Category Archives: Inequalities – Ανισότητες

Modern Monetary Theory – Wikipedia

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT or Modern Money Theory, also known as Neo-Chartalism) is a macroeconomic theory that describes and analyses modern economies in which the national currency is fiat money, established and created by the government. The key insight of MMT is that “monetarily sovereign government is the monopoly supplier of its currency and can issue currency of any denomination in physical or non-physical forms. As such the government has an unlimited capacity to pay for the things it wishes to purchase and to fulfill promised future payments, and has an unlimited ability to provide funds to the other sectors. Thus, insolvency and bankruptcy of this government is not possible. It can always pay.”[1]

via Modern Monetary Theory – Wikipedia

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Most Progressives are Neoliberals in Disguise Professor Bill Mitchell – YouTube

Most Progressives are Neoliberals in Disguise Professor Bill Mitchell

via Most Progressives are Neoliberals in Disguise Professor Bill Mitchell – YouTube

Bill Mitchell in Helsinki: The Euro Crisis and Austerity – YouTube

Professor William F. Mitchell discusses the theoretical and political background of the austerity policy. Helsinki University 9th October 2015. Mitchell works as a professor of economics at the University of Newcastle, Australia and as a director of the Centre for Full Employment and Equity. Mitchell’s latest book Eurozone Dystopia (2015) traces the origin of the flawed macroeconomic framework that rendered the Eurozone dysfunctional by design. In the book Mitchell lays bare the foundations of neoliberal “groupthink” that has locked the Eurozone into a destructive path towards persistent stagnation and rising social instability.

via Bill Mitchell in Helsinki: The Euro Crisis and Austerity – YouTube

The Vicious Circle Of Inequality

Low productivity growth is, of course, one reason why income development has been disappointing for an average worker, but not the only one. Another is increased wage disparities and decreased income share, since wages haven´t kept up with even the poor productivity growth. And finally, public redistribution has been significantly reduced through tax cuts for the wealthy and lower social transfers for the rest. All these trends are, in various degrees, common to both Europe and the rest of the industrialized world. The result is the famous and depressing Elephant curve of Branco Milanovic.

via The Vicious Circle Of Inequality

Bourdieu’s Class Theory

Before delving into the analysis, it is necessary to introduce Bourdieu’s basic terminology. Although it may seem abstract, it is, unfortunately, indispensable for understanding his work. There are four central concepts in Bourdieu’s sociology: capital, habitus, fields, and symbolic power.

Capital refers to resources. Bourdieu identifies three main varieties: economic (understood basically as income and ownership), social (basically understood as connections), and cultural (informal education, cultural objects, and credentials). These can be measured in two dimensions: quantity and structure. Thus, particular agents may possess more or less total amounts of capital, and this capital may be structured in different proportions. Accordingly, although two “agents” may have the same total overall amount of capital, one might have a greater proportion of cultural capital and the other of economic capital.6 Generally, the volume and structure of capital determines one’s “position in social space” or class position.

via Bourdieu’s Class Theory

America Is the Richest, and Most Unequal, Nation

The world is awash in personal wealth: $153.2 trillion in total, according to Allianz’s new Global Wealth Report 2015. That’s enough to pay three times the world’s sovereign debt, the debts of each nation. The report, which measured 2014 wealth, found 2014 was the third consecutive year in which global wealth grew more than 7%.

The jump was largely the result of households pumping up their personal savings efforts. The U.S.—with $63.5 trillion in total private wealth—holds the largest amount of any country in the world. But that wealth is unevenly distributed, and nowhere is that more evident than in the U.S., which also has the largest wealth inequality gap of 55 countries studied, according to the report.

via America Is the Richest, and Most Unequal, Nation

Ένας τρελός κόσμος: ο καπιταλισμός και η επιδημία ψυχικών ασθενειών

Η ψυχαναλυτική ψυχοθεραπεύτρια Sue Gerhardt έχει γράψει πολύ εύστοχα για αυτή την σχέση, υποδηλώνοντας ότι στις σύγχρονες κοινωνίες συχνά «συγχέουμε την υλική ευημερία με την ψυχολογική ευημερία». Στο βιβλίο της «Η Εγωιστική Κοινωνία» δείχνει πόσο επιτυχώς και αμείλικτα ο καταναλωτικός καπιταλισμός ανασχηματίζει το μυαλό μας και επαναπροσδιορίζει το νευρικό μας σύστημα με τη δική του εικόνα. Γιατί «θα χάναμε μεγάλο μέρος του τι είναι ο καπιταλισμός», σημειώνει, «εάν παραβλέψουμε τον ρόλο του στην εμπορία της επιθυμίας».

