An Automated World? An interview with Jim Stanford

Green Agenda contributor Mark Riboldi recently sat down with Jim Stanford to talk about automation and what it means for the future of work.

Jim is an economist and the Director of the Centre for Future Work. He recently moved to Australia from Canada where he served for over 20 years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union (formerly the Canadian Auto Workers).

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Goin’ where the weather suits my clothes

On the 9th December, 2016, the Green Institute published the paper Can Less Work be More Fair: a discussion paper on Universal Basic Income and Shorter Working Week. As part of this release Green Agenda will be republishing a number of essay from the paper.

The third paper we are publishing is from Louise Tarrant, “Goin’ where the weather suits my clothes.

How might a Universal Basic Income (UBI) and shorter working hours interact with challenges facing democracy, civil society and community engagement?

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Not Just a Basic Income

On the 9th December, 2016, the Green Institute published the paper Can Less Work be More Fair: a discussion paper on Universal Basic Income and Shorter Working Week. As part of this release Green Agenda will be republishing a number of essay from the paper.

The second paper we are publishing is from Ben Spies-Butcher, “Not Just a Basic Income.

One of the great attractions of Universal Basic Income (UBI) is the breadth of its support. Not only are progressives like Martin Luther King and Eric Olin-Wright strong supporters, but so too are free market advocates like Milton Friedman and tech-savvy entrepreneurs. The libertarian impulse behind a basic income—allowing people to spend money as they see fit and without judgment—creates interesting alliances, but it also potentially conceals important points of difference. Depending on both the level of payment, and the other policies it complements or replaces, a UBI can have radically different implications. A basic income can potentially help break down the stigma and conditionality of many government payments, and improve work incentives and equity. However, where it is used to replace other components of social policy—whether through ‘buying out’ public services or reducing the ‘need’ for fair labour laws and job creation, it may instead serve to entrench the inequalities of a neoliberal world. Continue reading →

Towards an Historical Account of Universal Basic Income

On the 9th December, 2016, the Green Institute published the paper Can Less Work be More Fair: a discussion paper on Universal Basic Income and Shorter Working Week. As part of this release Green Agenda will be republishing a number of essay from the paper.

We start today with Elise Klein’s paper, “Towards an Historical Account of Universal Basic Income.

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a simple idea which has been supported over the centuries by scholars and intellectuals including Thomas More, Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, Henry George, Bertrand Russell, Franklin Roosevelt and Tony Atkinson. Universal Basic Income unconditionally provides every resident (children and adults) of a particular geographic location, a regular and unconditional subsistence wage.

Scholars, activists, and politicians have argued that UBI has radical potential for societies around the world. Reviewing the contemporary literature, there are three main ways UBI has been talked about:

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Building Momentum for Change

Does strategic community organising create and lead sweeping social change? Or does social change momentum arrive from disruptive actions and sweep individuals and organisations along with it? This is the question tackled by US labour, civil rights and immigration rights activist brothers Paul and Mark Engler in This is an Uprising; the answer, of course, is ‘both’. Continue reading →

Understanding the anti-elite Trump vote

The aftermath of the stunning victory of Donald Trump to the White House has left many asking the same question: how on Earth did he do it?

While the analysis is still fresh, and formulating, one can highlight three theories as to why Trump will be the next President of the United States.

The first, and probably most common among liberals, is that Trump’s victory was due to him effectively stoking racial fears. This theory is based on the idea of a “whitelash”, the idea “that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage.” Donald Trump’s victory was the result of a backlash from white people who saw their status diminishing with increasing diversity in the United States. Continue reading →

Next Economy: an interview with Amanda Cahill

Green Agenda editors Clare Ozich and Simon Copland sat down recently with Amanda Cahill to talk about economic transformation and her new project, Next Economy.

Amanda is the Director and Founder of the Centre for Social Change. Her work includes answering the question – what do economic systems that are good for people and the planet look like?

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The New Economy Movement

Recently, the USA based​​ New Economy Coalition​ (NEC) held its second biannual national conference, Common Bound, in Buffalo, New York State. A handful of Australians were in attendance to learn about the stunning diversity of projects, organisations, collaborations and directions this expanding movement is generating. The coalition that now comprises over 157 member organisations came together after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The groundswell of the Occupy Movement led to the energising of social and political momentum towards structural and policy alternatives to the existing corporate controlled economic system. As​ the seemingly disparate​​ Occupy activists searched for democratic, equitable and sustainable solutions, their ranks flowed into and connected the many organisations that had already been working towards ecological, social and ethical economic systems and structures. Continue reading →

Confronting Advertising: the elephant in the bus shelter

This is an edited version of a presentation to the UNSW / Australian Earth Laws Alliance conference, Building the New Economy, Sydney, August 15. It is also the first stage in a larger research paper being prepared for the Green Institute. Comment, feedback and ideas are welcome.

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Confronting Advertising: The elephant in the bus shelter

Here is how Nancy Shaley, president of the Shaley Agency, describes her profession: “Advertising at its best is making people feel that, without their product, you’re a loser.” Continue reading →

The End of Coal: Transition

The Green Institute has published a collated paper on The End of Coal. The essays in the paper argue that not only that change is coming, but also that, if we embrace and accelerate that change, it brings with it tremendous opportunities to build a better, fairer democracy, economy and society.

In our second piece publishing extracts from the paper, Green Agenda is pleased to publish two different perspectives on the transition from coal for  communities and workers and the opportunities provided for economic renewal.

The first essay is from Amanda Cahill reflecting on her experiences working with communities facing the end of coal. The second is from Drew Hutton arguing for a different democracy to accompany a new economy.
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