item73

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...

item3

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.

item53
item25a
item26a
Home
item16
item16b
item16b1
item16b1a
Bookmark and Share
item20

2019 Report: Living-wage assessment – PPP Wage rate gaps for selected "developed and emerging" economies for all employed in manufacturing workers (1996 up to 2017).

Overall, 2017 is the first year in the 22-year span in this report that US hourly wage rates dropped (0,9%). This enabled the vast majority of countries to reduce their comparative wage gaps or increase their surpluses in their manufacturing wage Eq-Index or at least keep their position.

Of the twelve economies in this report with data since 1996, Germany continues to have the best position with an actual equalisation advantage over the US in real PPP terms in its hourly wage rates, followed by France with a one point advantage over US wage rates. All other countries continue to record wage gaps vis-à-vis equivalent manufacturing wage rates in the US. Seven out of the twelve countries in this chart improved their position in 2017 vis-à-vis 2016 by increasing their advantage (Germany and France) or decreasing their wage gaps (Canada, UK, Spain, Japan and South Korea). Brazil and Mexico remained with their same gap in 2017 as in 2016. Only Italy, Singapore and Australia increased their gaps from the previous year. Mexico and Brazil continue reporting the worst wage gaps.

______________________________________________

item21

2019 Report: Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Argentina's wage rate gap 1996-2017

With the staunchly neoliberal Macri government, Argentina reverted the impressive progress achieved in living-wage equalisation in the manufacturing sector of more than one decade. Repairing the damage will be a daunting task of the upcoming Fernández government, if it has the political and economic skill to materialize it.

Argentina is once again in the midst of an extreme economic crisis, as it was in 2002, as the direct result of the deep neoliberal economic policies that were reinstated by the Macri government to return to supply-side economics that depletes labour’s share of income. After the 2002 economic crisis, Argentina experienced a steady improvement of real wages. The Eq-Idx increased 93% between 2002 and 2012 to then drop gradually 19% to 2016. Macri’s government, claiming that their new economic plan would stop the unrelenting increase of inflation and stabilize the economy, did everything it could to reverse the demand-side policies of the preceding Kirchner and Fernández governments. These governments’ policies were instrumental in recovering Argentina’s economy, and, all the more important, much of the standard of living enjoyed prior to the 2002 “corralito crisis”, when Argentinians were unable to have free access to their private funds in their bank accounts for a full year, could not exchange their funds for other currencies, and could only withdraw a very limited amount on a weekly basis.

Prior to Macri’s government, manufacturing wages and their equalisation with US equivalent wages began to recover at a fast pace after 2002. The equalisation with equivalent wages in the US increased at an unprecedented pace, reaching a 58 Eq-Idx in 2012, almost twice the 30 index of 2002. This made Argentina’s manufacturing compensation cost the highest in Iberian America by a large margin. However, the steep increase of both the minimum wage and manufacturing wages, which, for the period 2003-2012, increased an average of 27,5% and 25,1%, respectively, in local currency, were faced with a corresponding inflation average of 16,3% for the same period, that Argentinian governments were unable to control and that subsequently exploded. The race to outperform inflation became unattainable and in 2014, inflation reached 38,6% whilst manufacturing wages increased only 30,3%. In 2015, the last year of the Fernández government, inflation dropped to 26,8%, but then, with Macri, jumped to 39,2% in 2016, dropped again to 24,8% in 2017, exploded to 47,6% in 2018, and it reached 53,5% in the last twelve months (September 2019) and it is expected to reach 57% in 2019.


______________________________________________

item25

2019 Report: Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Brazil's wage rate gap 1996-2017

With the Temer and Bolsonaro governments against demand-side economic policies, Brazil’s labour remunerations are bound to lose in real terms. Temer’s government passed a new law (PEC 55) that freezes all public spending for 20 years, which implies that constitutionally-protected government expenditures in the areas of health, education and other social sectors would remain stunted until 2036. This has in practice ended Brazil’s commitment to sustain its minimum wage appreciation policy, after the minimum wage had more than doubled in real terms since 1996. Manufacturing wages actually lost ground since 1996, until the minimum wage appreciation policy began to have a positive influence from 2009 onwards. But with a renewed recession during the 2014-2016 period that is only beginning to subside and the staunchly neoliberal supply-side approach followed by Bolsonaro’s new government, Brazil will no longer sustain the closing of its Eq-Idx and it is likely to actually increase its equalization gap with comparative wages in the US.

