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Shantastic Marie

Allan Gregg » 1984 in 2012 - The Assault on Reason - 0 views

    From Dad
Shantastic Marie

Social Work Theses | School of Social Work | McMaster University - 0 views

    Theses from other students in my program.
Shantastic Marie

"A Policy Response to Canadian Economic Inequality" by Shannon M. Testart - 0 views

    Published online copy of my thesis!
Shantastic Marie

Will the 'tax the rich' plan scare them away? - Canada - CBC News - 0 views

  • But so too is the policy unlikely to have a huge impact on curbing the $15.3-billion deficit, one of the stated goals of the new tax, according to the premier.
  • Kevin Milligan, a University of British Columbia economics professor
  • A number of politicians have recently been championing the cause of taxing the rich
  • ...9 more annotations...
  • Barack Obama
  • France, Socialist candidate
  • deal with the NDP to support his budget and avoid an election. McGuinty said all revenues from that new tax would be devoted to "accelerating our plan to eliminate the deficit."
  • According to finance officials, about 23,000 people — or 0.2 per cent of tax filers — would pay an average of about $19,000 more in income tax. The Liberals and NDP have estimated the new tax will generate somewhere between $440 million and $570 million. But Milligan said those numbers are "ambitious."
  • "There’s very strong evidence there as well that, especially for the highest earners who have access to really good tax advice, when tax rates go up, they find legal ways to readjust their affairs so they lower their tax bill."
  • Asked about how that might affect overall revenues, Marion Nade, a spokeswoman for NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, said via email that "all governments are concerned with tax avoidance. We support any means of addressing those loopholes."
  • Milligan also said he doubted the tax would scare off the very wealthy.
  • “We know quite a bit about the impact of this kind of tax,” said Milligan. “You hear some people say it will deter business investment , this will deter entrepreneurship. And the evidence on that is pretty strong that that’s not the case.” Milligan said that's because at the very, very high end of income distribution, most of the income is earned income. "These aren’t entrepreneurs and investors. These are people who are working for a living. They are very well-compensated people working for a living, but it just makes it a very different set of people than if these were all investors with a big pot of money wondering where they will invest it." But Milligan said he doesn’t believe top executives won't work as hard or leave the province because they’re earning a couple percentage points less.
  • Milligan estimates that the marginal rate for someone earning over $500,000 would now climb to 49.5 per cent from 46.4 per cent. (When factoring in the provincial surtax, the overall tax hike will actually be 3.12 per cent.) But he also noted that tax rates approaching 50 per cent are common in other very high income OECD countries. He said there is a "tipping point" where pushing the tax rates higher could yield no more revenue, or, in fact, drop the revenue. "I don't think evidence suggests that we’re hitting that point yet. My own best estimate is you have to get rates into the 60s before you stop raising new revenue."
Shantastic Marie

Bring on the Robin Hood tax | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian - 0 views

  • What we face here, which Labour has yet to find words to express, is a war between those who control the money sucked up into their own pockets, against the great majority who are the losers. This is the tidal pull of inequality that Labour tried and failed to swim against
  • Money must be raised: it would be a positive social good to raise it from those still making fortunes out of easy processing and skimming of our money in these hard times
Shantastic Marie