Μια άλλη βασική πτυχή του καπιταλισμού και των επιπτώσεών του στην ψυχική ασθένεια είναι φυσικά η ανισότητα. Όπως αναφέρθηκε στην έκθεση του Royal College of Psychiatrists: «Η ανισότητα είναι ένας βασικός καθοριστικός παράγοντας της ψυχικής ασθένειας: όσο μεγαλύτερο είναι το επίπεδο της ανισότητας, τόσο χειρότερα είναι τα αποτελέσματα της ψυχικής υγείας. Τα παιδιά από τα φτωχότερα νοικοκυριά έχουν τριπλάσιο κίνδυνο ψυχικής κακής υγείας από τα παιδιά από τα πλουσιότερα νοικοκυριά. Η ψυχική ασθένεια συνδέεται σταθερά με τη στέρηση, το χαμηλό εισόδημα, την ανεργία, την κακή εκπαίδευση, τη χειρότερη σωματική υγεία».

via Ένας τρελός κόσμος: ο καπιταλισμός και η επιδημία ψυχικών ασθενειών

Inequality In Europe: What Can Be Done?

This is not an exhaustive list but illustrates the breadth of predistribution as an egalitarian strategy. In conclusion, three points ought to be made. Firstly, ‘redistribution’ and ‘predistribution’ are not mutually exclusive. Egalitarians need both. If predistributive measures are effective, they ought to raise the overall tax take by boosting employment participation; greater resilience in the tax base then increases the potential for redistribution and ‘social’ investment over the long-term.

The second point is that predistribution is often politically more difficult than traditional redistribution. Predistribution involves taking on entrenched vested interests, especially in the financial sector. It is important to highlight that lower inequality of primary incomes is positive for economic efficiency as well as social justice. Greater equality helps to create more stable market economies, balanced by societies where democratic politics rather than market forces prevail.

via Inequality In Europe: What Can Be Done?

Με τη βούλα του Ευρωδικαστηρίου οι περικοπές συντάξεων – ThePressProject

Συγκεκριμένα, η Die Presse σε άρθρο με τίτλο «Ελλάδα: οι συντάξεις θα μπορούσαν να περικοπούν» αναφέρει πως: «Μια χώρα θα μπορούσε εξαιτίας μιας οικονομικής κρίσης να προβεί σε περικοπές συντάξεων. Ένα τέτοιο μέτρο δεν θίγει τα περιουσιακά δικαιώματα των πολιτών της, έκρινε σε απόφασή του το ΕΔΔΑ την Πέμπτη. Οι δικαστές απέρριψαν προσφυγή μιας Λιθουανής, η οποία προσέφυγε στο ΕΔΔΑ κατά του λιθουανικού δημοσίου επειδή η σύνταξή της μειώθηκε κατά 15% κατά την περίοδο 2010-2013».

Σύμφωνα με τον γερμανικό τύπο, η Λιθουανία πέρασε μια βαθιά δημοσιονομική κρίση και αναγκάστηκε να επιβάλλει ευρείες περικοπές σε συντάξεις και κοινωνικές παροχές, απολύσεις στο δημόσιο και μεγάλες αυξήσεις φόρων. Κατά το δικαστήριο, οι περικοπές στις συντάξεις είναι νόμιμες, καθώς θεωρούνται «επιβεβλημένες» για «το κοινό καλό». Σύμφωνα με τις αναφορές, με την ίδια αιτιολογία έχουν απορριφθεί ανάλογες προσφυγές από την Ελλάδα και την Πορτογαλία.