______________________________________________

item55
item35

Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2017 Real wage-gap rates for fourteen selected economies, in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, for all employed in manufacturing. *(The base table used for all PPP real-wage gap analysis)

2017 is the first year in the 22-year span in this report that US hourly wage rates dropped (0,9%). This enabled the vast majority of countries to reduce their comparative wage gaps or increase their surpluses in their manufacturing wage Eq-Index or at least keep their position.

Japan has reversed the downward trend in living-wage equalisation (Eq-Idx) that began in 2013. South Korea sustained the growing trend of its Eq-Idx that resumed in 2014 after a brief downturn in 2013. A strong drop of Singapore’s hourly rate in local currency produced a 1 point loss in its Eq-Idx.

•In the euro zone, Spain, Germany and France stopped their downturn that began in 2012, after steady and stronger growth of the US hourly rate vis-à-vis the growth of their comparative hourly rates in euros. In contrast, Italy’s drop of its hourly rate of almost 4% in local currency and 2% in US dollars, produced further erosion of its Eq-Idx that began in 2014.

The United Kingdom, reversed the sustained erosion of its Eq-Idx that began in 2008 and gained four points from its 2016 position. In contrast, Australia continued to decrease its Eq-Idx that began in 2014, with 4,4% drop of its hourly rate in local currency and a 1,9% increase in the PPP cost of living. In the case of Canada, the combination of its hourly rate increase in Canadian dollars of 9,4%, its currency revaluation of 2,2% and the 0,9% US rate decrease, produced an 11,8% increase of its hourly rate in US dollars between 2016 and 2017.

South Africa is a new economy incorporated into this report, showing a steady increase of its Eq-Idx since 2004, the earliest year with available data. Extremely strong growth of hourly rate in local currency (41%) at a much higher rate than strong currency devaluation (17%) produced a strong 31% increase of Turkey’s Eq-Idx, the highest of all economies included in our reports.

In Brazil the hourly rates and the Eq-Idx are bound to drop in 2018 and 2019, given that Bolsonaro’s new government is deepening the anti-labour policies initiated by the Temer government. In Mexico wage policy appears to have changed in 2017 after the execution of consistent supply-side policies over more than three decades. Yet, Mexico continues to have one of the widest living-wage gaps among the 41 countries included in all our reports, just ahead of China, India and the Philippines.

______________________________________________

item26

2019 Report: Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Mexico's wage rate gap 1996-2017

Mexico’s fraudulent government, fixated on the precarisation of Mexican society, deliberately contained real wages in manufacturing and across all economic sectors as a core matter of its economic policy for nearly 36 years. This appears to begin to change.

Mexico’s track record since 1996 exposed a deliberate state policy of maintaining modern-slave-work real wages between 1996 and 2015. However, wage policy appears to have changed in 2017 after the execution of consistent supply-side policies over more than three decades. For the first time the federal minimum wage was increased above inflation in 2017 and 2018. Through a so-called “Independent Recovery Amount”, the minimum wage for 2017 was increased arbitrarily by 9,6%, including 3,9% to offset the estimated CPI inflation rate. The same criterion was applied for 2018, for a total minimum wage increase of 10,4%, including a 3,9% increase to offset CPI inflation. In 2019, Mexico’s new government, touting to implement a strong minimum wage recovery policy, increased the minimum wage by 16,2%, including a 5% increase to offset inflation.

All of this seems to have a direct positive impact on manufacturing wages in real terms and on its equalisation with comparative US wages. Between 2014 and 2017 the hourly rate in local currency increased 41,2%, but the peso experienced a steep devaluation of 29,8%. Thus the hourly rate in US dollars decreased slightly by 0,8%. However, due to the devaluation of the Mexican peso and low inflation, the PPP conversion factor dropped 23,6% for the same period. This allowed the Eq-Idx to gain four points, to 23, both in 2016 and 2017, the highest recorded index in the 22 year span of time. Yet, Mexico continues to have one of the widest living-wage gaps among the 41 countries included in all our reports, just ahead of China, India and the Philippines.

______________________________________________

item27

2019 Report: Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Spain's wage rate gap 1996-2017

Spain experienced a very meaningful increase of its Eq-Idx in 2017, gaining 4 points equivalent to a 4,5% increase; the result of the combination of the increase of its hourly rate in euros, the euro revaluation against the US dollar and the drop of 0,9% of the US hourly rate. Although this is a reversal of its previous drop between 2014 and 2016, the change is in line with the vast majority of European economies for the same reasons.

