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Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Bill Moyers writes about the conflict between the wealthy few seeking to preserve their privilege, and the balance of society seeking fairness for everybody:

I keep in my files a warning published in [The Economist] a dozen years ago, on the eve of George W. Bush’s second term. The editors concluded back then that, with income inequality in the United States reaching levels not seen since the first Gilded Age and social mobility diminishing, “the United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.”

And mind you, that was before the financial meltdown of 2007–08, before the bailout of Wall Street, before the recession that only widened the gap between the super-rich and everyone else. Ever since then, the great sucking sound we’ve been hearing is wealth heading upwards. The United States now has a level of income inequality unprecedented in our history and so dramatic it’s almost impossible to wrap one’s mind around.

Contrary to what the president said at Rutgers, this is not the way the world works; it’s the way the world is made to work by those with the money and power. The movers and shakers—the big winners—keep repeating the mantra that this inequality was inevitable, the result of the globalization of finance and advances in technology in an increasingly complex world. Those are part of the story, but only part. As G.K. Chesterton wrote a century ago, “In every serious doctrine of the destiny of men, there is some trace of the doctrine of the equality of men. But the capitalist really depends on some religion of inequality.”

…The winners bought off the gatekeepers, then gamed the system. And when the fix was in, they turned our economy into a feast for the predators, “saddling Americans with greater debt, tearing new holes in the safety net, and imposing broad financial risks on Americans as workers, investors, and taxpayers.” The end result, Hacker and Pierson conclude, is that the United States is looking more and more like the capitalist oligarchies of Brazil, Mexico, and Russia, where most of the wealth is concentrated at the top while the bottom grows larger and larger with everyone in between just barely getting by. 

– Chris Lehmann reviews Brooke Harrington’s Capital Without Borders as a useful look at how “wealth management” serves to sever wealth from social responsibility. But Canadians for Tax Fairness point out some good news in the CRA’s response to the Panama Papers – including audits of 60 individuals and corporations caught in the offshoring scheme.

– Unfortunately, John Ivison suspects that the Libs are gearing up to push through the Trans-Pacific Partnership to further the trend toward corporate control.

– Phillip Inman reports on the latest study from Global Justice Now showing that corporations are pushing further up the list of the world’s largest economic entities, leaving an increasing number of countries behind. But there may be some opportunity to direct that news toward positive ends: if we’re going to need some outlet for Canadian national pride, surely staying ahead of Wal-Mart should be a reasonable minimum standard for global relevance.

– Finally, Kendall Worth offers some suggestions as to how to teach students about poverty in order to better understand the lives of people in their communities. Alana Semuels points out how the U.S. in particular has gone in the opposite direction by setting up institutional barriers to any serious economic study of inequality. And Peter Armstrong discusses how traditional economic policy is failing to produce the growth that would normally be expected – with a top-heavy distribution of wealth and power looming as the prime culprit. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Jim Tankersley interviews Joshua Bivens about the relative effects of economic growth and income inequality – and particularly his evidence showing that more people are far better off with more modest growth fairly d… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- CBC and the Star have both started reporting on the Panama Papers – offering a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg of international tax avoidance. And the Star also recognizes why we shouldn’t let grey-area tax… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.- Sarah Anderson, Marc Bayard, John Cavanagh, Chuck Collins, Josh Hoxie and Sam Pizzigati offer an outline as to how to fight back against growing inequality:§ We need to see inequality as a deep systemic… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Thomas Lemieux and W. Craig Riddell examine Canada’s income distribution and find that one’s place in the 1% is based primarily on rent-seeking rather than merit: (I)n Canada, as in the United States, executives and others working in the financial and business services sectors have been driving . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Michael Schwartz and Kevin Young make the case for a greater focus on influencing corporations and other institutions first and foremost – with the expectation that more fair public policy will be possible if a dominant business sector doesn’t stand in the way. David Wessel points out that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Canadians for Tax Fairness crunches the numbers and finds that Canada is losing out on nearly $200 billion in assets being sheltered in tax havens. And David Kotz writes about the need for large-scale restructuring to address the glaring flaws in neoliberal dogma: Despite the resurgence of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Louis-Philippe Rochon reviews the Cons’ track record as irresponsible economic and financial managers. Statistics Canada looks at the debt picture facing Canadians and finds young workers and families in particular fighting against increasing debt loads. And Forum finds that no matter how many hangers-on trumpet the theme of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Canadians for Tax Fairness offers a checklist to allow us to determine whether the federal budget is aimed at improving matters for everybody, or only for the privileged few. And Andrew Jackson argues that the Cons’ focus should be investment in jobs and sustainable development: Business investment is . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Gregory Beatty reports on Saskatchewan’s options now that it can’t count on high oil prices to prop up the provincial budget. And Dennis Howlett writes about the need for a far more progressive tax system both as a matter of fairness, and as a matter of resource management: . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Doug Saunders observes that Syriza’s strong election victory may signal a sea change as to whether austerity is inevitable, while Adnan Al-Daini notes that the financial sector can no longer take for granted that its profits will be placed above the interests of actual people. Which means . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Amanda Connelly reports on the Alberta Federation of Labour’s latest revelations as to how the temporary foreign worker program has been used to suppress wages. And Jim Stanford reminds us that the employment picture for Canadians remains bleak even after Statistics Canada’s job numbers were revised: (F)ull-time employment . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Bill Longstaff: Support the tax gap motion

