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Labor / Economics
Stories about Labor and Economics.
Money is not wealth, only a measure of wealth. What happens when we take this concept seriously?
A UK study published on October 27, 2017 reported that the majority of politicians do not know where money comes from. According to City A.M. (London) :
More than three-quarters of the MPs surveyed incorrectly believed that only the government has the ability to create new money. . . .
In a now familiar pattern, leading veterans organizations are up in arms again over the latest revelations about White House plans for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)—plans that were concocted behind closed doors.
Last week, the Associated Press reported that Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and other Trump officials have been quietly discussing ways to shift veterans, now eligible for VHA care, into Tricare, the private insurance program for active duty military personnel and their families. The administration’s Tricare discussions have been conducted without input from members of Congress or veterans groups.
Fourth, we note the affirmation of lowland Black and Indigenous peoples as front-line actors, but doing it their own way and in a manner that differs from that of the popular sectors. Black protagonism is visible above all in Colombia and Brazil. In both cases, organizations of African descent have been around for decades, but in the last decade they have come to the fore of resistance struggles.
To analyze the state of Latin American social movements today, we must review the main popular struggles since 2005, when the previous cycle of struggle concluded with the second gas war in Bolivia and Evo Morales’ electoral triumph.
In today’s neoliberal world, colossally lucrative enterprises, making their originators some of the wealthiest people on earth, exist in a realm that can best be described as virtual: Uber and Lyft own no taxis, Airbnb owns no rental properties, eBay/Alibaba possess no inventory, Facebook generates no content of its own, TaskRabbit and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (the latter’s motto: “giving you access to a scalable workforce”) create no genuinely sustainable jobs, but use the internet to “match” individuals with substantial incomes needing someone to undertake menial tasks or run small errands with a hapless “gig” clientele prepared to do this for chickenfeed.
London and New York are the capitals of our neoliberal world, so the recent decision by the Transport for London (TfL) not to renew Uber’s licence when it expires on 30 September, on the grounds that it was not a “fit and proper” operator, comes as something of a surprise. Uber will be allowed to operate while it appeals TfL’s decision.
When Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, the whole transportation and communication infrastructure went down- the power grid, bridges, roads, cell towers- devastating the entire island. Most people are still without the basic necessities of life, a month later. Emergency logistics are dysfunctional and telephone service barely exists.
FEMA’s bumbling for one month has looked like a rerun of a Keystone Cops movie. Although the marine terminals were loaded with commercial cargo since before the hurricane, there was no way for workers to reach the port facilities nor power to operate the port safely. Day after day cargo sat idle as people’s desperation for water, food and life-saving medicine mounts. The early death toll was 48, but NPR has reported an additional 49 deaths since the storm and Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Reporting found 69 hospitals had morgue at “capacity” as isolated towns and villages are reached the death toll will climb.