Spain had made great economic strides in its convergence with the major European economies in the last part of the twentieth century, but began to stall after 1996, during the rule of its conservative government. Spain’s Eq-Idx for production-line workers in manufacturing rose powerfully from 51 in 1975 to 84 in 1990, but then it began to hover in the mid 70s indices. In this way, the Eq-Idx —in purchasing power parity terms— of total hourly compensation costs for all employed in manufacturing has not reached an 80 index and has continued to linger since joining the euro between 70 in 1999 and 77 in 2017, averaging nearly a 73 index for the period. This is the result of supply-side economic policies applied by both right and left of centre governments that no longer sought to put at par Spain’s labour compensations in manufacturing with the compensation rates of equivalent workers in the major economies of the euro area (Germany, France and Italy) under the principle of equal pay for equal work of equal value. The end result appears to be the deliberate decision to keep wages —in terms of living wage equalisation— at the same level they have recorded vis-à-vis the US, Germany, France and Italy.

______________________________________________

Living-wage assessment – twenty-eight European economies.

2017 is the first year in the 22-year span in this report that US hourly wage rates dropped (0,9%). This enabled the vast majority of countries to reduce their comparative wage gaps or increase their
surpluses in their manufacturing wage Eq-Index. Most European economies improved their living-wage equalisation position very meaningfully.

______________________________________________

Living-wage assessment – eight Asia and Oceania economies.

2017 is the first year in the 22-year span in this report that US hourly wage rates dropped (0,9%). This enabled the vast majority of countries 9except for Australia and Singapore) to reduce their comparative wage gaps or increase their surpluses in their manufacturing wage Eq-Index or at least keep their position. This allowed most countries in the region to improve their living wage equalisation position to improve.

______________________________________________

Living-wage assessment – the four largest economies in the Americas (Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina).

2017 is the first year in the 22-year span in this report that US hourly wage rates dropped (0,9%). This enabled the vast majority of countries to reduce their comparative wage gaps or increase their surpluses in their manufacturing wage Eq-Index. In the Americas, all four major economies reduced their equalisation gaps or remained at the same level.

In the case of Canada, the combination of its hourly rate increase in Canadian dollars of 9,4%, its currency revaluation of 2,2% and the 0,9% US rate decrease, produced an 11,8% increase of its hourly rate in US dollars
between 2016 and 2017. This enabled its living wage equalisation index (Eq-Idx) to grow 10,2%, from 75 to 83, its highest since 2010.

In Argentina, In 2017, in local currency, the minimum wage managed to increase by 17,2% in nominal terms but inflation grew by 24,8%. In 2018 the minimum wage increased 12,9% but inflation reached 47,8%. In 2017, manufacturing hourly rates increased 29,1% in pesos and 15% in US dollars, whilst the US hourly rate dropped almost 1%, This allowed Argentina’s manufacturing hourly wage rates to increase its equalisation index by three points to a 50 Index. However, with inflation close to 48% and a devaluation of 41% in 2018, Argentina’s hourly rates and their equalisation index with comparative US rates are certain to drop dramatically in 2018, with CPI and exchange rate indicators looking even worse for 2019.

In Brazil the hourly rates and the Eq-Idx are bound to drop in 2018 and 2019, given that Bolsonaro’s new government is deepening the anti-labour policies initiated by the Temer government.

In Mexico wage policy appears to have changed in 2017 after the execution of consistent supply-side policies over more than three decades. This allowed the Eq-Idx to gain four points, to 23, both in 2016 and 2017, the highest recorded index in the 22 year span of time, but still the country continues having the widest living-wage gap in the Americas by far.



______________________________________________

item45

Labour-Value Commodity Chains

—The Hidden Abode of Global Production

As in V. I. Lenin’s conceptualisation, imperialism can be broadly defined as the complex intermingling of economic and political interests, related to the efforts of large capital to control economic territory. Imperialism has several interrelated aspects: (1) geopolitical (including military) struggle by nation-states for positions within the international hierarchy of the system, encompassing the control of colonies or neo-colonies, (2) dispossession of petty producers outside of capitalist production, and (3) global exploitation (along with expropriation—or appropriation without an equivalent) of labour in capitalist production, particularly under the domination of multinational firms emanating primarily from the core of the system. This work focuses almost entirely on the third aspect, without in any way denying the significance of the other two. At issue is the extraction (or drain) of surplus from the poor countries by the rich countries and/or their corporations. I argue that one way to understand the persistent imperialist characteristics of the world economy is through examining the exploitation that occurs in what Karl Marx calls the hidden abode of production—which, in the era of global commodity chains, is located in the global South. Although production has shifted to the South, imperialist relations of exchange continue to prevail, precisely the class struggles central to it without focusing on the due to the fact that the difference in wages between issue of exploitation, analysed through the labour theory the North and South is greater than the difference in of value. This remains equally true when examining the productivity. As Tony Norfield argues in The City, economy on a global level.imperialism in the present stage of capitalist development has its primary basis in the inescapable reality that a few major corporations from a small number of countries dominate the world market, world finance, and the global structure of production.

