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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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Want to Get into the Doughnut? Tackle Inequality

Want to Get into the Doughnut? Tackle Inequality | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
...we need to get into the doughnut: the safe and just sweet spot between social and planetary boundaries
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must-read article by Kate Raworth.

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Some 95% of 2009-2012 Income Gains Went to Wealthiest 1%

Some 95% of 2009-2012 Income Gains Went to Wealthiest 1% | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Research released this month shows that the incomes of the well-off have largely climbed back from the toll of the most recent recession while those of the poor have yet to start recovering.
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Crisis? Whose crisis?

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The great transformation in the global labour market

The great transformation in the global labour market | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The global expansion of higher education allows work traditionally reserved for the West to be done more cheaply and just as well in emerging nations, write Phillip Brown and Hugh Lauder. The result is that the wages and working conditions of western employees no longer set the global benchmark.

 

Brilliant article in Eurozine on the global war for labour which will put even more pressure on Western wages, working conditions and employment. Must-read piece.

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"The Bad Society"

"The Bad Society" | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The attitude of indifference to income distribution is in fact a recipe for economic growth without end, with the rich, very rich, and super-rich drawing ever further ahead of the rest. This must be wrong for moral and even practical reasons. In moral terms, it puts the prospect of the good life perpetually beyond reach for most people. And, in practical terms, it is bound to destroy the social cohesion on which democracy – or, indeed, any type of peaceful, contented society – ultimately rests."

 

Good article in Project Syndicate by Robert Skidelsky on inequality and its effects on prosperity, the "good life" and democracy.

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Sustainability problems galore but precious few solutions

Sustainability problems galore but precious few solutions | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
While the 250 high level participants at the University of Oxford's Resource conference are clear about why short termism is so dominant, there is no silver bullet that will save civilisation...

 

What seems to have been seriously lacking during this conference is the social dimension of the sustainability crisis. What will be collapse for some (the 99%) could be a bright "gated" green future for others (the 1%). The signs of a new class war we are seeing in the Great Depression will become more visible over time.

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"Labor’s Paradise Lost" by Robert Skidelsky

"Labor’s Paradise Lost" by Robert Skidelsky | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
John Maynard Keynes thought that most people by now would have to work only 15 hours a week to produce all that they needed for subsistence and comfort.

 

Robert Skidelsky's good analysis of why the big productivity revolution and the civilization of "always more" have led to the current global depression.

 

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The Fable of the Century

Imagine a country in which the very richest people get all the economic gains.

 

Wonderful but scary little fable by former  Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

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Stronger social dimension needed in Rio+20 process

Stronger social dimension needed in Rio+20 process | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Clear targets and more political emphasis on sustainable growth, employment and social justice are needed if the Rio+20 conference in June 2012 is to become a real success. This was the main outcome of a two-day debate organised by ETUI and ETUC on 12-13 March at the Danish Metalworkers’ School in Jørlunde, Denmark."

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Does the planet have time to wait for austerity to end?

Does the planet have time to wait for austerity to end? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Environmental activism suffers in a recession – but this time our planet's ecosystems may not have time to wait for a recovery..." 

 

And what if there will be no recovery? What if we have entered the post-growth age? Maybe the planet needs a strong global austerity policy but one which is socially just (= wealth redistribution) and ecologically sustainable.

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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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Tackling inequality - OECD Observer

The average income of the richest 10% of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10%, up from seven times what it was 25 years ago. Even in more egalitarian countries, such as Germany and Sweden, the earnings of the richest are over six times higher than those of the poorest, compared with just over three in 1985. Inequality has narrowed in countries like Chile and Mexico, though the income gap between rich and poor is still 27 to 1, and in Brazil, which as this edition shows has implemented impressive programmes against poverty and inequality, the gap stands at 50 to 1. Clearly, the benefits of economic growth have not trickled down or been fairly distributed.
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Do workers reap the benefits of productivity growth?