via Με τη βούλα του Ευρωδικαστηρίου οι περικοπές συντάξεων – ThePressProject

Αποκαλυπτική έρευνα για τους «τέσσερις μεγάλους» της φοροδιαφυγής

Η διαρροή των Panama Papers αποκάλυψε, αν όχι το ίδιο το γεγονός, την έκταση της φοροδιαφυγής/φοροαποφυγής και του σαθρού καθεστώτος λειτουργίας των φορολογικών παραδείσων, στους οποίους δεν υπάρχει δικαιοδοσία ελέγχου και επιβολής του νόμου. Στα Panama Papers εμπλέκονται μεγιστάνες, πολυεθνικές και εξέχοντα πολιτικά πρόσωπα. Τι γίνεται όμως με αυτούς που τους ελέγχουν; Η παρούσα αποκαλυπτική έρευνα, που στην Ελλάδα δημοσιεύει αποκλειστικά το tvxs.gr, παρουσιάζει αποδείξεις για την εμπλοκή σε φορολογικούς παραδείσους και τον αδιαφανή τρόπο λειτουργίας των τεσσάρων μεγαλύτερων εταιρειών ορκωτών λογιστών του κόσμου. Πρόκειται για τις «The Big Four»: Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers ή PwC, EY (μέχρι πρόσφατα Ernst & Young) και KPMG.

via Tvxs Αποκλειστικό: Αποκαλυπτική έρευνα για τους «τέσσερις μεγάλους» της φοροδιαφυγής

The “unconditional solidarity” of the left with Chavismo Natalia Uval (La Diaria, Montevideo) talks with Edgardo Lander

And that contradiction had different manifestations in each local context. Where there was prior organisational experience, there were communal leaders who were able to confront the state; not to reject public intervention, but to negotiate with the government. In addition, starting in 2005 there was a transition in the Bolivarian experience, from the initial and very open approach that was concerned about building a social model different to both the Soviet style of organisation and liberal capitalism, towards declaring that the process was socialist and understanding socialism as a state-driven process. Cuban advisors had a strong political and ideological influence in that conversion.

Since then, social organisations began to be conceived as mere instruments to be directed from above, based on a top-down and Stalinist political culture that increased the levels of precariousness of social organisations.

via The “unconditional solidarity” of the left with Chavismo | Transnational Institute

What is wrong with free money?

Mainstream supporters of a Universal Basic Income want to maintain the poverty that capitalism produces, the radical left wishes to end it. Hence, in a second step, the posited unity must be denied. 30 Radical writers distance themselves from their mainstream counterparts and urge each other to caution. They insist that their successful opponents want what they want so their project is not just blue sky dreaming, but their successful opponents also do not want what they want, so they have to be careful. They want the same as Richard Nixon, Martin Wolf and Paul Krugman which is why their proposals are serious and they do not want what Nixon, Wolf and Krugman want which is why their proposals are radical.

via What is wrong with free money? |

Global Inequality: A New Approach For The Age Of Globalization

One of the world’s leading inequality economists, Professor Branko Milanovic, presents a bold new account of the dynamics that drive inequality on a global scale. Drawing on vast data sets and cutting-edge research, he explains the benign and malign forces that cause the rise and fall of inequality within and among nations. He also reveals who has been helped the most by globalisation, who has been held back, and what policies might tilt the balance toward economic justice.

His new book, Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization (2016), addresses economic and political issues of globalisation, including the redefinition of the “Kuznets cycles.”

via Global Inequality: A New Approach For The Age Of Globalization

ΙW: Αύξηση της φτώχειας κατά 40% στην Ελλάδα την περίοδο 2008-2015

Στην κορυφή του «πολυδιάστου δείκτη φτώχειας»

Όλα αυτά συμπεριλαμβάνονται σε έναν νέο «πολυδιάστατο δείκτη φτώχειας», τον οποίο εκπόνησε το Ινστιτούτο για τα έτη 2008-2015, από τον οποίο προκύπτει ότι «ο μεγάλος χαμένος είναι η Ελλάδα, με μια αύξηση της φτώχειας κατά 40%, ακολουθούμενης από την Ιρλανδία (28% αύξηση) και την Κύπρο 28,2%» λέει ο Κρίστοφ Σρέντερ, συντάκτης της έκθεσης, στο γερμανικό reuters. Aυτό οφείλεται στη χρόνια ύφεση και την μεγάλη ανεργία, αλλά «φυσικά και στην πολιτική λιτότητας και τους όρους των δανειστών» τονίζει. Στην Ιταλία καταγράφεται μια αύξηση της φτώχειας κατά 11% και στην Ισπανία 18%.