History of Education - The Canadian Encyclopedia - 0 views

  • The history of education is a central theme in Canada's social, economic and political history
  • In the 17th century education was usually an informal process in which skills and values were passed from one generation to the next by parents, relatives and older siblings
  • The Canadian insistence on the collective concerns of peace, order and good government has meant that state projects such as schooling are seen in terms of their overall impact on society
  • ...14 more annotations...
  • In the years after the Conquest of 1759-60, the British authorities were exceedingly concerned about the strong French Canadian presence in the colony, and they tried repeatedly to assist in the establishment of schools that were outside the control of religious authorities. These efforts were undermined by the Catholic Church and, more importantly, by the disinterest of local communities, in which education was associated more with households than classrooms
  • The establishment of school systems across Canada during the 19th century followed a strikingly similar form and chronology due to the complex and often competing ambitions of both official educators and parents
  • proposals for a public school system
  • The characteristic conviction of the school promoters was that mass schooling could be an effective instrument for instilling appropriate modes of thought and behaviour into children; in their minds, the purpose of mass schooling did not primarily involve the acquisition of academic knowledge. School systems were designed to solve a wide variety of problems ranging from crime to poverty, and from idleness to vagrancy
  • leaders in a variety of communities in central British North America took up arms in pursuit of coherent demands for political change
  • The key element of family reproduction is its orientation toward the future, including considerable anxiety about the direction and pace of social and economic change. This anxiety has involved a fear of downward social mobility both intra- and intergenerationally. Certainly, such fear preoccupied families before the 19th century and explains why land was characteristically seen as the central component of material stability and family cohesion in both New France and British America. And, during the 19th century, land continued to be seen as the most secure foundation for family economies
  • However, the development of agrarian, merchant and industrial capitalism heightened perceptions of economic insecurity. Everyone became aware that while great fortunes could be made, they could also be lost just as quickly. The obvious insecurity of even well-paying jobs or successful businesses came to loom increasingly large in the minds of parents planning for their children as well as themselves as elders in the context of declining land availability.
  • One response was to have fewer children and to invest more in their education
  • Compulsory attendance legislation was passed in the Canadian provinces (except Québec) during the later 19th century but only a minority of parents were not already enrolling their children in class.
  • Some resistance to schooling did develop, particularly from those reluctant to pay extra taxes
  • Why many parents believed that schooling would improve the prospects of their children was primarily connected to the value attributed to academic training. Unlike the emphasis of school promoters on character formation, the shaping of values, the inculcation of political and social attitudes, and proper behaviour, many parents supported schooling because they wanted their children to learn to read, write and do arithmetic.
  • articulation of schooling with the labour market
  • By the late 20th century, schooling had become part of an institutional network which included hospitals, businesses, prisons and welfare agencies.
  • growth of formal instruction funded by taxes and supervised by the state. This growth resulted from concern about cultural, moral and political behaviour, from the emergence of a wage-labour economy, from changing concepts of childhood and the family, and from the general reorganization of society into institutions.
Shantastic Marie

Distributive Justice (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) - 0 views