Do workers reap the benefits of productivity growth? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

This OECD Insight article summarises an academic report on the relationship between economic growth and gains for ordinary workers.

 

The report by Professor John van Reenen and Joao Pessoa of the London School of Economics shows that decoupling has taken place between growth in productivity and wages and compensations for workers (especially in the bottom-half of income distribution).

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Why economic inequality leads to collapse

Why economic inequality leads to collapse | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The lesson of the Great Crash was that unequal enrichment provokes asset bubbles, excessive demand for debt and, finally, economic failure.

 

Excellent article in The Observer tackles the myths of inequality and economic growth.

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More growth, not less, is the best hope for averting a sixth great extinction

More growth, not less, is the best hope for averting a sixth great extinction | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Over the past few centuries mankind’s economic growth has caused many of the problems that other species face. But as our special report this week argues, greater human prosperity now offers other species their best chance of hanging on.
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Very smart but deceptive article in the Economist on the link between biodiversity and economic growth. Two problems: it equates 'greater human prosperity' with growth and leaves out the social justice factor as an important dimension of why poor countries do even worse on biodiversity protection.

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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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think2share's curator insight, September 7, 2014 10:43 AM

Just showing Thomas this interesting material ....

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Climate Change And The Next U.S. Revolution

"Climate groups cannot view their issue as separate from other groups that are organizing against corporate power. The social movements that have emerged to battle austerity measures are natural allies, as are anti-war and labor activists. The climate solution will inevitably require revolutionary measures, which first requires that alliances and demands are put forward that unite Labor, working people in general, community, and student groups towards collective action."

 

Interesting article in CounterCurrents on the effects of recent freak weather on American beliefs in climate change and the long-term implications for the US political system which is now completely hijacked by corporate interests.

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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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Joseph Stiglitz Sees Terrifying Future for America If We Don't Reverse Inequality |

Joseph Stiglitz Sees Terrifying Future for America If We Don't Reverse Inequality | | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
What will life look like down the road if we don't reverse economic inequality? We must see through the myths of capitalism and build a mass movement if we are to save ourselves.

 

Alternet has a really good interview on inequality and its dangers for democracy with Nobel-Prize economist Joe Stiglitz

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Sustainability transition needs social equity

Interesting zero-draft contribution to the Rio+20 summit by Initiative for Equity, a new global network of activists, academics, civil society groups, and movements around the world working on issues related to social, economic and political inequality.

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Development: Aid to developing countries falls because of global recession

Development: Aid to developing countries falls because of global recession | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Major donors’ aid to developing countries fell by nearly 3% in 2011, breaking a long trend of annual increases. Disregarding years of exceptional debt relief, this was the first drop since 1997.

 

New OECD report confirms that solidarity is becoming a scarce resource.

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The Rich Get Even Richer

The Rich Get Even Richer | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. The top 1 percent had an 11.6 percent increase in income.

 

This NY Times article again confirms the perversity of current financial capitalism. Does anyone really believe this can go on for over?

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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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Free-Trade Blinders - Dani Rodrik - Project Syndicate

Free-Trade Blinders - Dani Rodrik - Project Syndicate | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Too many economists are prone to attribute concerns about globalization to crass protectionist motives or ignorance, even when genuine ethical issues are at stake.

 

Very good article in Project Syndicate written by Harvard professor Dani Rodrik on the dark distributional aspects of free trade.

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Transition écologique et sociale : les syndicats sont dans le coup

Transition écologique et sociale : les syndicats sont dans le coup | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Excellent article by French economist Jean Gadrey on progress in the trade union movement regarding the ecological and social transition.

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Are stock markets stupid?

Are stock markets stupid? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Phillip Inman: The crisis on the eurozone has not stopped the FTSE, Cac and Dax climbing for most of the past three months...

 

Of course not? Their climb only confirms that the rich are not suffering. Crisis, which crisis?  For when "austerity for the rich"? 

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