Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Matthew Yglesias rightly points out the absurdity of monetary policy designed to rein in at-target inflation at the expense of desperately-needed employment. And Joseph Stiglitz reminds us that we can instead make policy choices which will fix inequality rather than exacerbating it:
Beyond changing taxes and government benefits, we can reduce inequality by rewriting the rules once again. A comprehensive rewriting will help to level the playing field, grow the middle class, and give all Americans an opportunity to succeed. Moreover, we can do this secure in the knowledge that we can have both more economic equality and more growth.

This view of the economy undermines the notion that those at the top are merely receiving their “just deserts” for their contributions to the economy. Some wealthy Americans have, in fact, contributed greatly to the strength of our economy and the well-being of our society. But many have simply gamed the rules — their gains have been largely at the expense of others. Still others have made important innovations, but then amplified their returns through the exercise of monopoly power. Discouraging quarterly capitalism, diluting monopoly power, and preventing the exploitation of workers would strengthen the economy. But rewriting the rules would better align private rewards with social value, thus improving economic efficiency. In other words, the argument for rewriting the rules is not just about fairness: It’s about promoting stronger and shared economic growth.
- Oscar Reyes reviews just a few of the weaknesses of the Paris climate agreement which aren't receiving enough attention. Marc Lee argues that we won't know what it accomplishes until we see how regulators and markets respond, while Simon Dalby discusses how Canada will need to rethink a fossil-fuel-oriented economy in order for the deal to work. And PressProgress lists just a few of the things Brad Wall seems determined not to learn about climate change.

- Andre Picard writes about the dangers of political meddling in health care - and it's worth mentioning Saskatchewan's most prominent examples of corporate fads and anti-social ideology being put ahead of evidence-based policy.

- Graham Thomson comments on the Alberta NDP's work to keep governing in the best interests of the province despite the harassment of unhinged right-wingers. And Stephanie Kusie and Lana Cuthbertson write that the abuse is antithetical to good government and leadership no matter how much one disagrees with a governing party's policies.

- And finally, Susan Wright highlights the ultimate task for Rachel Notley's government - being to tilt Alberta's overall values from a money-based, me-first mindset toward much-needed recognition of the common good.

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