Ramos’ critique of neoliberalism centres on the nature of capitalism as a system in which value is created for the few at the expense of the many. Ramos uses the metaphor of musical chairs to demonstrate the effects of neoliberalism on employment, with each step of innovation and disruption decreasing rather than increasing employment opportunities. But why must this be a zero sum game, he asks?
The article was originally published in Stir Magazine. Thank you to Jose Ramos for giving us permission to republish.
Many of us grew up with the game of musical chairs. The music starts and we go round and round. Some dance around with abandon, while others hover over each chair as they pass expecting the music to stop (that was me as a child!). Eventually the music does stop and you, me and the other children would rush to find the nearest empty chair. Invariably one child would end up chair-less or else one of the chairs would be crammed with two bottoms vying for position, one bottom toppling over in a fierce contest. Continue reading →
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).
It is frequently claimed that Australians live in one of the world’s best democracies. Yet in the last 30 years, we have seen a demise of power held by the people of Australia. The post war era in the West has focused on preserving and advocating for civil and political rights such as voting rights, freedom of assembly and expression. Yet, economic rights such as those relating to full and meaningful work (not labour), economic security and distribution have been eroded at best, and neglected at worst.
Economic rights are about access to resources and capabilities that promote security and dignity. They are not to be confused with private property rights nor as welfare to work strategies. The neglect of economic rights in the post war era has meant that the freedom of all Australians has been radically undermined. We now need to focus on economic rights as a means not just to restore democracy, but also as a way of fighting poverty, inequality and climate change. Continue reading →