Some of that data is discomforting. Let's take pay first of all. While we can all cheer real-terms regular pay (the vast majority of us don't get bonuses) being at an all-time high, that's also partly because of the recent weakness in inflation – currently 1.3pc. The other part of the jigsaw, nominal pay growth, is slowing and now growing at its weakest pace for a year: … [Read more...] about Look under the bonnet and the jobs market is not as strong as you might think
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In the end, Piketty did not claim there had been a vast increase in wealth disparities since the 1970s. Piketty's prediction is that the moderate rise in inequality under neoliberalism is set to gather pace in the 21st century, taking us back to Victorian levels by 2050. His prediction is based on simple maths: if growth is low, and the bargaining power of labour low, and the returns on capital high, then it is more logical to sit on assets and speculate rather than accumulate wealth by work, invention or entrepreneurial risk. … [Read more...] about Thomas Piketty’s real challenge was to the FT’s Rolex types
Piketty concludes with a tentative policy programme aimed at meeting the nativist challenge along such lines. This includes some bold ideas (such as an equal education budget for every citizen, to be invested as they choose), but mostly rests on ideas of participatory governance, progressive taxation, democratisation of the EU and income guarantees that have been circulating on the radical liberal left for decades. Suffice to say that naming such policies is considerably easier than executing them. He might be right that, given the climate crisis among other factors, current levels of inequality cannot long be maintained and new policies will be introduced: he prefers to take an optimistic position, based on the assumption that “inequality regimes” never last for ever. But despite the pearl-clutching of the Telegraph, his “elements for a participatory socialism” are not the most arresting features of the book. … [Read more...] about Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty review – if inequality is illegitimate, why not reduce it?
In addition to climate change, there is evidence that separate, deeper seismic events are under way, leading to rapid global movements in magnetic polarity and accelerating ocean currents. Any one of these developments could augur an environmental white swan event, as could climatic “tipping points” such as the collapse of major ice sheets in Antarctica or Greenland in the next few years. We already know that underwater volcanic activity is increasing; what if that trend translates into rapid marine acidification and the depletion of global fish stocks upon which billions of people rely? … [Read more...] about The white swan harbingers of global economic crisis are already here
Labour leadership candidates Keir Starmer - 1/3 Rebecca Long-Bailey - 4/1 Lisa Nandy - 6/1 MAY NOT MAKE THE BALLOT: Emily Thornberry OUT: Jess Phillips OUT: Clive Lewis Odds Jan 22 from thepools.com. For full profiles and how the contest works click here. … [Read more...] about Labour leadership row explodes as party reports Keir Starmer ‘hack’ claims to watchdog