Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Jordon Cooper offers his take on the many social issues we should be addressing alongside our work to welcome Syrian refugees:
All levels of government have passed resolutions to end child poverty in Canada and have done almost nothing to back it up. There has been the occasional study done or commission struck, but as soon as they report back that poverty is solved with more money, nothing gets done.

Chretien wrote that he saw Canadians were tired of activist prime ministers such as Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau and Mulroney. Constitutional battles had taken a toll on the country. Shackled by an overwhelming budget deficit, Chretien narrowed the scope of government by necessity and political choice. Ottawa got out of the business of making Canada better and simply managed what we had. Harper took that further, and narrowed the focus to the economy and security.

I am not sure that Justin Trudeau is correct in his vision for an expanded mandate for Ottawa, but it is encouraging to see a federal government thinking of what it can do rather than focusing on what it can’t. Settling 25,000 refugees is one of the most ambitious acts Canada has undertaken. Let’s hope it’s a first step in solving many of the serious social issues that exist in Canada.

How much longer can we keep ignoring homeless adults, hungry kids and families with unsafe water?
- Bryce Covert points out how limited any new social programming will be if it's coupled with a refusal to raise any revenue from an implausibly-defined middle class. And of course that lesson is equally important in Canada given the Libs' similar language.

- As for what we might be able to accomplish with a more reasonable revenue model, Joseph Brean discusses the prospect that the Libs' past discussion of a basic income might put it on the table at the federal level. And Allison Vuchnich reports on recommendations from the editors of the Canadian Medical Association Journal to develop evidence-based health policies including universal pharmacare.

- Finally, Sean McElwee discusses the latest comparison of economic development development under different U.S. presidents - reflecting the familiar outcome that the right-wing parties who brand themselves as economic managers in fact produce far worse results than their further-left competitors.

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