that was just released by the heads of the provincial labour federations:
  • $15/hour minimum wage across the country;
  • doubling of the Canada Pension Plan;
  • creation of an affordable national childcare program;
  • the revival of the Canada Health Accord;
  • comprehensive immigration strategy with a pathway to citizenship; and
  • establishment of a Green Jobs agenda for Canada.
Just these measures speak loudly in a desert of popular alternatives and they are but some examples. And the question of how to fund any of these demands will raise the question of who pays and how much: difficult, necessary questions that have their mirror in those about who has gained over the past two decades of growth.
- Larry Schwartz offers a jarring list of facts about the U.S.' gross level of inequality.

- Patrick Krueger, Melanie Tran, Robert Hummer and Virginia Chang find a direct relationship between one major dimension of inequality (variance in education) and mortality rates. And Kate McInturff examines gender inequality within and between Canadian cities.

- Finally, Patrick Wintour reports on the UK Cons' latest set of attacks on workers. And Zoe Williams writes that the move should only serve as a reminder of the vital role of labour in ensuring that increased wealth isn't concentrated only among the lucky few.

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