Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Jordon Cooper rightly argues that Brad Wall's plan to slash education will only doom Saskatchewan to be further trapped in boom-and-bust resource cycles. And Toby Sanger discusses (PDF) how Saskatchewan can get back on track without imposing cruel cuts on the people who can least afford them.

- Jason Warick reports on the community-based organizations who stand to see both reduced funding and increased needs as a result of the Wall government's austerity. And Sandro Contenta highlights how poorly-designed social supports can lead to worse results at a higher cost - featuring the sad example of children being placed in a foster home due to unsafe living conditions at a cost far greater than the price of repairing their grandmother's house.

- Nick Purdon and Leonardo Palleja note that in the face of designed precarity, even a university degree doesn't come close to ensuring access to stable employment. And Pamela Cornell identifies both economic uncertainty and health risks as the key reasons to demand a basic income.

- Finally, Jeremy Nuttall and Christo Aivalis offer their takes on the first NDP leadership debate. And Ed Broadbent challenges us to renew Canada's social democratic vision:
Social democracy can be defined as the full application of democratic and social justice principles, not simply to our political institutions, but also to our economy and society.

Social democrats believe in a market-based economy, but not in a market-shaped society. In addition to traditional liberal political rights, individuals have economic and social rights. These must be secured in part by taking some services such as health and education out of the market.

And genuine equality of opportunity requires a high level of substantive economic equality. This can only be achieved by redistributing wealth and income through taxation or by means of universal social programs, which are rights of citizenship.

Social democrats also support a strong government role in the economy to secure economic stability, full employment and decent, well-paid jobs and to counter concentrated corporate power. A more fair and efficient economy is built upon public regulation of the market, a diversity of forms of ownership, including public ownership, and worker representation on boards and other means of participating in economic decision-making through trade unions.
Celebrating past successes is clearly not enough. In a very real sense, social democracy will have to be fundamentally renewed if it is to regain momentum and be fully relevant to today’s challenges. This means, among other things, rebuilding social democracy as a social movement closely linked to other progressive forces in society; articulating an economic agenda that will regulate rather than abandon a globalized economy; and finding effective policy levers to create decent jobs for all, to promote greater equality, and to build an environmentally sustainable economy.

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