Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Larry Elliott discusses how the rise of Donald Trump and other exclusionary populists can be traced to the failed promises of neoliberal economics:
The fact is that the US middle class, which in Britain we would call the working class, really did enjoy more rapid increases in living standards and a much higher degree of job security three or four decades ago. It is also true that the offshoring of production has brought benefits through cheaper imports, but these gains tend to seem more nebulous than lost jobs and year after year of flat or falling pay.

A quick look at what has been happening to the US economy in recent years sheds light on the problem. As in Britain, jobs have been created but productivity has been exceptionally weak. One reason is that companies have not been investing. Rather executives have been borrowing money cheaply for share buyback schemes that boost the value of the equity they hold in their own companies. They have gorged themselves at the expense of the wider US economy and been able to do so because organised labour is so weak. There is no chance Trump will be championing new rights for unions, but he is the beneficiary of a raw form of populist politics.
- Alison points out how Christy Clark's B.C. Libs have funneled massive amounts of public money - and ceded control over crucial policy areas - to natural gas operators for no public gain. And James Wilt examines Saskatchewan's woeful lack of protection from environmental destruction due to the desire of the oil sector to avoid answering for its failures. 

- Canadians for Tax Fairness highlights just a few of the corporate behemoths which are able to structure their operations to avoid paying taxes to the countries where they derive their profits. And Josh Gordon argues that B.C.'s new tax on foreign-owned real estate represents only a minor first step in translating obscene individual wealth into social revenue.

- The Winnipeg Free Press discusses how the federal government's abdication of any responsibility for rail transportation and grain marketing is destroying the port of Churchill (among other communities).

- Finally, Max Ehrenfreund weighs in on the connection between an improved minimum wage and healthier babies - particularly for the children of mothers at the low end of the income spectrum.

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