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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– David MacDonald examines how Canada’s tax expenditures systematically favour higher-income individuals over the people who actually have a reasonable claim to public support: This study finds that Canada’s personal income tax expenditures disproportionately benefit the rich and cost the federal treasury nearly as much as it collects in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Joseph Stiglitz discusses how entrenched inequality and unearned income hurt the economy for everybody:

We used to think of there being a trade-off: we could achieve more equality, but only at the expense of overall economic performance. It is now clear that, given the extremes of inequality being reached in many rich countries and the manner in which they have been generated, greater equality and improved economic performance are complements.

(A) key factor underlying the current economic difficulties of rich countries is growing inequality. We need to focus not on what is happening on average— as GDP leads us to do— but on how the economy is performing for the typical citizen, reflected for instance in median disposable income. People care about health, fairness and security, and yet GDP statistics do not reflect their decline. Once these and other aspects of societal well-being are taken into account, recent performance in rich countries looks much worse.

The economic policies required to change this are not difficult to identify. We need more investment in public goods; better corporate governance, antitrust and anti-discrimination laws; a better regulated financial system; stronger workers’ rights; and more progressive tax and transfer policies. By ‘rewriting the rules’ governing the market economy in these ways, it is possible to achieve greater equality in both the pre- and post-tax and transfer distribution of income, and thereby stronger economic performance.

– David Macdonald discusses Canada’s growing consumer debt levels, and notes that matters figure to get worse before they get better. And the CP reports on Canada’s high gender wage gap as another area where we’re lagging even on an international scene where there’s far more work to be done.

– Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood examines the economic fallout we could expect from the CETA, while the Canadian Labour Congress suggests a few ways to minimize the damage. But Murray Dobbin asks why we’re wasting any time on corporate power agreements when they’ve so thoroughly failed to live up to any promises to the public.

– Juha Kaakinen writes about the success of Housing First in alleviating homelessness in Finland. And Gary Bloch and John Silver point out how encouraging people living in poverty to file tax returns (and thus receive available benefits) can produce positive outcomes all around.

– Finally, PressProgress discusses Wayne Smith’s resignation as Chief Statistician of Statistics Canada due to a lack of meaningful change from the Cons’ attempts to politicize data collection and management. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- David Blanchflower notes that there’s virtually no dispute that the UK is headed into an economic downturn – meaning that there’s also no excuse to hold off on fiscal relief for the public. And Brad DeLong po… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Paul Willcocks discusses British Columbia’s two-tiered education system and the role it plays in exacerbating inequality – which is well worth keeping in mind as Saskatchewan deals with the fallout f… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- David MacDonald argues that the federal budget should focus on desperately-needed public investments – with any revenue issues dealt with by raising taxes where past cuts have produced nothing of value. And Lead… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Joseph Stiglitz writes that inequality is killing the American middle class. And Crawford Kilian examines the direct connection between inequality and midlife mortality:For some white Americans born between 1961 … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how the Libs’ first major budgetary choice has been to continue the Cons’ dangerous pattern of chipping away at the federal government’s fiscal capacity.For further reading…-  Scott Clark and Peter DeVries have previously summarized the… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- David MacDonald offers some alternative suggestions that can do far more to reduce inequality and boost Canada’s economy than the Libs’ upper-class tax shuffle. And Karl Nerenberg reminds us that the most import… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Martin Lukacs writes that while a change in government offers some possibility of change, the Trudeau campaign wasn’t anything more than a ruse. And Seth Klein and Shannon Daub remind us that we’ll need to be the ones to advance progressive policies in the face of a government . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Jim Stanford points out that the Harper Cons’ already-dismal economic track record is only getting worse. And Nora Loreto notes that even on the Cons’ own estimates, the Trans-Pacific Partnership looks to result in Canada paying more in compensation to industries hurt by another corporate rights agreement than . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Thomas Edsall discusses how increased atomization is making it more difficult for people to join together in seeking change, no matter how obvious it is that there’s a need to counter the concentrated power and wealth of the privileged few: The cultural pressures driving inequality are…reinforced by . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Sean McElwee offers a new set of evidence that the right-wing Republicans who run on the economy in fact do it nothing but harm. And David Dayen discusses how Bernie Sanders may be able to push the U.S.’ policy discussion into a far more positive area by forcing . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Margot Sanger-Katz writes about the connection between inequality and poor health. Nicolas Fitz reminds us that even people concerned about inequality may underestimate how serious it is. And BJ Siekierski asks what will happen to Canada’s economy in terms of both growth and equity as unsustainable resource . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson link inequality and climate change as massive problems which are generated by political choices (and thus amenable to correction through the political system): Rising inequality is no more natural than global warming. And just as with global warming, our biggest fear should . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Will Hutton writes about the connection between inequality and the loss of any moral or social purpose in public life: Britain is beset by a crisis of purpose. We don’t know who we are any longer, where we are going or even if there is a “we”. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Robert Reich muses about how our economy would look if we actually paid people based on their contribution to society rather than their ability to exploit others. In related news, the Broadbent Institute’s next Progress Gala is looking all the more fascinating with the announcement that Reich will . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Paul Boothe responds to the C.D. Howe Institute’s unwarranted bias against public-sector investment: Is the public sector holding back provincial growth rates by crowding out private sector investment?  That’s the contention of a recent C.D. Howe paper by Philip Cross.  The paper provides a great case study . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

– Joseph Stiglitz wraps up the New York Times’ series on inequality by summarizing how the gap between the rich and the rest of us developed, as well as how it can be reduced: The American political system is overrun by money. Economic inequality translates into political inequality, . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

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: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– David Macdonald comments on Statistics Canada’s latest wealth survey, with particular emphasis on the continued gap between a privileged few and the vast majority of Canadians: (T)he top 20% of families have twice as much wealth as the bottom 80% of families combined. Even if the bottom . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– David MacDonald studies the effect of the Cons’ income-splitting scheme, and finds that it’s oriented purely toward funnelling money toward the top of the income scale: “Income splitting creates a tax loophole big enough to drive a Rolls Royce through. It’s pitched as a program for the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Glen Pearson theorizes that inequality will be the defining theme of the current political era. Tavia Grant and Janet McFarland document the extreme (and continually-increasing) disparity between the top 1% and the rest of the world. And Eduardo Porter writes that education can only go so far . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Christopher Curtis and Stephen Maher break the news that the Cons have falsified donation records, claiming donations to their Laurier-Sainte-Marie riding association from individuals who deny ever making contributio… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- David Macdonald takes a closer look at a Fraser Institute study on income mobility, and finds strong evidence that there’s a significant lack of mobility at both the bottom and the top of Canada’s inco… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Duncan Cameron highlights the choice between austerity and prosperity facing the governments of both Canada and the U.S.:The economic realities faced by working people in both Canada and the United St… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links