Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Harry Leslie Smith writes about how an increasingly polarized city such as London excludes a large number of its citizens from meaningful social participation:
(A)usterity has diminished the opportunity of the young and shortened the lives of the old. Even libraries – the life blood of any community – have been savagely cut in many London boroughs leaving senior citizens with one less free space to gather, learn and socialise. London may be a great city to live in if you are an elderly member of the elite. But for everyone else it is a trap where upon retirement you must sell your home, if you are lucky enough to own, and move on to greener pastures – or if you are a renter with few options and many connections to this city, you must remain like the poor of yesteryear, watching a pension that might do you well in Halifax only stretched to the third week of the month.
London may become a city shorn of any diversity because extreme wealth will drive all those out but the rich and those who serve them. It would be a great tragedy if London lost its elderly not through the natural passage of time but through the brute ugliness of a one-sided economy. We have to remember that London without old people isn’t a city, it’s just a factory floor, a place where you work and shop, with no history, no past or future, just an endless present tense in pursuit of money.
- Meanwhile, the Economist discusses how austerity inevitably imposes far greater burdens on the poor than on the wealthy. And Truthout notes that those additional stressors lead to a measurable increase in suicides - meaning that lives are on the line when governments choose to stop doing their job of protecting the public.

- Eman Bare writes about the impact of ballooning student debt in delaying young workers' independence.

- Charlie Smith reports on the CCPA's study (PDF) showing the health and service risks of corporate medicine. And Lizanne Foster sets out the typical plan to turn public education into a profit centre at the expense of students and the public.

- Finally, Michal Rozworski and Louis-Phillipe Rochon offer some cautionary notes about a basic income as a solution to inequality. And Andrew Flowers surveys what we know - and don't know - from past and developing trials of the idea.

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