2017/12/07: Out of the 22 countries surveyed, “American parents stood out” as the “most unhappy.” Yes, U.S. parents are miserable and there’s a really simple reason why—lousy family-friendly workplaces. Per the Times, “in countries that had such policies, there was no happiness gap between parents and nonparents.” One expert was quoted by the Times saying she believes “it’s harder to be the parent of a young child and a full-time worker now than 30 years ago.”
The U.S. is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to federally mandated paid parental leave, and while more companies are offering parental leave, there is still a lot to be desired. For instance, only 21% of family leave is taken for new babies. And each year, more than 40 million people, or 18% of the U.S. workforce, spend an average of 24 hours a week providing unpaid care for a chronically ill, disabled, or elderly family member. So parents and families need to either accept their misery or add fighting for change to the long list of things they need to do each day.
The narrative that government is inefficient and its optimum role should be "limited" to avoid disrupting the market has proven extremely powerful. But this prevailing view of government is wrong; it is more the product of ideological bias than anything else.
2018/09/17: We can judge the moral fibre of a society by how it treats its least well-off members.
That sounds like a reasonably straightforward idea. But knowing who the poorest people are is not as easy as it sounds. The traditional measure of poverty in the UK has been to consider a household as being in relative poverty if its income is below 60 per cent of the median household income after housing costs.
by counting assets and assessing people’s real needs more effectively around two and a half million people who were in the old poverty measure - in particular many pensioners with assets - are no longer counted as poor. These are replaced by a different set of people - mostly people with disabilities and families with children.
While the overall figures have remained broadly the same, this paints a different picture for UK society.
Statisticians hope that their new measure can command a political consensus so we can at least agree who the poorest are.
2018/09/07: As long as we depend on the arbitrary will of another for our subsistence then it is hard to claim that we are free. While some of us would be able to find alternative employment in the event of our being dismissed, or of leaving a job after being harassed or otherwise mistreated, some would struggle, and some would suffer substantial harm. We cannot know for sure in advance which category we fall into. This suggests that welfare payments or alternative forms of employment ought to be available as of right, not only for the benefit of those who find themselves without work but to protect all workers from the insults and injustices of their employers. It further suggests that workers have a right to organize to reduce their vulnerability to arbitrary power in the workplace. Indeed, a fully achieved democratic republic would want to establish workplace democracy in an economy where individuals could always secure independent access to the means of subsistence.20
This general right to be free from domination has implications for the extent and nature of state activity. Without a general right to healthcare, we are not free to decide whether to take a job or to leave it. The overwhelming need to cover existing conditions, or to secure treatment for dependents, or to hedge against future risks, will make us vulnerable to pressure from our employers that need not ever be stated to be real. Here we can see the limitations of the liberal tradition’s attempt to understand unfreedom in terms of physical interference and coercive threats.
2014/03/21: Britain is in a state of self denial, sitting at the bottom of European league tables, but convinced it still rules the waves. The aspirations of the SNP may seem ambitious, but all they are really proposing is to be a normal European country.
The publication by the RSA of this carefully researched and argued case for a Basic Income in the UK is an important moment in a growing debate. The RSA is an independent and respected organisation
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Why a Universal Basic Income won't produce the benefits its boosters claim it will.
Giuseppe Provenzano, promotore di Sinistra anno zero Giuseppe Provenzano, 35 anni, è nato a Milena in provincia di Caltanissetta, padre fabbro madre maestra. Laureato e dottorato alla scuola Sant'Anna di Pisa in Diritto Pubblico, al centro dei suoi studi le politiche per il Sud. è vicedirett...
Universal basic income, a regular unconditional cash payment to the whole population is increasingly being discussed in social, political, academic circles and among citizens in general. People are championing it from right and left. But, if it's being pushed from both ends of the political spectrum, what's its secret? Is it so amazingly convincing that all differences between political extremes are abolished? Hardly. More like it, the fact that basic income is being hailed from such different political positions muddies serious debate and is downright bewildering for a lot of people.
Localism can only flourish with a competent, generous, and fair federal government.
Two years ago I wrote about my experience in a London emergency department with my son, Victor. That post has since been viewed more than 450,000 times. There are over 800 comments with no trolls (a feat unto itself) and almost all of them express love for the NHS. I was in England again this week. And yes, I was back in an emergency department, but this time with my English cousin.
Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren't working anymore?
Era il paradiso del welfare, la meta di ogni sogno di liberazione. Che cosa è successo alla Svezia? Nel suo ultimo documentario, l'autore di Videocracy Erik Gandini racconta un Paese in cui le persone vivono isolate, sempre più donne single scelgono la fecondazione artificiale e molti anziani muoiono da soli, dimenticati da tutti. E con 80 euro vi spediscono anche il kit per la fecondazione artificiale a domicilio
No country has gotten rid of poverty through charity, philanthropy and welfare.
If you've been to a conference in the past 12 months - you'll almost certainly have seen the slide above, or a version of it. Mentioning "disruptive innovation" adds a sprinkle of sophistication to otherwise ordinary presentations. It's a sit up and take notice slide that says: 'Better listen, or you could be history." However -
A crash course in social democracy.