______________________________________________
 

item4
item75
item36

Global Wage Report 2018/2019

Lowest wage growth globally in 2017 since 2008


Global wage growth in 2017 was not only lower than in 2016, but fell to its lowest growth rate since 2008, remaining far below the levels obtaining before the global financial crisis. Global wage growth in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) has declined from 2.4 per cent in 2016 to just 1.8 per cent in 2017. If China, whose large population and rapid wage growth significantly influence the global average, is excluded, global wage growth in real terms fell from 1.8 per cent in 2016 to 1.1 per cent in 2017.

Real wage growth is calculated using gross monthly wages, rather than hourly wage rates, which are less frequently available, and fluctuations therefore reflect both hourly wages and the average number of hours worked.
 

______________________________________________

 


 

item40

Human Development Indices and Indicators — 2018 ststitical update

Inequalities in human development —a grave challenge to progress. — Going beyond the average achievements, the IHDI and disaggregated assessments reveal large inequalities across human development dimensions. When the HDI is adjusted for inequalities, the global HDI value falls 20 percent


Human development is about human freedoms. It is about building human capabilities—not just for a few, not even for most, but for everyone. In 1990 UNDP published the first Human Development Report (HDR). Since then, it has produced more than 800 global, regional, national and subnational HDRs and organized hundreds of workshops, conferences and other outreach initiatives to foster human development. These activities have extended the frontiers of analytical thinking about human progress beyond economic growth, firmly placing people and human well-being at the centre of development policies and strategies.

______________________________________________

item71

Farewell to Development

An Interview with Arturo Escobar

As inequality and environmental degradation worsen, the search is on not only for alternative development models but also for alternatives to development itself. Leading post-development theorist Arturo Escobar, co-editor of The Post-Development Dictionary and author of Design for the Pluriverse, discusses the fight for pluralism and justice in Latin America with Allen White, Senior Fellow at the Tellus Institute.

______________________________________________

Top

   Site Map
   Contact us
item6
item5
Castellano
item19a
item2a1a2a
item15
item2a1a
item18
item2a1
item14
  Our Newsletters!
item16b1a1
item16b1a2
item16b1a3
item16b1a4
item16b1a5
item16b1a6
2017!
2019!
New 2019 Report!
New 2019 Report!
New 2019 Report!
New 2019 Report!
New 2019 Report!
Winter 2020!
item33

Planetary Offensive Against Social Security

According to the times, cultures, civilisations and the social-economic situation, the "problem" that old people entail is "solved" in different ways. Some nomadic people left the old people at the edge of the road and certain sedentary people took them away from the village and abandoned them with some food and water. But also in all ages, different peoples, recognising the virtues of old age, such as experience and wisdom, have cared for and respected the old.

Modern societies invented retirement, with diverse systems that range from providing a few crumbs of bread to the old when they can no longer work and are at the cemetery doors (if they did not die before in their jobs) to provide them with a relatively comfortable remuneration when they can still enjoy life a little, resting and / or taking care of the things that interest them.

But for a few years there has been a widespread offensive against social security. The explanation is that as a result of the concentration and accumulation of capital, large oligopolies and monopolies were formed whose financial base was consolidated from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century with the merger of industrial capital and financial capital.
 

______________________________________________
 

2020!
2020!
item42

Marxism and Ecology:

Common Fonts of a Great Transition
 

To link Marxism and ecological transition may seem at first like trying to bridge two entirely different movements and discourses, each with its own history and logic: one having mainly to do with class relations, and the other, the relation between humans and the environment. Historically, however, socialism has influenced the development of ecological thought and practice, while ecology has informed socialist thought and practice. Since the nineteenth century, the relationship between the two has been complex, interdependent, and dialectical.

