Posts tagged ‘Economics’

September 29, 2010

In a complex world…

The Propagandist features China’s rising hard power with a fascinating video.

Another aspect of the multipolar world whose contours are becoming increasingly visible is the rise of the so-called “Moscow-Ankara-Rome” axis. Volvbilis has been covering this well, for instance in this piece, originally from the Strategic Culture foundation.

Female garment workers in sit-down demonstrationOne of the key labour disputes of our times that of the garment workers in Bangladesh, which Libcom has been covering well. For more news from a trade union perspective, see LabourStart.

Daniel Ben-Ami in Spiked has a great piece about Vince Cable as an example of the reactionary, misanthropic anti-capitalism sweeping the world. David Osler describes Cable as a “populist not a Marxist“, while Carl Packman calls him “capitalism’s posterboy“.

Also from the UK, Chris Dillow punctures the immigration orthodoxies in new Labour Party leader Ed Miliband’s speech.

From the archives: Modern Times magazine in the 1980s on austerity, in an article all too relevant today.

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April 13, 2010

COMMENT: The end of poverty/dependency theories [Lady Poverty]

IWW poster printed 1911

Image via Wikipedia

An end to the end of poverty, again

New York Times:

[Muhammad] Yunus says [microfinance] interest rates should be 10 to 15 percent above the cost of raising the money, with anything beyond a “red zone” of loan sharking. “We need to draw a line between genuine and abuse,” he said. “You will never see the situation of poor people if you look at it through the glasses of profit-making.”

In that case, one option might be to extend loans to poor people through institutions they can control, like their government. When people control something, they needn’t rely on the iron law of Muhammad Yunus’s recommendations. But because poor people aren’t permitted to control their governments, they are invariably robbed by every salvation scheme conceived in the private sector.

Dependency theories

Wall Street Journal:

[D]o these Senators really think it’s compassionate to give people an additional incentive to stay out of the job market, losing crucial skills and contacts? And how politically smart is it for Democrats to embrace policies that keep the jobless rate higher than it would otherwise be? How many Democrats share Mr. Harkin’s apparent desire to defend a jobless rate near 9% (today it is 9.7%) in the fall election campaign.

What capital calls an “incentive not to work” is what is more commonly known as “unemployment insurance.” Quite apart from what “these Senators think is compassionate,” there is reason to believe that Americans would prefer to have some income when they are unemployed vs. none. Senators are merely hip to this; they have “compassion” for their careers.

This illustrates a fundamental hang-up which conservatives encounter anytime they try to convince people who would otherwise starve that government is the problem. No, fuckface, not having any income is the problem. Everybody knows how bad it is to be “dependent” on their government; but anybody who has ever worked knows full-well how much worse it is to be dependent on their employer.