  • Principles of distributive justice are normative principles designed to guide the allocation of the benefits and burdens of economic activity
  • strict egalitarianism, which advocates the allocation of equal material goods to all members of society
  • Rawls
  • ...160 more annotations...
  • Difference Principle allows allocation that does not conform to strict equality so long as the inequality has the effect that the least advantaged in society are materially better off than they would be under strict equality
  • Resource-based distributive principles, and principles based on what people deserve because of their work, endeavor to incorporate this idea of economic responsibility
  • distributive principles should be designed and assessed according to how they affect welfare
  • Advocates of Welfare-based principles
  • feminist critiques of existing distributive principles note that they tend to ignore the particular circumstances of women
  • Libertarian principles
  • criticize any patterned distributive ideal
  • Distributive principles may vary in numerous dimensions. They can vary in what is subject to distribution (income, wealth, opportunities, jobs, welfare, utility, etc.); in the nature of the subjects of the distribution (natural persons, groups of persons, reference classes, etc.); and on what basis distribution should be made (equality, maximization, according to individual characteristics, according to free transactions, etc.)
  • distribution of the benefits and burdens of economic activity among individuals in a society
  • distributive justice theory is a practical enterprise
  • There has never been, and never will be
  • any society whose distribution conforms to one of the proposed principles
  • Only when people realized that the distribution of economic benefits and burdens could be affected by government did distributive justice become a live topic
  • Governments continuously make and change laws affecting the distribution of economic benefits and burdens in their societies. Almost all changes, from the standard tax and industry laws through to divorce laws have some distributive effect, and, as a result, different societies have different distributions
  • Distributive justice theory contributes practically by providing guidance for these unavoidable and constant choices
  • Contrary to a popular misconception, economics alone cannot decide what policy changes we should make. Economics, at its best, can tell us the effects of pursuing different policies; it cannot, without the guidance of normative principles, recommend which policy to pursue. The arguments and principles discussed in the present entry aim to supply this kind of guidance.
  • One of the simplest principles of distributive justice is that of strict or radical equality
  • every person should have the same level of material goods and services
  • people are owed equal respect and that equality in material goods and services is the best way to give effect to this ideal.
  • The two main problems are the construction of appropriate indices for measurement (the index problem), and the specification of time frames
  • The index problem arises primarily because the goods to be distributed need to be measured if they are going to be distributed according to some pattern (such as equality)
  • requiring identical bundles will make virtually everybody materially worse off than they would be under an alternative allocation
  • Some index for measuring the value of goods and services is required.
  • Money is an index for the value of material goods and services
  • imperfect
  • opportunities
  • Nevertheless, using money as index for the value of material goods and services is the most practical response
  • widely used
  • The second main specification problem involves time frames
  • One version of the principle of strict equality requires that all people should have the same wealth at some initial point, after which people are free to use their wealth in whatever way they choose
  • ‘starting-gate’ principles
  • may lead in time to very inegalitarian wealth distributions
  • The most common form of strict equality principle specifies that income (measured in terms of money) should be equal in each time-frame, though even this may lead to significant disparities in wealth if variations in savings are permitted
  • Hence, strict equality principles are commonly conjoined with some society-wide specification of just saving behavior
  • moral criticisms
  • unduly restrict freedom
  • do not give best effect to equal respect for persons
  • conflict with what people deserve
  • most common criticism is a welfare-based one
  • everyone can be materially better off if incomes are not strictly equal
  • The wealth of an economy is not a fixed amount from one period to the next
  • The most common way of producing more wealth is to have a system where those who are more productive earn greater incomes.
  • most widely discussed theory of distributive justice in the past three decades has been that proposed by John Rawls
  • 1. Each person has an equal claim to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic rights and liberties, which scheme is compatible with the same scheme for all; and in this scheme the equal political liberties, and only those liberties, are to be guaranteed their fair value. 2. Social and economic inequalities are to satisfy two conditions: (a) They are to be attached to positions and offices open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity; and (b), they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society.
  • The main moral motivation for the Difference Principle is similar to that for strict equality: equal respect for persons
  • Difference Principle materially collapses to a form of strict equality under empirical conditions where differences in income have no effect on the work incentive of people
  • Opinion divides on the size of the inequalities which would, as a matter of empirical fact, be allowed by the Difference Principle, and on how much better off the least advantaged would be under the Difference Principle than under a strict equality principle
  • Rawls is not opposed to the principle of strict equality per se, his concern is about the absolute position of the least advantaged group rather than their relative position
  • numerous criticisms
