Research and analysis to provoke public awareness and critical thinking
We contribute to the liberalisation of the democratic instituions of society, for they have been captured by the owners of the market. They work in tandem with their market agents, who, posing as public servants, are entrenched in the halls of government. The political class has betrayed its public mandate and instead operates to impose a marketocratic state to maximise the shareholder value of the institutional investors of international financial markets. They own the global corporations and think they own the world on behalf of their very private interest.
Our spheres of action: true democracy – true sustainability – living wage – basic income – inequality – ecological footprint – degrowth – global warming –human development – corporate accountability – civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, responsible consumption, sustainable autonomous citizen cells...
Parting from an ethos of true democracy and true sustainability, We, the citizenry, work to advance the paradigm whose only purpose is to go in pursuit of the welfare of People and Planet and NOT the market.
Living-wage assessment – PPP Wage rate gaps for selected "developed and emerging" economies for all employed in manufacturing workers (1996 up to 2015).
From an equalisation perspective, among East Asian countries, South Korea has not been able to sustain its growing trend and instead declined in 2014 and then stalled. Japan shows a similar equalisation trend and has been declining since 2014 as well. After strong gains since 1996, particularly for South Korea, both reached their best position in 2012 or 2013, but in 2015 both dropped back to the levels recorded in 2010 for South Korea and 2006 for Japan, with Eq-Idx of 66 and 67 respectively. Singapore in contrast has been able to sustain a growing Eq-Idx, and despite a drop in 2013, it has now been able to recover and reach its best position ever, with a 78 index in 2015.
Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Argentina's wage rate gap 1996-2015
Despite high inflation and currency devaluations since 2010, real wages continued growing powerfully in US dollars. This allowed manufacturing wages to only lose two points in their Equalised Index (Eq-Idx) since 2013, when they reached their best index (56), the highest recorded in twenty years.
Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Brazil's wage rate gap 1996-2015
Brazil has no longer sustained its Eq-Idx due to the deep recession that has ensued in the last years. Brazil’s government has continued complying with its minimum wage appreciation law, but equalisation will not resume until economic growth also resumes.
Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2015 Real wage-gap rates for twelve economies, in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, for all employed in manufacturing. *(The base table used for all PPP real-wage gap analysis)
Beginning with the 2012 living-wage gap assessments, the purchasing power parities (PPPs) used refer to private consumption ~(i.e., household final consumption expenditure), as opposed to the PPPs for Gross Domestic Product previously applied. The PPP for GDP includes prices for the entire economy and not just for the private consumption of consumer households. This change enables Jus Semper to deliver a more accurate metric of all the indicators that we used in our methodology to assess the wage gaps between actual and equalised wage rates. The PPPs for private consumption have been therefore revised for all years beginning in 1996.
Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Mexico's wage rate gap 1996-2015
Nothing has changed in 2015 except to get worse.. The Mexican State, which has been permanently challenged for the lack of legitimacy of its elections in 2006 and 2012, corroborates every year its vocation as a customary violator of the labour rights of its citizens.
Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Spain's wage rate gap 1996-2015
To put Spain’s living wage rate position in a European perspective, only three economies recorded gains in 2015 vis-à-vis 2014, seven others recorded no change , whilst Spain and nine others recorded a widening of their living-wage gap with equivalent U.S. wages. This is worse than when comparing 2015 versus 2012, when Spain and three others recorded no change but seven recorded gains in their equalisation. Overall, as with most countries, wage equalisation in Spain’s manufacturing sector has stagnated, but extremely high unemployment and the deliberate neoliberal job casualisation policy remain its most conspicuous features.
Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2015 Real wage-gap rates for twenty-one European economies.
Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2015 Real wage-rate gaps for eight Asia and Oceania economies.
Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2015 Real wage-gap rates for the four largest economies in the Americas (Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina).
Mexico’s Dependent Economy – Manufacturing wages lower than in China
Trump behaves as if Mexico tyrannises the US, taking its jobs while sending migrants north. However, it is the US that has impoverished Mexico.
Perspectives About a Treaty on Transnational Corporations: Triumphalistic Activism vs. the Reality of Facts
Alejandro Teitelbaum warns against the optimism conveyed by many NGOs about the issue of progress made by NGOs to make governments adopt binding norms to be applied to corporations regarding human rights in their sphere of influence. He argues that to express that the political pressure of the social movements, NGOs and communities affected by human rights violations has managed to overcome the blockade of the EU and other States trying to endanger the continuity of the process, is totally subjective and alien to the reality of the facts and / or an attempt to overvalue the activism of some NGOs.
