Archive for the ‘Labour’ Category

Sounds like a really good Book. In this interview Harris says a lot of things I’ve been thinking for a long time. It’s worth five minutes of your time. He doesn’t call it cognitive dissonance but his description of the values contradictions Millennial’s live seems an apt example of it.

PeterG

 

How are millennials stereotyped as lazy, despite being a highly efficient and productive generation? Why are millennials characterized as spoiled and entitled, yet just 6 percent of them expect to one day receive Social Security benefits like those enjoyed by current retirees?

Source: If We Want Kids to Grow Up and Earn a Decent Living, Schools Should Teach Them to Organize Unions | Alternet

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By Peter Frase

We need a politics that acknowledges that the social-democratic class compromise is unsustainable.

Patrick Iber and Mike Konczal have an essay at Dissent in which they use the Bernie Sanders phenomenon as an opportunity to explain the theories of Karl Polanyi, and what they mean for the future of progressive politics. Polanyi was a Hungarian emigré to Vienna and later England and the United States, a veteran of the interwar period that gave us the Great Depression and the rise of fascism.

His most famous work, The Great Transformation, was written in the 1930s and 1940s. In it, he attempted to diagnose the failures of the free-market capitalism of his time, which in his view had given rise to the reaction and war he lived through.

His central point, and the one which has been most influential on contemporary liberals, is that there has never been any such thing as an unfettered or natural free market.

Rather, all really existing social formations involve complex ties between people based on a variety of norms and traditions. As Iber and Konczal put it, “the economy is ’embedded’ in society — part of social relations — not apart from them.”

For this reason, the attempt to establish unfettered and unregulated markets is doomed: a pure free-market society is a utopian project, and impossible to realize, because people will resist the process of being turned into commodities.

This is an important insight, and to this point there’s not much about it that I can disagree with. The problem arises when one tries to derive a complete political strategy from this analysis. This is where I part ways with the Polanyian analysis that Iber and Konczal offer.

They suggest that the vision of “socialism” offered by Polanyi, and also by Bernie Sanders, ultimately just involves subjecting capitalism to some humane and democratic limits. They quote a passage in which Polanyi defines socialism as “the tendency inherent in an industrial civilization to transcend the self-regulating market by consciously subordinating it to a democratic society.”

Continue reading at: Social Democracy’s Breaking Point

Please take the time to read this long article. It’s worth it.

The first issue of Catalyst appears at a profoundly contradictory political conjuncture. It is the moment of the greatest promise for the working class and popular forces since the 1960s, but also one of significant danger.

Source: Editorial

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 […]

Source: Learning from Emilia Romagna’s cooperative economy – The Next System Project

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

Source: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and the Money – BillMoyers.com

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.

Source: Exchange rate policies, not high wages, are why U.S. lags China and Germany in export performance | Economic Policy Institute

SolarCity installed arrays of panels made by inmates who earned just 93 cents an hour.

Source: Elon Musk’s solar company used panels made by cheap prison labor for a big taxpayer-subsidized project | Grist