That governments are robbed of billions of dollars by the rich and by corporations exploiting tax havens is a well-known national and international scandal. It is now standard practice for corporations to exploit a variety of often opaque schemes to shift profits into low or no-tax jurisdictions.

The corporate tax rate in Canada, including federal . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Support the tax gap motion

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– David Macdonald studies Canada’s massive (and growing) wealth gap, and proposes some thoughtful solutions to ensure that growth in wealth results in at least some shared benefits: Attempting to limit inequality through traditional measures like restricting RRSP contributions or introducing new tax brackets for high income individuals . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your day.

– Bloomberg reminds us of the nest egg Norway has built up by taking ownership of its own natural resources (and the consensus among conservative parties and business groups in favour of social spending is also worth highlighting). And Canadians for Tax Fairness point out the growing global movement . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Upworthy and the Equality Trust both provide fascinating examples of greed in action.

– Rank and File discusses the relentless wage-slashing that has led to a perpetually smaller number of workers with sole responsibility for dangerous cargo, while Leo Panitch makes a similar point. And in a . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Paul Krugman writes that the only real difference between the latest global crisis and past depressions is that we’ve moved further and further toward a rent-based economy – meaning that aggregated growth doesn’t necessarily result in any benefit for the vast majority of people: (T)here is at . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

The Canadian Progressive: $170 billion: Canadian money in foreign tax havens, an all-time high

By: Canadians for Tax Fairness May 10, 2013: Canadian money stashed in the top 12 global tax havens has topped $170 Billion, according to data on foreign direct investment released yesterday by Statistics Canada. This amounts to a quarter of all Canadian money going abroad. This figure is also equivalent […]

The post $170 billion: . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: $170 billion: Canadian money in foreign tax havens, an all-time high

The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s tax system is in dire need of “fairness” reform: Report

By Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive | Jan. 26, 2013: A new study by two economists from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), an independent left-leaning policy research institute, says Canada’s tax system is in dire need of “fairness” reform. Marc Lee and Iglika Ivanova argue that “ad-hoc tax changes over the last . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Canada’s tax system is in dire need of “fairness” reform: Report

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Yves Engler discusses the importance of a “social wage” – and how the minimum standard of living we’re prepared to tolerate affects the well-being of all kinds of workers: These attacks against the poor and unemployed should be opposed by anyone who cares about their fellow human . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Jeffrey Simpson criticizes the Cons for killing off the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy as punishment for telling the truth about climate change at its own request: In a letter to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), Mr. Kent . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

OPSEU Diablogue: Coalition forums continue this week in Kingston, Cornwall and Ottawa

Dennis Howlett, coordinator of Canadians for Tax Fairness, will be at all three public health care forums this week in Eastern Ontario. The forums are hosted by the Ontario Health Coalition. Given the focus on debt, deficit and public sector … Continue reading →

OPSEU Diablogue: Peterborough Forum – Poverty kills more than cancer

Poverty kills more people than cancer according to Dennis Howlett, Executive Director of Canadians for Tax Fairness. Speaking Thursday night at the Peterborough health care forum organized by the Ontario Health Coalition, Howlett addressed false economies in our present health … Continue reading →