Marxian approaches to the planetary ecological crisis and the socio-ecological transformation necessary for its resolution have evolved rapidly in recent decades. This has created the basis for a much more powerful, collective struggle for a Great Transition, in which values of “consumerism, individualism, and domination of nature” are replaced with “a new triad: quality of life, human solidarity, and ecological sensibility.” The demands for a society dedicated to need rather than profit and to human equality and solidarity have long been associated with socialism. More recently, socialist thinkers have given equal importance to ecological sustainability, building on Karl Marx’s environmental critique of capitalism and his pioneering vision of sustainable human development.

This essay unearths the deep ecological roots of Marx’s thought, showing how he brought an environmental perspective to bear on the overarching question of social transformation. From there, it traces the evolution of Marxian ecology, illuminating its profound, formative link to modern ecological economics and systems ecology. It concludes by discussing the wider project of building a social movement broad and deep enough to halt and reverse ecological and social destruction.

For the first time in human history, our species faces a dire existential choice. We can continue on the path of business as usual and risk catastrophic Earth-system change—what Frederick Engels metaphorically referred to as “the revenge” of nature”—or we can take the transformative route of social-system change aimed at egalitarian human development in coevolution with the vital parameters of the earth.3 This constitutes the epochal challenge of our time: to advance radical reform measures that oppose the logic of capital in the historical present while coalescing with a long revolution to construct a new social and ecological formation that promotes sustainable human development.

______________________________________________
 

item39

Absolute Capitalism

The Capture of the Democratic State by the Neoliberal Ethos
 

The French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote in 1864 that “the cleverest ruse of the Devil is to persuade you he does not exist!” I will argue here that this is directly applicable to today’s neoliberals, whose devil’s ruse is to pretend they do not exist. Although neoliberalism is widely recognised as the central political-ideological project of twenty-first-century capitalism, it is a term that is seldom uttered by those in power. In 2005, the New York Times went so far as to make neoliberalism’s nonexistence official by running an article entitled “Neoliberalism? It Doesn’t Exist.”

Behind this particular devil’s ruse lies a deeply disturbing, even hellish, reality. Neoliberalism can be defined as an integrated ruling-class political-ideological project, associated with the rise of monopoly-finance capital, the principal strategic aim of which is to embed the state in capitalist market relations.ence. the state’s traditional role in safeguarding social reproduction—if largely on capitalist-class terms—is now reduced solely to one of promoting capitalist reproduction. The goal is nothing less than the creation of an absolute capitalism. All of this serves to heighten the extreme human and ecological destructiveness that characterises our time.

______________________________________________
 

item41
2020!
2020!
2020!
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
2020!
item62
item78
item80
2018!
2019!
2019!

The Light Side of the Mooney... Money

From Redistribution to Distribution

I've seen things you people wouldn’t believe. The environment on fire off of human greed. I watched the social divide spread so far out that it becomes a U-shaped turn […] The free interpretation of Roy's famous monologue in Blade Runner is useful for introducing Philopony - getting out of the money paradigm, the essay with which I take part in the book “Work and the value of robots - Artificial intelligence and non-occupation”.

Philopony, a Succinct Definition
Before starting, a few words about Philopony; industriousness in Plato's language and lexicon; is given in the text not only as a talent for doing but parting from stress on effort, on fatigue—πόνος (pain), coming to the concept of commitment, to get involved, both personally and as part of the the community...

The laws of economics are artificial laws not to be confused for any reason with the laws of nature… Being able to adopt the ideas of theartificiality of the economy is a first step which is all an inner and intellectual event yet necessary to achieve emancipation.

.______________________________________________
 

Capturadepantalla20191031alas145449
 The Underlying Causes of Immigration

Freedom and Responsibility — Sustainable Prosperity Through a Capabilities Lens


Are we at liberty to live our lives completely as we wish? Or are there constraints we have to be aware of as we want to avoid harming others and respect principles of ecological justice? And are lifestyles that embrace basic principles of ecological justice always dull and simple lives, where many enjoyable things are beyond reach, and which therefore entail a regress in our quality of life? Or is there a possibility to live lives that are at the same time sustainable and just, and that also allow us to be happy and flourishing?

This set of questions is one of the most central in the task of thinking about sustainable prosperity. To many people’s minds there is an inevitable trade-off between living ecologically sustainable on the one hand and living with higher levels of well-being on the other. If that trade-off is a real one, then those striving towards a more sustainable future are facing an uphill task, since ecological sustainability will only be possible by lowering people’s well-being—something most people have so far been unwilling to do. But is this trade-off real or is it spurious? Is it possible to lead good lives that are simultaneously just and ecologically sustainable?

 

______________________________________________
 

New dedicated space 2020!
item34
Castellano The Underlying Causes of Immigration