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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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European Union's Banking Union Can Work

European Union's Banking Union Can Work | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It won't be easy, but the half-baked idea of a banking union can be turned into something useful if the European Central Bank follows certain steps.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Question is not if it would work. Question is if Europe's citizens really need it. Why not a citizens' union or a social union? Banking union shows where EU elites have their priorities

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Shredded Social Safety Net: European Austerity Costing Lives

Shredded Social Safety Net: European Austerity Costing Lives | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
As the euro crisis wears on, the tough austerity measures implemented in ailing member states are resulting in serious health issues, a study revealed on Wednesday.
Willy De Backer's insight:

How the EU's austerity policies is leading to more suicides, mental illness and increased epidemics. Spiegel report based on scientific article in The Lancet.

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System Innovation and a New ‘Great Transformation’: Re-embedding Economic Life in the Context of ‘De-Growth’

System Innovation and a New ‘Great Transformation’: Re-embedding Economic Life in the Context of ‘De-Growth’ | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"the parameters of a post-growth welfare regime might be expected to include a new social compact between ‘mutualized’ capital and partially de-commodified labour along with a greater role for bottom-up, communitarian forms of welfare provision. It is more likely than has been the case under conditions of growth that the selection environment may favour more ‘embedded’ forms of economic activity, insulating both social and ecological capital from the predations of unregulated markets.."

Willy De Backer's insight:

One of the best articles of 2012, not always easy to read but a great analysis of how the new limits to growth needs fundamental rethinking of the role of the state, communities, and social innovators fighting for social and ecological protection.

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Workers Need Sustainability, Too

Workers Need Sustainability, Too | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Even companies with broad and aggressive environmental commitments are neglecting a core component of sustainability: worker health and safety. Heather Lang reports.

 

"Growing public concern over environmental issues does not yet fully extend to social issues, particularly worker treatment. Likewise, while many companies compete over environmental leadership, social issues are often critically overlooked."

 

Very good analysis of one of the often forgotten dimensions of sustainability.

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Krugman on the "austerians": Death of a Fairy Tale

Krugman on the "austerians": Death of a Fairy Tale | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The good news first: people are finally admitting that austerity measures are not working. Now the bad news: there seems to be little prospect of a near-term course change.

 

Good analysis by Paul Krugman of the slow demise of the austerity religion in Europe.

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Tackling inequality: a new role for the state

"For the last thirty years we have been operating a faulty economic model. Yet it has survived the second deepest recession of the last 100 years largely intact. To escape today’s era of slow and intermittent growth and prolonged instability requires the great concentrations of income and wealth to be broken up – just as they were in the 1930s. Instead, across the globe, the great wealth divide has continued to grow through the recession." (Source: Open Democracy)

 

Brilliant analysis of the relationship between the Great Depression and 30 years of free-market policies which increased inequalities in all economies.

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Economic unfairness, not overregulation, is the problem

Economic unfairness, not overregulation, is the problem | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Interesting poll in the US: majority thinks inequality is a bigger problem than over-regulation. Does this ring the end for the "free the market" fundamentalism which has caused our economic chaos?

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New Report: Social Justice in the OECD

"The SGI project has released a new study on Social Justice in the OECD. The report offers a comparative assessment of 31 OECD countries with regard to six key dimensions: poverty prevention, equitable access to education, labor market inclusiveness, social cohesion and non-discrimination, health as well as intergenerational justice."

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The Protests and the Metamovement - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review

The Protests and the Metamovement - Umair Haque - Harvard Business Review | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Excellent analysis by Umair Haque of the new protest movements for social justice :

 

"The Metamovement isn't just a faint, transient echo, but the increasingly resonant reverberation of people challenging this brutal state of malfunction, this Great Splintering of institutions and social contracts. Their truth, I suspect, might be this: there's no one left to turn to — and so the Metamovement has turned to each other. Not for yesterday's notions of "solidarity", or the corporatist ideal of "inspiration, "but as nodes in a pulsing network whose coherence defines it: to demand institutions which can literally deliver the goods of enlightened social contracts. That enshrine in the people, first and foremost, the inalienable right to be authors of their own destinies — instead of condemning them to be mute puppets."

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Robert Skidelsky: Death To Machines?

Robert Skidelsky: Death To Machines? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Professor Robert Skidelsky looks at the dawn of a second machine age and explores the lessons of the Luddites for today's economy.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Skidelsky's insightful reading of Brynjolfsson and McAfee's Second Machine Age is a plea to re-evaluate the Luddites.

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State Capture and the Democratic Movement

State Capture and the Democratic Movement | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"What is urgently needed are initiatives to expose the capture of states by the financial sector, but also—much more difficult—analysis of how societies in crisis allow stereotypes of the ‘other’ to be popularised, opening the way to violence and ultimately, war."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent article on how the capture of the state by the financial elites is leading to nationalist-populist policies to undermine the social welfare state and organised labour.

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Europe's Lost Generation Costs $200 Billion A Year: Study

Europe's Lost Generation Costs $200 Billion A Year: Study | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"A lost generation of 14 million out-of-work and disengaged young Europeans is costing member states a total of €153bn (£124bn) a year – 1.2% of the EU's gross domestic product – the largest study of the young unemployed has concluded."

 

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Is a sustainable future within reach?

Is a sustainable future within reach? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
John Elkington finds inspiration in the ready and available solutions listed in the Sustainia100 prospectus...

 

Interesting post by John Elkington on the Guardian's Sustainable Business blog but strange that the "father" of the "triple bottom line" is seriously leaving out the social dimension of sustainability. Are the capitalist elites preparing their Green Army-protected sustainability islands in the midst of civilisation collapse?

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Why aren't we preventing harm?

Why aren't we preventing harm? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Less than five per cent of the £110 billion annual budget for health is spent on public health and health promotion. We prefer to fund flashing blue lights, emergency rooms and defibrillators. Yet it is chronic obesity, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, hypertension, depression and addiction that are swallowing up the healthcare budget. These are the modern ‘dis-eases’ of society: not amenable to quick-fix cure, and requiring treatment at root.

 

Good article from the New Economics Foundation looking at how policymakers are trying to cure instead of prevent social evils.

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IMF economist: equality is the best remedy against crisis

IMF economist: equality is the best remedy against crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Unless countries reduce income disparities the next financial collapse is inevitable, argues economist Michael Kumhof. Perhaps a surprising conclusion from a senior researcher at the IMF. In interview he argues that equality is the best recipe against crisis."

 

Great interview in Eurozine with IMF economist Michael Kumhof.

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How, Exactly, Does Trade Bring Prosperity?

How, Exactly, Does Trade Bring Prosperity? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
In America, workers are pressured to accept wage cuts, loss of job security, elimination of pensions, and more shifting of medical costs. Maybe we should start calling free trade agreements "de-industrialization agreements."

 

Interesting editorial on the "free trade" ideology and its social implications in The Huffington Post.

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Top 1% are getting even richer

Top 1% are getting even richer | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
From 1979 to 2007, average household income for the nation's top 1% nearly tripled, while middle-class incomes grew by less than 40%, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found.

 

Austerity policies do not hurt the rich, while American dream becomes American nightmare for the middle classes.

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Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires

Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
President Obama will seek a new minimum tax rate to ensure that people making more than $1 million a year pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, administration officials said.

Populist measure from a weak president - will have no impact whatsoever on US and global inequality.

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