The author thinks that it is correct to take the discussion to the heart of the UN, as a way to publicise the denunciation against the TNCs. But it must necessarily be accompanied by the denunciation —inside and outside the UN— of the negative role of states —despite the demagogic discourse of some of them— and of the decision-making bodies within the UN, which are instruments at the service of the great powers and of transnational economic power. The triumphalist declarations of some activists and NGOs imply taking on the grave responsibility of deceiving the victims of transnational economic power instead of, as it should be, trying to make them aware about the true scope of the problem.
For this reason, Teitelbaum considers that in the very unlikely case that a treaty was approved it should be noted that a treaty is binding only for those states that sign it and formally adhere to it. Moreover, it is hard to imagine the governments of the great powers signing and their respective parliaments ratifying the adhesion to a treaty that limits the activities of transnational
corporations; and that sanctions the violations committed against economic, social and cultural rights and against human rights in general.
Global Wage Report 2014/2015
The Global Wage Report 2014/15 presents both the latest trends in average wages and an analysis of the role of wages in income inequality. The first part of the report shows that global wage growth in recent years was driven by emerging and developing economies, where real wages have been rising since 2007 although wage growth slowed in 2013 compared to 2012. In developed economies, wages generally remained stagnant in 2012 and 2013, and in a number of countries wages remained below their 2007 level. These trends are a matter of concern.
At the level of the individual worker or firm, the immediate impacts of higher or lower wages are self-evident. At the national level, the effects of higher or lower wages on aggregate demand and employment are context-specific and cannot be predicted or evaluated without taking into account the level of wages relative to productivity, the degree of openness of the country under consideration and the relative size of the different components of aggregate demand. At the international level, if too many countries pursue wage moderation policies, the outcome is likely to be negative. In the current environment, in which the global economy risks sliding back into a low-growth trap, higher wage growth would be desirable in those countries where wages in the past have lagged behind productivity growth. As the report demonstrates, in some countries policies have already started to shift in that direction.
The second part of the report turns to the role of wages in income in- equality. Inequality has become the subject of growing interest in recent years across the world, and there has been a realization that growing inequality not only undermines social justice objectives, but can also have adverse economic conse- quences. Through the adoption of the 2008 Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, ILO Members renewed their commitment to pursue policies with regard to wages and earnings designed to ensure a just share of the fruits of pro- gress to all and recognized that for a fair outcome for all, it has become even more necessary to achieve social cohesion and to combat poverty and rising inequalities.
In many countries, the distribution of wages and paid employment has been a key factor in recent inequality trends. This highlights the importance of labour market institutions and policies – including minimum wages and collective bar- gaining – that have an effect on income distribution.
Human Development Report 2015
Work enhances human development, but some work damages human development and some work puts workers at risk.
When positive, work provides benefits beyond material wealth and fosters community, knowledge, strengthens dignity and inclusion. Nearly a billion workers in agriculture, 450 million entrepreneurs, 80 million workers in health and education, 53 million domestic workers, 970 million voluntary workers contribute to human progress.
When negative, in the form of forced labour, child labour and human trafficking, work can violate human rights, threaten freedom and shatter dignity. An estimated 21 million people are currently in forced labour of whom 14 million (67 percent) were exploited for labour and 4.5 million (22 percent) sexually exploited. There are still 168 million child labourers worldwide. And some work e.g. work in hazardous industries may put workers in risk. There are 30 million workers in mining and their face risks every day.
Over the years work has contributed considerably to impressive progress in human development. However the progress has been uneven with significant human deprivations and large human potentials remain unused.
The Degrowth Alternative
Both the name and the theory of degrowth aim explicitly to repoliticize environmentalism. Sustainable development and its more recent reincarnation “green growth” depoliticize genuine political antagonisms between alternative visions for the future. They render environmental problems technical, promising win-win solutions and the impossible goal of perpetuating economic growth without harming the environment. Ecologizing society, degrowthers argue, is not about implementing an alternative, better, or greener development. It is about imagining and enacting alternative visions to modern growth-based development. This essay explores such alternatives and identifies grassroots practices and political changes for facilitating a transition to a prosperous and equitable world without growth.
The Role of the Working Class in the Struggle Against Transnational Corporations
The transnational corporation has been defined as "a company that tries to conduct its activities on an international scale, as if there are no national borders, on the basis of a common strategy run by the corporate centre". Its policies are established by the decisions of the corporate centre regarding the location of the plants and what each of them produces in the production chain and in terms of marketing and financing. But in addition and above all, transnational societies are the nucleus of the contemporary capitalist system, imperialist and uttermost exploitative. Thus, it can be concluded that the struggle to dismantle the power of transnational corporations is difficult and complex, it demands the exclusion of a naive optimism that can disorient public opinion and needs to be clearly framed in the objective of abolishing the capitalist system. And whose main protagonist must be the working class of each country and constituted in a unique international front.