Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Evening Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Linda McQuaig discusses the hollow promise of "populist" billionaires who ultimately serve only to enrich themselves and their class. And Lana Payne writes about the growing protest movement which culminated in massive rallies around the world this weekend - as well as the causes of its emergence:
Over a million women were expected to march today, Saturday, in more than 600 locations across the globe, including right here at home, for human rights, for equality, for justice and in solidarity for a better world. They march to push back against the rise of sexism and a growing attack on women’s rights, including by U.S. President Donald Trump.

And they march during a time of rising inequality which has a profound impact on women’s share of the economic pie and, in turn, their rights, and their social and political power.
...(T)here is rare global consensus on the dangers of rising inequality. Everyone from the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Economic Forum has identified it as a massive problem for the world economy and for societies.

Oxfam notes that, “our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people. Accountable and visionary governments, businesses that work in the interests of workers and producers, a valued environment, women’s rights and a strong system of fair taxation, are central to this more human economy.”
This kind of inequality can’t go unchallenged and governments have a role to play. Indeed, a huge role to play. That’s why it’s not helpful when the federal government reneges on a promise to close a gigantic tax loophole for these CEOs costing federal coffers some $750 million in lost revenue every year.

As Stiglitz points out, the only sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity. And there isn’t much sharing going on.

As women march this weekend, they will be demanding that women’s rights, including their economic rights, mean they get a bigger share of that prosperity.

Because as Oxfam notes, gender equality must be at the heart of a human economy “ensuring that both halves of humanity have an equal chance in life and are able to live fulfilled lives.”
- Owen Jones sees reason for optimism that the U.S.' activist left will emerge anew  in response to the Trump administration. And Andrew Jackson examines Canada's options in a post-NAFTA world (particularly in the event the U.S. begins closing its borders generally).

- Max FineDay points out that no amount of talk will produce meaningful reconciliation with Canada's First Nations if it isn't accompanied by meaningful opportunities for Indigenous people.

- CBC reports on a shameful example of how the Saskatchewan Party's callous cuts to disability assistance are coming into play due to factors beyond a recipient's control such as being forced out of a rented apartment.

- Finally, Roderick Benns talks to Cheri DiNovo about the role a basic income can play (alongside a more fair balance of power in the workplace) in creating security for workers.

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