  • The most common explanation appeals to solidarity (Crocker): that being materially equal is an important expression of the equality of persons. Another common explanation appeals to the power some may have over others, if they are better off materially
  • Rawls' response
  • priority of his first principle: The inequalities consistent with the Difference Principle are only permitted so long as they do not compromise the fair value of the political liberties
  • Utilitarian objection
  • Difference Principle is that it does not maximize utility
  • Libertarians object
  • Difference Principle involves unacceptable infringements on liberty
  • redistributive taxation to the poor
  • The Difference Principle is also criticized as a primary distributive principle on the grounds that it mostly ignores claims that people deserve certain economic benefits in light of their actions
  • Desert-Based Principles
  • some may deserve a higher level of material goods because of their hard work or contributions even if their unequal rewards do not also function to improve the position of the least advantaged
  • explanations of how people come to be in more or less advantaged positions is relevant to their fairness
  • Resource-based principles criticize the Difference Principle on the grounds that it is not ‘ambition-sensitive’ enough
  • ‘endowment-sensitive’
  • not sensitive to the consequences of people's choices
  • does not compensate people for natural inequalities
  • Resource-based principles
  • Resource Egalitarianism
  • prescribe equality of resources
  • do not normally prescribe a patterned outcome
  • outcomes are determined by people's free use of their resources
  • provided people have equal resources they should live with the consequences of their choices
  • social circumstances over which people have no control should not adversely affect life prospects or earning capacities
  • unequal natural endowments should attract compensation
  • handicaps, ill-health, or low levels of natural talents
  • Ronald Dworkin, (Dworkin 1981a, 1981b), proposes that people begin with equal resources but end up with unequal economic benefits as a result of their own choices
  • They note that natural inequalities are not distributed according to people's choices, nor are they justified by reference to some other morally relevant fact about people
  • buy insurance against being disadvantaged
  • It is simply not clear how to implement equality of resources in a complex economy and hence despite its theoretical advantages, it is difficult to see it as a practical improvement on the Difference Principle.
  • Welfare-based principles are motivated by the idea that what is of primary moral importance is the level of welfare of people.
  • imprecise
  • concerns of other theories
  • as derivative concerns
  • particular welfare functions to maximize
  • vary enormously
  • most commonly advocated by economists
  • Historically, Utilitarians have used the term ‘utility’ rather than ‘welfare’ and utility has been defined variously as pleasure, happiness, or preference-satisfaction
  • philosophical activity has concentrated on a variant known as Utilitarianism
  • choosing that distribution maximizing the arithmetic sum of all satisfied preferences (unsatisfied preferences being negative), weighted for the intensity of those preferences.
  • Utilitarianism fails to take the distinctness of persons seriously
  • immoral to make some people suffer so that there is a net gain for other people
  • no requirement for people to consent to the suffering or sacrifice
  • individual preferences or interests referring to the holdings of others
  • Utilitarian distribution principles, like the other principles described here, have problems with specification and implementation
  • interpersonal utility comparisons are impossible
  • many Preference Utilitarians believe their principle prescribes strongly egalitarian structures with lots of state invention while many other Preference Utilitarians believe it prescribes a laissez faire style of capitalism
  • Another complaint against welfarism is that it ignores, and in fact cannot even make sense of, claims that people deserve certain economic benefits in light of their actions
  • various forms of welfarism treat people as mere containers for well-being, rather than purposeful beings, responsible for their actions and creative in their environments
  • The different desert-based principles of distribution differ primarily according to what they identify as the basis for deserving
  • three broad categories
  • Contribution
  • Effort
  • Compensation
  • Aristotle argued that virtue should be a basis for distributing rewards, but most contemporary principles owe a larger debt to John Locke. Locke argued people deserve to have those items produced by their toil and industry, the products (or the value thereof) being a fitting reward for their effort
  • people freely apply their abilities and talents, in varying degrees, to socially productive work. People come to deserve varying levels of income by providing goods and services desired by others
  • Distributive systems are just insofar as they distribute incomes according to the different levels earned or deserved by the individuals in the society for their productive labors, efforts, or contributions
  • value of raising the standard of living — collectively, ‘the social product’
  • only activity directed at raising the social product will serve as a basis for deserving income
  • a value societies hold independently
  • societies value higher standards of living, and therefore choose the raising of living standards as the primary value relevant to desert-based distribution
  • Payments designed to give people incentives are a form of entitlement particularly worth distinguishing from desert-payments as they are commonly confused
  • Incentive-payments are ‘forward-looking’
  • desert-payments are ‘backwards-looking’
  • incentives and desert provide distinct rationales for income and should not be conflated
  • While some have sought to justify current capitalist distributions via desert-based distributive principles, John Stuart Mill and many since have forcefully argued the contrary claim — that the implementation of a productivity principle would involve dramatic changes in modern market economies and would greatly reduce the inequalities characteristic of them
