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Stories about Labor and Economics.

Unearthing the Capitalocene: Towards a Reparations Ecology

By: 
David Istvan

Settled agriculture, cities, nation-states, information technology and every other facet of the modern world have unfolded within a long era of climatic good fortune. Those days are gone. Sea levels are rising; climate is becoming less stable; average temperatures are increasing. Civilization emerged in a geological era known as the Holocene. Some have called our new climate era the Anthropocene. Future intelligent life will know we were here because some humans have filled the fossil record with such marvels as radiation from atomic bombs, plastics from the oil industry and chicken bones.

Clear-cuts, Wildfires and Insecticides: My 2017 Pot Farm Observations

By: 
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume

2017 was my fourth season in a row working in the Cannabis industry in California, and it might well turn out to be my last, considering how rapidly the industry is changing, especially since the 2016 passage of Proposition 64 for adult recreational use.

My employment has always been hourly, arranged with handshake contracts, and “at will” for all parties. Never been a boss and haven’t wanted to be. I’d already had my days of running-the-whole-show when I was farmer in Oregon growing vegetables, seeds and herbs (but never pot) for the ten seasons up ’til 2014. Since then, I’ve been perfectly content as a helper for somebody else‘s headaches.

What Happened to the 40-Hour Workweek?

By: 
David Rosen

As 2017 winds down, it’s important to remember that this year marks the 200th anniversary for the call for a 40-hr workweek for laboring people.  The 8-hour day movement involves not only changes in the workweek, but the struggle over class power.  Turning points in this history of the workweek outline the reconfiguration of modern capitalism:

The Catalan Integral Cooperative: The Simpler Way Revolution is Well Underway!

By: 
Ted Trainer

This is a remarkable and inspiring movement in Spain, now involving hundreds of people in what I regard as an example of The Simpler Way transition strategy … which is primarily about going underneath the conventional economy to build our own new collective economy to meet community needs, turning our backs on and deliberately undermining and eventually replacing both the capitalist system and control by the state.

The Real Causes of Deficits and the US Debt

By: 
Jack Rasmus

With the Senate and House all but assured to pass the US$4.5 trillion in tax cuts for businesses, investors, and the wealthiest 1 percent households by the end of this week, phases two and three of the Trump-Republican fiscal strategy have begun quickly to take shape.

Phase two is to maneuver the inept Democrats in Congress into passing a temporary budget deficit-debt extension in order to allow the tax cuts to be implemented quickly. That’s already a ‘done deal’.

The Amazing Benjamin Lay: Friend of Animals, Enemy of Slavers

By: 
Louis Proyect

A decade ago I reviewed “Amazing Grace”, a hagiographic biopic about William Wilberforce, the parliamentary opponent of the slave trade in Great Britain. Since I am far more interested in a film’s politics than tracking shots, I saw it as an opportunity to cut Wilberforce down to size:

The film was meant to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the passing of the bill that banned the slave trade in the British Empire, an event that constitutes the climactic scene.

Maximising Economic Democracy and Justice in a Real-World Economy

By: 
Anders Sandström and Jason Chrysostomou

There are different views on the meaning of the terms economic democracy and economic justice, which aspects of the concepts that should be emphasised, and how they can and should be achieved in a real-world economy.

According to one broad definition, economic democracy is about “… the citizens’ ability to influence economic developments in general or the economic decisions of their own workplace”. Some believe that this can and should be achieved within the framework and institutions of capitalism i.e. private ownership and markets, by making employees and sometimes also citizens in general, shareholders of corporations, for example via Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and other similar tools. The term “inclusive capitalism” is sometimes used in this context. Such a version of economic democracy can often be embraced also by politicians on the right of the political spectrum.

The Pioneering Critique of the Black Misleadership Class: E. Franklin Frazier’s The Black Bourgeoisie

By: 
Dr. Matthew Quest

Published 60 years ago, Frazier’s The Black Bourgeoisie (1957)analyzed the social and political behavior of the African American middle class social strata that aspired to purportedly benevolently rule their own community while pursuing their own personal advancement. Frazier saw the Black bourgeoisie as both an evolving middle class in historical materialist terms – that is, in the context of unfolding economic history creating modes of production and social classes within the Black community before the emergence of the modern Civil Rights movement. Frazier also explored this bourgeoisie as an evolving ruling class of the Black community that was subordinated by racism and fascism but wished to be independent and govern themselves.

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