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Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Naomi Klein writes about the racism and dehumanization behind climate change denialism and inaction. And George Monbiot reminds us of the dangers of overheating oceans, while Michael Wines interviews Todd Halih… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Dennis Howlett discusses the public costs of allowing tax avoidance – as Canada could afford a national pharmacare program (and much more) merely by ensuring that the rich pay what they owe:Eliminating tax haven… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Dennis Howlett discusses the public costs of allowing tax avoidance – as Canada could afford a national pharmacare program (and much more) merely by ensuring that the rich pay what they owe:

Eliminating tax haven use could save Canada almost $8 billion a year. That’s enough to cover universal public prescription coverage almost eight times over.

Time after time, budget after budget, poll after poll, those in charge make it sound as if we’re too poor as a country to afford the programs that would really improve Canadians’ lives. The fact that revenues are lost to poor policy on tax havens and loopholes is often conveniently ignored.

At this stage of the game, the federal finance minister doesn’t need to raise taxes to pay for pharmacare. Bill Morneau just has to make sure that Canadian multinationals and wealthy individuals pay the tax rate we already have. That isn’t happening right now.

It’s simple. Canadians can continue to support a tax system that lets the richest avoid paying $8 billion in taxes annually — or we can tell them that the party’s over. Instead of ignoring what is happening in the Cayman Islands, Panama and other tax havens, we can urge our politicians to invest the taxes owing on those billions into services that benefit individuals, families, communities and the country as a whole.

There is solid data supporting raising taxes in some areas. But that’s an argument for another day. The issue at hand right now is that we do have enough money for pharmacare — likely enough for public dental care as well. Through a series of misguided and outdated decisions driven by the tax dodge lobby, we are needlessly and destructively giving up that revenue.

It’s time to fix those old mistakes and use the tax system to help this country live up to its potential.

– Meanwhile, Owen Jones discusses a European Commission ruling finding that Apple can’t validly avoid paying tax through a special arrangement with Ireland. And the Star rightly slams the Fraser Institute for presenting a misleading picture of where public revenue comes from and what it can accomplish.

– The CP reports on the Libs’ plans to facilitate the use of temporary foreign workers for liquid natural gas projects in British Columbia – meaning that the last supposed benefit for the province of engaging in a dangerous industry seems to be as illusory as all the others. And Jeremy Nuttall notes that Justin Trudeau seems set to open the door even wider to entrench the use of exploitable foreign labour by multinational corporations. 

– Finally, Catherine Cullen reports on the effects of privatized health care insurance which are being presented in an effort to defend Canada’s medicare system from would-be profiteers:

John Frank, a Canadian physician who is now chairman of public health research and policy at the University of Edinburgh, argues in his report that more private health care “would be expected to adversely affect Canadian society as a whole.”

He cites research that suggests public resources, including highly trained nurses and doctors, would be siphoned off by the private system.

More Canadians would face financial hardship or even — in extreme cases — “medical bankruptcy” from paying for private care, he writes.

Frank even suggests there could be deadly consequences. He says complications from privately funded surgeries often need to be dealt with in the public system because private facilities are generally less equipped to handle complex cases.

“If such complications, arising from privately funded care, are not promptly referred to an appropriately equipped and staffed care facility, the patient is likely to experience death or long-term disability, potentially leading to reduced earnings and financial hardship.”

Overall, “in my expert opinion,” Frank writes, the change would reduce fairness and efficiency and “society as a whole would be worse off.”

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday 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 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: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Danyaal Raza discusses how climate change is manifesting itself in immediate health problems. And John Vidal highlights the latest research on the rapid melting of Arctic ice – making it particularly appallin… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.- Rachel West charts how higher wages and improved social supports can reduce crime rates and their resulting costs.- Lana Payne comments on the glass ceiling still limiting the wages and opportunities availabl… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Melisa Foster points out why millennials should be strongly interested in a national pharmacare program:Today, young Canadians are searching for jobs in an economy with high levels of precarious employment, unemploym… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Dani Rodrik comments on the need for a far more clear set of policy prescriptions for left-wing political parties to present as an alternative to laissez-faire corporate domination, while noting there’s no lack… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.- Murray Dobbin argues that the Trudeau Libs’ response (or lack thereof) to wealthy tax cheats will tell us what we most need to know about their plans for Canada.- Meanwhile, Tonda MacCharles reports on Justin Tru… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Robert Reich discusses how our economy is rigged so that the self-proclaimed risk-takers actually can’t lose:I don’t want to pick on Ms. Mayer or the managers of the funds that invest in Yahoo. They… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.- Robert Frank discusses the essential role of luck in determining the opportunities we have – and how the advantages of a strong social fabric are too often ignored by the people who benefit the most from them… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- Ryan Meili writes that the spread of for-profit corporate medicine – including through the Saskatchewan Party’s privatization of care – demonstrates the need for enforcement of the Canada Health Act. And the Star mak… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Thomas Piketty writes that regardless of the end result, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign may mark the start of a fundamental change in U.S. politics: Sanders’ success today shows that much of A… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Alice Martin offers three basic reasons why unions are as necessary now as ever, while PressProgress weighs in on the IMF’s findings showing the correlation between unions and greater equality. And David Ball po… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Ben Casselman and Andrew Flowers discuss Raj Chetty’s research on the U.S.’ glaring lack of social mobility and fair opportunities:Children from poor families are much less likely to work in adulthood … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.- Robert Kuttner writes about the increasing recognition that extreme inequality arises out of power imbalances rather than any natural state of affairs:(I)nfluential orthodox economists are having serio… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.- Simon Kennedy highlights another key finding in Oxfam’s latest study on wealth, as the global 1% now owns as much as the other 99% combined. And Dennis Howlett reviews Gabriel Zucman’s Hidden Wealth of Nations, … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.- John O’Farrell argues that a basic income provides a needed starting point for innovation and entrepreneurship by people who don’t enjoy the advantage of inherited wealth:But in fact it is the current situation that … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.- Jordon Cooper offers his take on the many social issues we should be addressing alongside our work to welcome Syrian refugees:All levels of government have passed resolutions to end child poverty in Can… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Desmond Cole rightly slams the stinginess of Ontario’s government in taking support away from parents based on child support which isn’t actually received. And Karl Nerenberg laments Bill Morneau’s decision to … . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Paul Edwards discusses the availability of a gradual transition to clean energy while avoiding more than 2 degrees of climate change – but only if we start swapping out fossil fuels for renewable energy now. An… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

– Randy Robinson points out that while it’s worth setting a higher bar for all kinds of precarious work, it’s particularly problematic for governments to try to attack protections for the people charged with delivering public services: These are many more examples of public sector jobs gone bad. And . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

– Tony Atkinson offers reason for hope that it’s more than possible to rein in inequality and ensure a more fair distribution of resources if we’re willing to put in the work to make it happen: (T)he present levels of inequality are not inevitable; we are not simply at . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

– Teresa Ghilarducci laments both the state of the union movement in the U.S., and the lack of any public discussion as to how to rebuild the strongest voice most citizens have against corporate excesses. And Bob Bryan recognizes that unions are nothing short of necessary to a . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links