Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Tom Parkin writes about the tendency of far too many Canadian governments to put the wealthy at the front of the line, and leave the rest of us to wait:
(O)ver the past two decades, corporate tax rates have been slashed in half. Canadians were told low corporate taxes would create jobs and increase wages. But the evidence is all around us. Even the IMF now admits trickle-down economics doesn’t work.

But trickle-down economics is great at starving our governments for revenue.

So – want childcare? Sorry, no money. Want transit? You’ll have to wait. Want social housing fixed? Send in a work order. Want health care money? Sorry, can’t.

But – want a tax cut? If you’re affluent you’re in luck – because cutting high earners’ income taxes, stock options taxes and corporate taxes is a priority. Our government will even borrow money to give it to them.
The growing power imbalance presents a huge obstacle to unwinding tax unfairness and getting back to Canada-building.

Because it’s a lot easier to set up priority lanes than it is to shut them down. A politician who just wants to chum around with big shots, eat free and get on TV is no threat.

But someone motivated by justice and social progress is a real danger. Any politician with the courage to shut down the priority lanes for special people will come under heavy fire. Well-funded heavy fire.
- Cameron Fenton highlights the gigantic climate change loophole in the Libs' new pipeline review process. And Bob Weber points out that Canada stands to suffer some of the most drastic effects of climate change if we can't massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

- Matthew Campo investigates the impact of privatized liquor retailing on the small Saskatchewan communities which have already seen public stores replaced with private sellers. And Cory Collins discusses the cost of privatizing food services in public institutions.

- Meanwhile, David Cochrane reports on one of the Saskatchewan Party's most ridiculous fiscal choices yet - as due to Brad Wall's choice *not* to repay a federal loan when he had a billion dollars of NDP surplus to work with, Saskatchewan is now having to scrape together loan payments when it can least afford it.

- Finally, Ian Welsh offers up some worthwhile reading on the basic ethics which all too often seem to be lacking in public policy-making.

[Edit: fixed wording as per comments.]