Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday Afternoon Links

 This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Alex Hemingway and Michal Rozworski both study both how Canada's wealthiest few have enriched themselves through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and discuss how more fair taxes would ensure they don't exploit a public health emergency to even further entrench their power. Bruce Campbell also makes the case for a wealth tax to be included in the impending Throne Speech. And the Tax Justice Network finds public support to crack down on corporate tax avoidance of 87 to 95% across wealthy countries.

- Eric Levitz reports on new research showing that the upward redistribution of income in the U.S. since 1975 has robbed workers of $2.5 trillion in total income each year (meaning that the total income for the bottom 90 per cent of workers could be nearly doubled), while Nick Hanauer and David Rolf point out the destabilizing effect of that income imbalance on U.S. society as a whole. And Ezra Klein notes that the effect of an undue focus on individualism and corporate control has been to leave most people to choose from among nothing but bad options.

- Dan Sinker discusses the problems with reliance on Zoom school rather than in-person education. Kristin Rushowy writes about new research from Sick Kids Ontario showing how a failure to invest in masks and physical distancing is putting children (and the people around them) at avoidable risk. Shelby Lisk reports on some of the Ontario teachers who have made the choice not to send their children back to school due to insufficient precautions for their health and safety. Kenyon Wallace and Rushowy report on the shock some Ontario parents have experienced in learning their kids' class sizes are bigger than ever, while PressProgress points out the complete lack of improvement in class sizes in Saskatoon.

- Michelle Ghoussoub writes about the confluence of disasters that's leaving people to guess whether respiratory problems are the result of a pandemic, a climate change-fueled disaster or both. And based on the connections between COVID-19 and the climate breakdown, there's no reason to pretend that the existence of the former represents any excuse for continuing to slow-walk action to mitigate the latter - particularly when Abacus Data's polling shows two-thirds of Canadians as seeing the pandemic as calling for major changes in economic and social policy. Mia Rabson reports on the support from a cross-partisan working group for a $55 billion investment in climate policy. Doug Cuthand comments on the folly of torching our planet in an effort to bail out fossil fuel investors whose industry is dying of natural causes. And Don Lenihan and Andrew Balfour discuss what will be needed to make a just transition work - including the voice for people outside of the corporate elite which was conspicuously left out of the free trade movement of recent decades.

- Finally, Lauren Pelley discusses how the "bubble" strategy to mitigate COVID-19 risk is becoming less effective due to the return to school and the absence of other readily-available options to reduce viral spread. Elizabeth Payne warns that the problems with long-term care homes which cause so many fatalities in the first wave look far too likely to resurface. And CBC highlights how health care workers are running on fumes as a year that's already been packed with unforeseen stress and anxiety stands to get all the worse.

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