Archive for November 11, 2009

Stagnationist roots of the current crisis

November 11, 2009 1 comment

Stagnationist roots of the current crisis

Grazia Ietto-Gillies

If a Martian had visited Earth in the last 20 years she would have been pretty puzzled to see a planet where lack of food and infrastructure was endemic in many countries; where even the rich countries had many people in poverty; where there are inadequate levels of basic infrastructures and public services and yet where many resources – including many bright people – were allocated to producing strange financial products that nobody could possibly want and very few people understood among the Earthlings let alone the Martians. Moreover, the people involved in these useless and socially dangerous products were the very ones that were gaining the highest rewards. How had that come about?   Read more…

Reducing unemployment via job sharing

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

from Grazia Ietto-Gillies   

I agree entirely with the arguments by Dean Baker on job sharing (Nov 3d). The economic advantages of reducing unemployment via job sharing are overwhelming. Government expenditure could be used to keep people in work rather than out of work. In the medium to long term this would also lead to fewer social problems (crime rates; health problems) and thus to lower expenditure to meet those problems. It would be an excellent scheme also for Britain.

However, I fear that politically it may be unacceptable. The anglo-saxon model of capitalism has been for too long based on shifting costs and flexibility to the labour market and the workers for such a scheme to be accepted. Employers and the politicians of the right and centre-right may fear that, once a shorter week is introduced as a remedy for the recession, the employees may get used to it and demand it permanently.

However, we should continue to press for it and insist that economic sense should prevail.

Grazia Ietto-Gillies

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