With the economic tactic of austerity getting seriously kicked in the shins, Democracy Now broadcast a disturbing and moving account of the effects of austerity on health, especially as indicated by rising suicide rates: Why Austerity Kills: From Greece to U.S., Crippling Economic Policies Causing Global Health Crisis. Based on a new book, The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills by economist David Stuckler and physician Sanjay Basu, it is reading i plan to do though it reminds me of the consequences of IMF-imposed austerity programs waged against nations of the global south. For those social justice activists who, in the 1980s sought to support many struggles against debilitating international debt, this is nothing new. Though it is a poignant reminder of the stakes involved in economic justice struggles.
Though not directly related to the preceding critiques of austerity, the issues of taxes is a part of the puzzle of a just economy. The newly published The Great Revenue Robbery: How to Stop the Tax Cut Scam and Save Canada, makes multiple cases for tax reform to close the growing gap between rich and poor. This rabble.ca interview with one of the authors, Dennis Howlett, is a great introduction to the book and a good summary of these important arguments. So much has been said about taxes – mostly treating them the way to many children unfortunately treat eating green vegetables – that we forget or neglect that taxes are a way that we take care of each other.