Thursday, March 19, 2020

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Frances Woolley points out how the coronavirus pandemic is exposing the effects of decades of austerity on Canada's health care system. Martin Regg Cohn discusses how the spread of the coronavirus is requiring us to seriously rethink how much of our society and economy are set up. And George Eaton highlights how COVID-19 has offered a reminder of the unique power of government to act in the social interest, while Mariana Mazzucato offers some suggestions as to how the coronavirus response can help us restore democratic governments to a lead role in shaping the economy.

- The ILO highlights the brutal impact of the pandemic on workers, while Jim Stanford points out how it has exposed the undervaluing of the people who are now ensuring the continued provision of the necessities of life even as much of our economy shuts down. Evelyn Kwong reports on the workers who are being forced to keep putting themselves and their loved ones at risk by employer demands. And both Reid Rusonik and Rebecca Long-Bailey discuss the need for a basic income to ensure personal security.

- Both Stanford and David Macdonald examine the response so far from Canada's federal government, including how it falls short both of covering all the people who need help and distributing benefits fast enough to deal with immediate needs.

- Andrew Nikiforuk offers his advice as to be an engaged citizen - rather than a selfish consumer - in a public health emergency.

- Finally, Craig Altemose examines how things would be different if we responded to the slower-moving but equally-dangerous climate crisis with the same urgency as the coronavirus. Jeff Sparrow discusses the irreconcilable conflict between growth and environmental limitations which can be seen in both crises. Kate Aronoff points out the value in making green jobs the focus of our rebuilding after the coronavirus recession. And Jason Hickel argues that a transition to a clean economy offers an opportunity to refocus on quality of life rather than GDP.

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