  • contemporary Desert-based principles are rarely complete distributive principles. They usually are only designed to cover distribution among working adults, leaving basic welfare needs to be met by other principles
  • difficult to identify what is to count as a contribution, an effort or a cost, and it is even more difficult to measure these in a complex modern economy
  • moral objection
  • make economic benefits depend on factors over which people have little control
  • productivity-based principles — a person's productivity seems clearly to be influenced by many factors over which the person has little control
  • under most welfare-based principles, it is also the case that people's level of economic benefits depend on factors beyond their control
  • desert theorists who emphasize the responsibility of people in choosing to engage in more or less productive activities
  • Most contemporary versions of the principles discussed so far allow some role for the market as a means of achieving the desired distributive pattern
  • advocates of Libertarian distributive principles rarely see the market as a means to some desired pattern, since the principle(s) they advocate do not ostensibly propose a ‘pattern’ at all, but instead describe the sorts of acquisitions or exchanges which are themselves just
  • just outcomes are those arrived at by the separate just actions of individuals; a particular distributive pattern is not required for justice
  • Nozick proposes a 3-part "Entitlement Theory"
  • distribution is just if everyone is entitled to the holdings they possess under the distribution
  • principle of justice in transfer
  • fair contracts while ruling out stealing, fraud, etc
  • principle of justice in acquisition
  • gaining of exclusive property rights over the material world
  • The obvious objection to this claim is that it is not clear why the first people to acquire some part of the material world should be able to exclude others from it
  • Lockean Proviso
  • ‘enough and as good left in common for others’
  • challenges
  • acquisition is just if and only if the position of others after the acquisition is no worse than their position was when the acquisition was unowned or ‘held in common’
  • principle of rectification for past injustice
  • Past injustices systematically undermine the justice of every subsequent distribution in historical theories
  • The numbers of injustices perpetrated throughout history, both within nations and between them, are enormous and the necessary details of the vast majority of injustices are unavailable
  • As a consequence, Nozick's entitlement theory will never provide any guidance as to what the current distribution of material holdings should be nor what distributions or redistributions are legitimate or illegitimate
  • Libertarians inspired by Nozick usually advocate a system in which there are exclusive property rights, with the role of the government restricted to the protection of these property rights. The property rights commonly rule out taxation for purposes other than raising the funds necessary to protect property rights
  • Any taxation of the income from such selling, according to Nozick, ‘institute[s] (partial) ownership by others of people and their actions and labor’.
  • main difficulties
  • other route for trying to justify exclusive property rights has been to argue that they are required for the maximization of freedom and/or liberty or the minimization of violations of these
  • false
  • But the challenge for these Libertarians is to show why only their favored liberties and freedoms are valuable, and not those which are weakened by a system of exclusive property rights
  • There is no one feminist conception of distributive justice; theorists who name themselves feminists defend positions across the political spectrum
  • an interest in what difference, if any, the practical experience of gender makes to the subject matter or study of justice
  • The distributive principles so far outlined, with the exception of strict egalitarianism, could be classified as liberal theories — they both inform, and are the product of, the liberal democracies which have emerged over the last two centuries
  • ‘the personal is political.’
  • critique of liberal theories
  • resulting liberal theories of justice have fundamentally been unable to accommodate the injustices that have their origins in this ‘protected’ private sphere
  • liberal theories of distributive justice are unable to address the oppression which surfaces in the so-called private sphere of government non-interference
  • women have substantial disadvantages in competing in the market because of childrearing responsibilities which are not equally shared with men. As a consequence, any theory relying on market mechanisms, including most liberal theories, will yield systems which result in women systematically having less income and wealth than men. Thus, feminists have challenged contemporary political theorists to rethink the boundaries of political authority in the name of securing a just outcome for women and other historically oppressed groups
  • challenge
  • navigate both a coherent theoretical and practical path in response to the best feminist critiques available
  • distributive decisions arising through the legitimate application of particular democratic processes might even, at least in part, constitute distributive justice
  • Data on people's beliefs about distributive justice is also useful for addressing the necessary intersection between philosophical and political processes. Such beliefs put constraints on what institutional and policy reforms are practically achievable in any generation — especially when the society is committed to democratic processes
  • it is at least possible that the best distributive theory, when implemented, might yield a system which still has many injustices and/or negative consequences
  • Given that distributive justice is about what to do now, not just what to think, alternate distributive theories must, in part, compete as comprehensive systems which take into account the practical constraints we face.
  • Distributive justice is not an area where we can say an idea is good in theory but not in practice. If it is not good in practice, then it is not good in theory either
Shantastic Marie

inequality on Too Much - 0 views

    some info re Robin Hood tax
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