Monday, October 03, 2022

Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Ed Yong writes that the tragic legacy of the COVID-19 is one of policymakers repeating (and indeed increasing) the same mistakes at the expense of people's lives and health. And Stephanie Kampf and Adrienne Arsenault discuss the desperate situation facing emergency rooms as an unchecked pandemic is piled on top of an already-underresourced health care system. 

- Meanwhile, Molly Gill writes about the reality that the release of prisoners to limit the spread of COVID produced virtually no effect on public safety - raising the question of how many more people are being incarcerated at great expense without any social benefit. And Mikkael Sekeres explores what it took for regulators to remove ingredients including antifreeze from what were pitched as curative elixirs - offering a stark reminder of how dangerous it is to take a  manufacturer's word as to the effect of a product without a sound regulatory system. 

- Michael Green studies the connection between inequality in smoking rates and other related health problems including dementia. Elizabeth Chuck reports on the plight of U.S. students who are going hungry for want of eliminated school lunch programs. And Kat Eschner discusses how the housing crisis (driven by a political imperative to inflate property values for the benefit of wealthier voters) feeds into wider inequalities in Canada.

- David Borer offers a reminder that the best solution to a lousy job is a union, though Andrea Hsu reports that Starbucks is among the employers engaging in wanton law-breaking and retaliation in order to prevent workers from achieving that outcome. And Dylan Matthews discusses the need for "encompassing coalitions" (such as class-based unions) to ensure that public policy doesn't merely cater to smaller interests including the wealthy. 

- Finally, Marc Fawcett-Atkinson reports on the coordination between the Poilievre Cons, the alt-right noise machine and the fossil fuel industry to spread conspiracy theories about fertilizer bans in order to farm outrage. 

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