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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

Politics and its Discontents: Joseph Stiglitz On The TPP

A very brief video, but a very important message about the dangers of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism that is a central part of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and something enthusiastically embraced, it would seem, by our ‘new’ governme… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Joseph Stiglitz On The TPP

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Jim Hightower argues that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity – and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:Take On Wall Street is both the name and th… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Jim Hightower argues that there’s no reason the U.S. can’t develop an economic model which leads to shared prosperity – and the ideas are no less relevant in Canada:

Take On Wall Street is both the name and the feisty attitude of a nationwide campaign that a coalition of grassroots groups has launched to do just that: take on Wall Street. The coalition, spearheaded by the Communication Workers of America, points out there is nothing natural or sacred about today’s money-grabbing financial complex. Far from sacrosanct, the system of finance that now rules over us has been designed by and for Wall Street speculators, money managers and big bank flimflammers. So, big surprise, rather than serving our common good, the system is corrupt, routinely serving their uncommon greed at everyone else’s expense.

The coalition’s structural reforms include:
1. Getting the corrupting cash of corporations and the superrich out of politics with an overturning of Citizens United v. FEC and providing a public system for financing America’s elections.

2. Stopping “too big to fail” banks from subsidizing their high-risk speculative gambling with the deposits of  ordinary customers. Make them choose to be a consumer bank or a casino, but not both.

3. Institute a tiny “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street speculators to discourage their computerized gaming of the system, while also generating hundreds of billions of tax dollars to invest in America’s real economy.

4. Restore low-cost, convenient “postal banking” in our post offices to serve millions of Americans who’re now at the mercy of predatory payday lenders and check-cashing chains.

– Juliette Garside reports on the EU’s efforts to get the U.S. to agree to basic reporting to rein in offshore tax evasion. And Heather Long points out Joseph Stiglitz’ criticisms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as enriching corporations at the expense of citizens.

– Amy Maxmen notes that a non-profit system can develop new drugs far more affordably than the current corporate model – and without creating the expectation of windfall profits that currently underlies the pharmaceutical industry.

– Jordan Press offers a preview of a federal strategy for homeless veterans featuring rental subsidies and the building of targeted housing units – which leads only to the question of why the same plan wouldn’t be applied to address homelessness generally.

– Alan Shanoff comments on the many holes in Ontario’s employment standards (which are generally matched elsewhere as well).

– Finally, Dougald Lamont highlights the many ways in which the Fraser Institute’s anti-tax spin misleads the media about how citizens relate to Canadian governments.

[Edit: fixed wording.] . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Nora Loreto slams the Wynne Libs’ “red tape” gimmick, while highlighting the need for people to claim a voice in rules largely intended to protect them as workers and consumers:One person’s red tape is another p… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Joseph Stiglitz writes about the continuing need to rein in the excesses of corporate-dominated globalization:The failure of globalization to deliver on the promises of mainstream politicians has surely unde… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Joseph Stiglitz writes about the political consequences of economic policies which have siphoned wealth to the lucky few, and writes that it’s long past time to start challenging the corporate power which has… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.- Ben Schiller talks to Joseph Stiglitz about the link between technology and inequality – and particularly the lack of current incentives to work on improving standards of living rather than capturing win… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- GOOD Magazine neatly sums up what the world would look like on the scale of 100 people – and how patently unfair wealth inequality looks in that context: – Lawrence Mishel and David Cooper point out that a $1… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Politics and its Discontents: Will The Trudeau Government Ignore The Warnings?

As pointed out by The Mound, Joseph Stigliz has issued a dire warning to Canada about the dangers of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership); essentially, it will enrich the few at the expense of the many. As well, he has warned about two other grave dange… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Will The Trudeau Government Ignore The Warnings?

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Jim Stanford offers a warning to Australia about Canada’s history of gratuitous corporate tax giveaways:(S)uccessive cuts reduced combined Canadian corporate taxes (including provincial rates, which also fell … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Joseph Stiglitz comments on how the Trans-Pacific Partnership looks to make democracy subordinate to corporate interests:The US concluded secret negotiations on what may turn out to be the worst trade agree… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.- Ian Welsh summarizes why inequality is intrinsically problematic:Even where people’s needs are met, the more unequal a society the more unhealthy everyone is and the more unhappy they are.Those who feel lowe… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Matthew Yglesias rightly points out the absurdity of monetary policy designed to rein in at-target inflation at the expense of desperately-needed employment. And Joseph Stiglitz reminds us that we can instead … . . . → 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: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- David Ball talks to Joseph Stiglitz about inequality and its causes – including the spread of corporate control through trade agreements:What would you say is the dominant cause [of growing inequality]… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Julie Delahanty discusses the need for Canada’s federal government to rein in rising inequality. And Tim Stacey duly challenges the excuse that today’s poor people just aren’t poor enough to deserve any consideration.

– Amy Goodman interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the serious problems with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

– Amy Goodman interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the corporate abuses the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow to take priority over the public interest. And Stuart Trew and Scott Sinclair offer some suggestions to at least ensure that Canadians have an opportunity for meaningful review and discussion before being stuck . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Joseph Heath discusses how the Volkswagen emission cheating scandal fits into a particular type of corporate culture: (W)hen the Deepwater Horizon tragedy occurred, or now the VW scandal, it was hardly surprising to people who follow these things. Certain industries essentially harbour and reproducing deviant subcultures. This is one . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Ian Welsh writes that the Harper Cons have destroyed Canada’s historic economic balance by scrapping the parts of the manufacturing sector which previously provided a buffer against low resource prices. And Bruce Campbell compares Canada’s record on climate change to Norway’s, and concluding that it isn’t only . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Labour Day reading.

– Keith Doucette reports on Hassan Yussuff’s efforts to highlight the continued importance of the labour movement in ensuring a more fair society for everybody. And Josh Bivens and Lawrence Mishel study the disconnect between growing productivity and stagnant wages, reaching the conclusion that workers’ loss of bargaining . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

– Scott Clark and Peter De Vries discuss the need for a Canadian economic plan which involves investment in the long term rather than politically-oriented payoffs only within a single election cycle. And Joseph Stiglitz points out the obvious need for a global system of investment and financial . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Joseph Stiglitz discusses how Greece has been turned into a sacrificial lamb at the altar of austerian economics: Austerity is largely to blame for Greece’s current depression — a decline of gross domestic product of 25 percent since 2008, an unemployment rate of 25 percent and a . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Peter Poschen argues that the goals of protecting our climate and ensuring the availability of good jobs isn’t an either-or proposition: (C)limate change and the degradation of natural resources increasingly disrupt economic activity and destroy jobs. The International Labour Organization (ILO) puts the productivity losses generated by climate . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

– Dylan Matthews reports on Joseph Stiglitz’ work in studying what kinds of systemic changes (in addition to more redistribution of wealth) are needed to ensure a fair and prosperous economy. And Martin O’Neill discusses James Meade’s prescient take on the importance of social assets: Meade therefore came to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links