Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Thomas Piketty writes that regardless of the end result, Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign may mark the start of a fundamental change in U.S. politics:
Sanders’ success today shows that much of America is tired of rising inequality and these so-called political changes, and intends to revive both a progressive agenda and the American tradition of egalitarianism. Hillary Clinton, who fought to the left of Barack Obama in 2008 on topics such as health insurance, appears today as if she is defending the status quo, just another heiress of the Reagan-Clinton-Obama political regime.

Sanders makes clear he wants to restore progressive taxation and a higher minimum wage ($15 an hour). To this he adds free healthcare and higher education in a country where inequality in access to education has reached unprecedented heights, highlighting a gulf standing between the lives of most Americans, and the soothing meritocratic speeches pronounced by the winners of the system.
- Richard Shillington studies the economic status of Canadian near-seniors and finds that very few people are prepared for retirement. And PressProgress points out that the result may be a reversal of Canada's past success in fighting seniors' poverty.

- Meanwhile, Iglika Ivanova reviews B.C.'s provincial budget and finds that it's falling far short of what's needed to rein in poverty and inequality.

- Amir Attaran reminds us of the money Canada's health system is wasting on artificially high prices for generic drugs.

- Matthew Behrens weighs in on the next steps for Canada's surveillance state (including C-51) and argues that we shouldn't settle for secret, after-the-fact parliamentary reviews of state disruptions.

- Finally, Maciej Gorecki examines the possibility that voter turnout trends may be driven more by social expectations and maturation than by individual habit-forming.

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