from Deniz Kellecioglu
“We were only tolerated simply because our cheap labour is needed.” (Steve Biko)
The killings of 34 demonstrating mine workers in South Africa last month has several background factors, but two of them stand out: police brutality and the exploitation of workers. And they are interlinked.
The aggressiveness of the security forces’ represent the conditioning produced by the governmentality of national and international elites. Thus, the assault in Marikana, South Africa is not an isolated event, it’s a global phenomenon. One major difference is the explicitness of this event – workers usually perish in silence due to, for instance, poor health or social violence, away from the cameras.
The economics behind this governmentality propose that the labour market has to be “flexible” to the demands of “the market”. In other words, Read more…
from Mark Weisbrot
One of the great myths about the Argentine economy that is repeated nearly every day is that the rapid growth of the Argentine economy during the past decade has been a “commodity export boom.” For example, The New York Times reported last week:
“Riding an export boom for commodities like soybeans, Argentina’s economy grew at an average rate of 7.7 percent from 2004 to 2010, almost twice the average annual growth of 4.3 percent in Chile, a country often cited as a model for economic policies, over the same period.”
Michael Shifter, the President of the Inter-American Dialogue and probably the most-quoted source on Latin America in the U.S. press, wrote in a disparaging article about Argentina this week that
“If the sales and price of soybean, Argentina’s principal export (mainly to China), remain high, then the country may be able to continue its path of economic growth. “
I haven’t seen any economists make the claim that Argentina’s remarkable economic growth over the past nine years – which has brought record levels of employment and a two-thirds reduction in poverty – has been driven by soybeans or a commodities export boom. Maybe that’s because it’s not true. Read more…
from Ali Kadri