In the last few months basic income—an unconditional cash payment to every member of the population—has been getting more and more attention in the media and social networks. Three items are especially interesting.
First, Yanis Varoufakis, the able Greek economist, Minister for Finance in the first Syriza government and well known for his trenchant opposition to Troika austerity measures bashing the poor and already vulnerable majority of the population, has become such a media star that every time he gives an opinion on political economy, some theoretical aspect of economics or economic policy, his words are widely disseminated. Hence, his remarks on basic income, which he described as “a necessity” at the Future of Work conference in Zurich on 5 May 2016, are of no small import.
Ralph Nader presents Breaking through Power—Citizens Revolutionary Week. Celebrating the 50th anniversary year of Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed, the Center for Study of Responsive Law announces four days of civic mobilization at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. on May 23, 24, 25 and 26, 2016.
(World Humanitarian Summit, Istanbul) — The World Humanitarian Summit ended yesterday evening — and though it may come as a surprise to many, much of the discussion in Istanbul focused squarely on the Sustainable Development Goals–the set of 17 anti-poverty goals established at the United Nations Summit last September. Although often conflated, most people view …
Describing a heartbreaking and horrific scene of hundreds of bodies floating on the surface of the Mediterranean, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) confirmed Sunday that more than 700 asylum seekers drowned last week, capping off the deadliest period for those fleeing war and violence in over a year.
Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when he was shot and I saw his assassin, preparing to kill him. It was a baptism in the American way, along with the salivating violence of the Chicago police at the Democratic Party’s rigged convention. The great counter revolution had begun.
The first to be assassinated that year, Martin Luther King, had dared link the suffering of African-Americans and the people of Vietnam. When Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, she spoke perhaps unconsciously for millions of America’s victims in faraway places.
Key parts of neoliberal economic policy have increased inequality and risk stunting economic growth across the globe, economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have warned.
Neoliberalism – the dominant economic ideology since the 1980s – tends to advocate a free market approach to policymaking: promoting measures such as privatisation, public spending cuts, and deregulation.
It is generally antipathetic to the public sector and believes the private sector should play a greater role in the economy.
Inequality is the issue of our time. The gap between rich and poor has ceased closing; instead it’s getting worse. That gap exacerbates every other problem we face, from climate change (poor people are hit harder, rich people are the major cause) to infectious disease (countries with weak health systems become reservoirs for infection). Thomas …
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