Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Ann Pettifor discusses how a Green New Deal will pay for itself while making use of readily available sources of financing. And Clive Thompson points out the positive social impacts of Dunkirk's decision to offer free transit.

- Meanwhile, Emily Holden reviews some of the most severe health issues caused by an ongoing climate breakdown. And Damian Carrington reports on the Food and Land Use Coalition's study into the massive agricultural subsidies which are contributing to environmental devastation.

- Matt Bruenig writes that the U.S.' existing welfare state is already doing plenty to alleviate poverty - and that it's entirely possible to eradicate poverty altogether by making better choices with current budget numbers:
(T)he market income poverty gap is $512 billion, which is to say that poor families are collectively $512 billion below the poverty line based on the distribution of market income. For disposable income, the poverty gap is $173 billion. This means that the welfare state cut the poverty gap by 66 percent.
(I)ncomes get above the poverty line at the 13.1st percentile, indicating that the disposable income poverty rate is 13.1 percent. But notice how much information you miss out on by only doing a head-count measure.

The head-count measure implies that only the red wedge between the 13.1st percentile and the 24th percentile matters when we are talking about poverty reduction. But clearly all of that red to the left of the 13.1st percentile also matters. Indeed, that is the majority of the poverty reduction delivered by the welfare state.

What these poverty gap figures show us is that the welfare state is perfectly capable of cutting poverty dramatically. We just need to make it bigger.
- But then, Melissa Healy points out how the rural counties facing the most ongoing poverty also suffer from higher suicide rates.

- Finally, David Macdonald examines how the Cons' tax slashing plan - like so many before it - tries to use language about helping lower-income Canadians to shovel money toward the upper middle class while doing nothing for people actually living in poverty.

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