An interview with economic historian Vera Zamagni With the release of the new short film WEconomics highlighting the vibrant ecosystem of cooperatives in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region—produced by our friends at Moving Images, who also made the excellent worker cooperative documentary Shift Change—we reached out to Vera Zamagni, the cooperative economist featured in the film, to learn […]
Archive for the ‘Labour’ Category
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has made the corrupting role of money in politics a centerpiece of his campaign. He has argued that because campaign contributions by the rich pay for political campaigns, they are able to control the political process. This gives us a political system that is very effective at serving Wall Street and the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. It is much less effective at serving the needs of ordinary people. This has created an interesting dynamic in the race for the Democratic nomination. Continue reading
Exchange rate policies, not high wages, are why U.S. lags China and Germany in export performance | Economic Policy InstitutePosted: December 4, 2015 in Economy, Labour
The strategy of pushing manufacturing into low-wage, nonunion states is a race-to-the-bottom strategy that should be rejected in favor of high-road strategies: fighting currency manipulation and doing more to rebuild American manufacturing.
Elon Musk’s solar company used panels made by cheap prison labor for a big taxpayer-subsidized project | GristPosted: October 29, 2015 in Economy, Labour
SolarCity installed arrays of panels made by inmates who earned just 93 cents an hour.
You can’t separate fiscal issues from social issues. They’re deeply intertwined. They affect each other. Economic issues often are social issues. And conservative fiscal policies do enormous social harm. That’s true even for the mildest, most generous version of “fiscal conservatism” — low taxes, small government, reduced regulation, a free market. These policies perpetuate human rights abuses. They make life harder for people who already have hard lives. Even if the people supporting these policies don’t intend this, the policies are racist, sexist, classist (obviously), ableist, homophobic, transphobic, and otherwise socially retrograde. In many ways, they do more harm than so-called “social policies” that are supposedly separate from economic ones. Here are seven reasons that “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” is nonsense…
McQuaig, the author of The Trouble with Billionaires, criticized the influence of wealth in politics and the rise of corporate power.
She used the example of John Paulson, a hedge fund manager.
“In 2009, he made, in one year, $3.7 billion. That was his income. And he made it by betting on the sub-prime mortgage market which helped push the world into a recession from which we still have not fully recovered,” she said.
McQuaig likened that to making the same amount of money as 80,000 nurses — an example of an average income.
“In what moral universe is that guy worth the same as 80,000 nurses?” McQuaig asked to cheers from the crowd.
We live in a world where cheap and plentiful technology has made us cheap — the market for human labor is glutted. There’s too many of us out there, we’re too easily replaceable, almost none of us are specifically needed for anything. As a result, just to survive — just to avoid being irrelevant — we give away more of ourselves than we have in generations, selling our time, our privacy, our rights just for a chance not to be left behind.