Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Morning Links

Assorted content to start your week.

- Robert Reich writes that the most important source of growing inequality in the U.S. is a political system torqued to further enrich those who already had the most:
The underlying problem, then, is not just globalization and technological changes that have made most American workers less competitive. Nor is it that they lack enough education to be sufficiently productive.

The more basic problem is that the market itself has become tilted ever more in the direction of moneyed interests that have exerted disproportionate influence over it, while average workers have steadily lost bargaining power -- both economic and political -- to receive as large a portion of the economy's gains as they commanded in the first three decades after World War II.

Reversing the scourge of widening inequality requires reversing the upward pre-distributions within the rules of the market, and giving average people the bargaining power they need to get a larger share of the gains from growth.

The answer to this problem is not found in economics. It is found in politics. Ultimately, the trend toward widening inequality in America, as elsewhere, can be reversed only if the vast majority join together to demand fundamental change.

The most important political competition over the next decades will not be between the right and left, or between Republicans and Democrats. It will be between a majority of Americans who have been losing ground, and an economic elite that refuses to recognize or respond to its growing distress.
- Alexander Kaufman interviews Gabriel Zucman about the role of tax havens in entrenching a new aristocracy. And in a related (if dated) story, Rajeev Syal reports on how the Cons' hired gun Lynton Crosby sheltered income through an offshore trust even while running the campaign of a party which feigned concern about exactly that type of abuse.

- Michael Harris slams the Cons for a foreign policy oriented toward war, profiteering and political gain rather than any principle worth pursuing. And Haroon Siddiqui highlights what we've lost in becoming associated with that mindset around the globe, while Steven Chase and Shawn McCarthy report that the Department of Foreign Affairs is well aware of Canada's fading reputation.

- Shannon Gormley writes that contrary to the Cons' spin, the only bogus element of Canada's relationship with refugees is the mindset used to attack people in need of a home.

- And finally, Aaron Wherry takes the Cons to task for their politicking around the niqab as a threat to the very idea of individual rights.

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