Saturday, April 08, 2017

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Ethan Cox reports on new polling showing that Canadians are highly concerned about inequality - even if our governments aren't doing anywhere meaningful to address it:
Of Canadians surveyed, 73 per cent said their and their family’s economic situation had stayed the same or gotten worse over the past two years, while 68 per cent did not expect it to improve over the next two years.The poll, conducted by Strategic Communications, was made public at the Broadbent Institute’s Progress Summit in Ottawa.

Asked who benefits from today’s economy, 67 per cent fingered the wealthiest Canadians. Despite the Trudeau government’s rhetorical focus on the middle class, only 11 per cent of respondents identified the middle class as benefiting from today’s economy.

Eighty-two per cent of Canadians think the gap between the rich and everyone else is growing, and 84 per cent think that’s a problem.
Large majorities supported closing tax loopholes and tax havens, a new tax bracket for high-income earners, a more progressive income tax system and restoration of corporate taxes to pre-Harper levels. Over two-thirds of Canadians also backed a $15 per hour minimum wage.

“Canadians are feeling the impacts of increasing inequality and want to see the government address the cost of living and the growing gap between the rich and everyone else,” said Stratcom president and CEO Bob Penner in a release. “They are worried about Trump, and how good a job the government will do standing up to him. While Trudeau remains popular, our polling shows there are chinks in that armour, and growing income inequality and how the government deals with the U.S. President are two of them.”
- Sarah Mojtehedzadeh reports on the CCPA's research showing that the gig economy is built around young workers who lack better options. Mike McCarthy and Micah Uetricht point out how the precarious state of the U.S.' pension system is undermining workers of all ages. And Theophilos Argitis observes that increased job numbers in Canada aren't doing anything to improve wages.

- Kate McInturff discusses how the beneficiaries of the wage gap between men and women stand in the way of closing it. And Agence France-Presse reports on Iceland's worthwhile step to make pay equity the norm required of all employers. 

- Gordon McIntyre interviews Jean Swanson about the growing problem of homelessness in British Columbia - and the political choices which have needlessly made it worse.

- Meanwhile, Laurie Monsebraaten reports on a worthy effort by Ontario to stop imposing destructive reviews on people receiving welfare benefits due to disabilities.

- Finally, Amina Zafar examines the cost of unnecessary health testing and treatment across Canada both in dollars, and in stress on our health care system.

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