via ΙW: Αύξηση της φτώχειας κατά 40% στην Ελλάδα την περίοδο 2008-2015 – ThePressProject

Unconditional Basic Income Is A Dead End

the basic income will further divide society and prevent social mobility. Those who, due to their family background, have good prospects for interesting employment and high income will maintain their existing work ethic, engaging in school and study, and maybe taking a sabbatical or two in between. This is a good thing. However, life will become more difficult for young people from parts of society already at a disadvantage in terms of education – those from working class and migrant families. The sweet poison of the basic income will accompany them in every step of their school life and vocational training. When asked what they want to do for a living, children from parts of Berlin with a high percentage of working class and migrant families, such as Neukölln, today already often say they plan to go on the dole. In the future, they will answer: “I’ll get my basic income.” Their numbers will rise as the basic income rises.

via Unconditional Basic Income Is A Dead End

Housing exclusion in europe report

via FEANTSA & Fondation Abbé Pierre: An Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe

Ζίγκμουντ Μπάουμαν: δεν είναι κρίση, είναι αναδιανομή πλούτου

Εννοείτε ότι η πολιτική είναι τοπική, ενώ η εξουσία παγκόσμια…

Ακριβώς. Και ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος δεν είναι η κοινότητα, η πόλη ή οποιαδήποτε άλλη μορφή τοπικότητας, αλλά το ίδιο το κράτος, που είναι παγιδευμένο μεταξύ δύο πυρών, του έθνους από τη μια και των αγορών από την άλλη.

Και οι πρωτοβουλίες που αναφέρατε γεννιούνται στο υπο-εθνικό επίπεδο. Οι θεσμοί του εθνικού επιπέδου (κόμματα, κυβέρνηση, βουλή κλπ.) δε μπορούν να αντεπεξέλθουν στη διπλή αυτή πίεση.

Οι πολίτες στην προσπάθεια τους να προστατευθούν από τις επιπτώσεις αυτών των ανώνυμων δυνάμεων της αγοράς, αντιδρούν με τον παραδοσιακό τρόπο, δηλαδή οργανώνονται με γνωστούς τους, γείτονες, με όλους αυτούς με τους οποίους αντιλαμβάνονται από κοινού πως η βελτίωση του τόπου τους θα έχει θετικό αντίκτυπο σε όλους και δεν είναι ανταγωνιστικό παιχνίδι με νικητές και ηττημένους.

via Ζίγκμουντ Μπάουμαν: δεν είναι κρίση, είναι αναδιανομή πλούτου

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.

The numbers, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, offer some of the most detailed publicly available comparisons for different income groups in different countries over time. They suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality.

via The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest – The New York Times

England is increasingly divided between the rich and the poor, with a 60% increase in poor households and a 33% increase in wealthy households. This has come at a time – 1980 to 2010 – when the number of middle-income households went down by 27%.

But the trend is most marked in London, according to an analysis of census data by Benjamin Hennig and Danny Dorling of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Over the three decades, the capital has seen an 80% increase in poor households, an 80% increase in wealthy households – and a 43% decrease in middle households. Around 36% of London households are now classified as poor (up from 20% in 1980), while 37% are middle income (down from 65%).

via How 30 years of a polarised economy have squeezed out the middle class | Society | The Guardian

Illegitimate Inequality

Differences in income or assets that are based on differences in capabilities or effort are widely considered to be legitimate, but it is easy to verify that all observed differences cannot be explained in this way. In its 2016 report on the global distribution of wealth, Oxfam International reported that the richest 62 persons in the world own as much as the poorer half of the world’s population, about 3.5 billion people. Clearly, one person cannot be 100 million times as productive as another healthy and reasonably well-educated person. After all, a day and night comprises only 24 hours for all of us, rich or poor.

In a seminal paper on the drivers of inequality, Robert and Ricardo Fernholz have analysed the long-term distribution of wealth in an abstract growing market economy. They assume that the economy generates a surplus which is invested in a financial market. Even assuming that all individuals in this society are identical as far as capabilities, efforts, preferences, and initial assets are concerned, the distribution of assets will become increasingly skewed over time. In the long run, one household will own all the assets. The explanation for this is simple: small variations in return on assets will be magnified over time, because those who are lucky can afford to take somewhat higher risks and will be rewarded with even higher returns, and so on.

via Illegitimate Inequality