Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Sarah Anderson, Marc Bayard, John Cavanagh, Chuck Collins, Josh Hoxie and Sam Pizzigati offer an outline as to how to fight back against growing inequality:
§ We need to see inequality as a deep systemic problem. Piecemeal interventions have not helped slow or reverse the pace of wealth concentration. We’ve now hit inequality warp speed. Inequality grew steadily between the 1970s and the early years of the 21st century, with the rules that govern our economy encouraging both wage stagnation and wealth updraft. But since the economic meltdown of 2008, even larger swaths of income and wealth gains have flowed to the top 1 percent.

§ We need to concentrate more on wealth concentration. Most of our national discourse on fighting inequality has involved income inequality. But the even deeper problem involves the maldistribution of our national and global wealth. We need to address both wage and asset inequality.

§ We need to go beyond “good government” reforms. Real democracy can never flourish alongside massive personal and business fortunes. As long as wealthy individuals and giant corporations can buy elections and dictate policy, we will never reverse extreme inequality.
§ Most of all, we need game changers. If you’re playing in a game where the rules turn out to be rigged, you need to change the game.
- Andrew Jackson makes the case for fiscal policy to promote growth (rather than to slash public activity). And Sean McElwee points out that at least in the U.S., there's no need to be shy about discussing austerity, as one of the major fault lines within the Republican Party is between an upper class which endorses it and the broader base which knows better.

- Meanwhile, Canadians for Tax Fairness proposes a set of relatively simple changes which could result in a far more progressive tax system, along with a healthy boost in public revenue. And Forum finds growing public support for a basic income as one obvious destination for an increase in tax revenue.

- The Cape Breton Post writes about the desperate need for a stronger system of retirement security. And Lana Payne is optimistic that we'll see an improved Canada Pension Plan before too long.

- Finally, the Council of Canadians offers its support to the idea of postal banking.

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