Thursday, September 24, 2020

Thursday Morning Links

 This and that for your Thursday reading.

 - Patrick Brethour discusses houw the effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been anything but fairly or equally distributed. And Katherine Scott highlights how the effect has been to undo decades of already-slow progress in improving the conditions of single mothers.

- Don Pittis discusses how New Jersey's wealth tax provides an example for us to follow. And Andrew Jackson makes the case (PDF) for a wealth tax in Canada:

It is both reasonable and practical to add a wealth tax to our current arsenal of fair taxes, to be levied at a low but rising rate on very large fortunes. The aim would not be just, or even most importantly, to raise extra revenues, though these would add to fiscal capacity, but to prevent the accumulation of huge fortunes which give the ultra rich far too much power and undermine democracy. The ongoing shift of taxes away from labour to the owners of capital which undermines the fiscal base needed to support social programs and public services and exacerbates rising inequality must be reversed. While there are some difficulties in levying an annual wealth tax, it is ultimately a feasible political choice and a matter of political will.

- Stephen Gordon and Christopher Ragan discuss the prospect of updating the Bank of Canada's mandate both to better measure inflation, and to account for additional factors including employment. And Marc Lee points out the folly of obsessing over the federal debt in the midst of a pandemic.

- The Star's editorial board writes that it's time to address homelessness by building long-term housing, not only shelters. And Ashwin Rodrigues notes that any effort to rely on private-sector landlords to provide housing will need to contend with new gig-economy structures designed to facilitate evictions.

- Finally, Russell Smith points out how algorithms shape what we read online - including by directing readers away from anything that doesn't fit an arbitrary conception of a significant topic.

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