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, 1873 -
Collective action remains the best way of renewing the march towards the great trinity of liberty, equality, and solidarity.
In 1936, John Maynard Keynes predicted the 'euthanasia of the rentier' before the end of the 20th century. It did not happen.
Politicians should reflect on the well-documented fact that fearful, insecure people lose their sense of tolerance and altruism.
Globalisation began what should be called the Great Convergence, creating a globalising labour market in which wages in emerging market economies slowly converge with wages in rich economies, generating a steady drop in real wages across Europe.
Chronically insecure people easily lose their altruism, tolerance, and respect for non-conformity. If they have no alternative on offer, they can be led to attribute their plight to strangers in their midst.
Globalisation, technological change, and the move to flexible labour markets has channelled more and more income to rentiers - those owning financial, physical, or so-called intellectual property - while real wages stagnate.
The precariat faces chronic uncertainty about what to do, about what incomes to expect, about state benefits that might be their due, about their relationships, their homes, and about the occupations they can realistically expect.
Most existing national capital funds have been built up from royalties from oil and other minerals. They need not be limited that way. Most are anything but democratic. That could be changed.
In the interests of competitiveness in a globalizing world economy, governments of all complexions introduced labour-market reforms that promoted flexibility but accentuated the precariat's insecurities.
Twentieth-century welfare state capitalism was historically unique in that national income was split between wages and profits, labour and capital.
The evidence shows if you give people security, they become better people. They develop their talents. They become better citizens.
What we need is a slow time movement to gain control over time and an overhaul of work statistics to give a better perspective on all the work being done and how much of it is undesirable, unnecessary, and demeaning.
Magna Carta only came into being in 1217, when the wording had been changed and parts of the original were extended in the Charter of the Forests. This complementary charter covered liberties granted to the common man, including rights to the commons, grazing, fishing, water, and firewood, and was perhaps the first ecological charter in history.
Politicians seem desperate to appeal to their respective versions of the so called 'middle class,' unable to empathise with the precariat and eager to dream up fresh and tougher sanctions against society's wounded.
The precariat consists of a growing proportion of our total society. It is being habituated to accept a life of unstable labour and unstable living. Often they're unable to say what their occupation is, because what they're doing now might be quite different from what they were doing three months ago.
People in the precariat find themselves in the situation where the level of their education and qualifications is almost always higher than the sort of labour that they're going to be able to obtain.
People in the precariat rely very heavily on money wages.
If you're healthier, you tend to have a lower demand for health services.
Across Europe, not just in the U.K., the old Beveridge and Bismarckian variants of the welfare state have been dismantled. In their place has been erected a mish-mash of means-tested, behaviour-tested social assistance, with a growing tendency to force young unemployed into workfare schemes, which are helping to depress real wages.
If I care for an elderly relative without payment, it is not work, is not counted in national income, and, as it is not labour, is not counted as work. Should my neighbour pay me to do precisely the same tasks, it would contribute to economic growth.
A person looking after a frail former lover is not working and not contributing to economic growth. But if he or she stopped, the state would probably have to take over, thereby adding to growth. So, to increase growth, we should stop looking after our loved ones. Could anybody explain to a passing Martian how this makes sense?
Think how modern economics presents work. Only labour that contributes to growth counts.
The income distribution system constructed in the 20th century has broken down, and it will not come back.
People want to work, but they don't want to necessarily want to do labour.
We are in an era of chronic insecurity and growing inequalities. In that context, we need to have new mechanisms for income distribution which give people a sense of security.
Means-tested benefits have one incredible feature in that they impose huge poverty traps.
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