Monday, April 03, 2017

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ed Finn reminds us how the economy as a whole - including the private sector - suffers when austerity is inflicted on public services:
The public and private sectors have become so interdependent that one cannot be attacked or diminished without hurting the other. Public expenditures often stimulate private sector activities. Many industries could not get started or keep going without government services and infrastructure. And of course governments need a robust economy to boost employment and generate the revenue they need to provide social services.

Public funds spent on making workers healthier and better educated provide the private sector with a more efficient work force. Public funds spent on roads, airports, and other utilities are essential to the operation of private industry.
That’s the absurdity of the neoliberal assault on the public sector. Somehow, more private industrial development is supposed to flow from less public education and research. More private X-ray machines, MRIs, and other hardware is supposed to be made for fewer public hospitals. More private cars and trucks are supposed to be driven on fewer public highways. A smaller public police force is supposed to guard larger private fortunes.

What is more likely to happen – and what in fact has happened in recent years – is that restraints on growth in the public sector cause overall national production to be slowed down, rather than causing a shift in growth from the public to the private sector.

You would think that, by this time, our political leaders would realize just how illogical, inequitable, and impracticable this anti-government dogma really is. 

Instead, they submissively continue to aid and abet the corporate kingpins in their deranged attacks on the public sector and public employees.
- Meanwhile, Tom Parkin points out how the Libs' plan to turn federal infrastructure into a corporate profit centre stands to hurt Canada's middle class. 

- The Tamarack Institute discusses the theoretical role of businesses in reducing poverty by providing jobs at living wages. But Jeff Spross proposes to cut out the middle man and ensure that public-sector work is available for people who want it.

- Adam Radwanski notes that the Trump administration offers yet another stark warning as to the dangers of trying to run a government like a business. And Robin Sears' takeaway is that governing isn't for amateurs.

- Finally, PressProgress documents how Kellie Leitch's "anti-elite" message is being bankrolled by exactly the wealthy and entitled people she claims to want to fight.

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