1. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666

    The Precariat -The New Dangerous Class

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jazzabel, Feb 28, 2014.

    Guy Standing is a professor at University of London. His acute observations, regarding the emergence of the new class, are being published, due for release in early April.

    The Precariat, as he termed them, are the emerging class of disenfranchised people from all backgrounds, who find their future and security eaten up by neo-liberism and globalisation. One of his many suggestions that he's been promoting over the past 25 years has been the 'basic income' that would be payable to all, by the government, as a basic human right. Any individual income would come on top of that and still be an incentive for people to try harder and work to achieve more in their lives. This would go a long way to addressing the complexities of the profit-driven unequal wealth accumulation, it would allay the existential fears of the underprivileged, but it would also reduce crime and human suffering. Whilst dismissed as 'idealistic' by the very western governments, who are now bailing out the failing banks with taxpayers money, after they facilitated the biggest economic inequality since the beginning of statistics, Prof Standing's ideas have been embraced with excellent effect by countries such as Brasil who now have several million of their most underprivileged people on this basic income.

    I thought his reasoning was very substantive and interesting, here are a few excerpts from his lecture, but there are much longer videos on YouTube to be found.

     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I am a profician in his class structure. The career field in which I work is one that has, due to its basic nature, been heavily subject to the kind of overseas outsourcing of which he makes note. The company for which I once worked, Language Line Solutions, started tapping South and Central America for workforce a few years ago. Friends who still work for this company are finding themselves in the position of the precariat.
     
  3. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    I think people from all backgrounds are finding themselves in that position. I'm a refugee (even though I took foreign citizenship a long time ago, I still consider myself one, much like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic, even after 20 years of sobriety), so even when everything's going according to plan, I feel the basic existential worry because of the negative changes I'm seeing around the world, with regards to social justice and individual's right to their future. I saw my fair share of doctors and professors having to clean and work in laundrettes, I've witnessed my country's disintegration into a bunch of colonies, and yet, people in the west today are living in the worst conditions I've ever seen, so it's difficult to not consider myself one of them. I certainly empathise wholeheartedly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  4. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I come from a family of accountants. Both my parents and my brother are CPA's. I'm the lone, bohemian interpreter/translator in the bunch. ;) What Guy is speaking of is something my family often talks about since their basic nature, the way they look at things, is one of economics and numbers. In America and in much of the West, we still argue, fight and pick sides using antiquated concepts like democracy, socialism, communism, fascism, etc. We still define things in terms of political dogmas that were delineated and defined a century and a half ago. We still attach concepts of economics to these dogmas as though they were inextricable and indivisible. This is clearly not the case. Even where I live, the three parties define themselves with respect to their view on status with the U.S.: commonwealth, statehood with the union, severance and independence. Ask any of the three parties their plans for infrastructural growth and economic self sufficiency and all you get is a room-full of dancing white elephants. Nearly everyone in Puerto Rico is a member of the precariat because their income depends on subsidies and programs from the U.S. There is no real economy here. There is only input; there is no output, no product. Le sigh...
     
  5. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    It's very interesting. I suspect all the 'spring democracies' will be finding themselves in a similarly dependant position, and the problem is only getting bigger (cue to Ukraine). It's really good to see the whole issue defined though. It feels like a step towards a solution.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
    erebh likes this.
  6. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    How can a basic human right be dependent on the financial trappings of a government when those funds are finite and unstable? What happens when all the money runs out and all of a sudden this 'basic human right' dissolves? The US is already buried in entitlement debt and it's growing every year, if we continue on this path or expand the entitlement class, eventually the spigot will stop flowing and all these government 'robin hoods' will be safely on their private islands when the entire country collapses from social unrest. Seems to me we need to start going the opposite way.
     
  7. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    "All the money" won't run out any sooner than it's running out of everyone's pocket right now, and into the pockets of extremely few. Without enough money in circulation (ie. ordinary people having money to spend), and without the quality of life for the masses, we as species might not have a very bright future. Extreme inequality breeds social unrest and bloody revolutions aren't in anyone's interest. This is an attempt at providing social justice and peace.

    Perhaps you care to watch some of his videos or even hire his book from the local library, he goes into great lengths to answer most questions you may have. Funny you should mention "Robin Hoods", he talks about them too, as phenomena seen usually right before a new solution for the society's inequality is found, they are a sign of things changing, of awareness being raised about the less fortunate.
     
  8. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    I know, I watched the videos and read some of his ideas. It still has one basic flaw and that is that people work for sole purpose of surviving, that's it. If you gave everyone enough to survive, then you won't have enough laborers to support the government class. Right now, the poverty line in America is like $11,000. If the federal government gave every person over the age of 18 $11,000, I would quite my job tomorrow. I don't work to make money, I work so I can spend time doing the important things in life, which are spending time with my family and God. To me, 'just getting by' is the goal, not the beginning. I wish to make just enough money so I can spend the most amount of time doing what's important to me. I can't think that I am alone in that mindset.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,601
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    It's been shown already (every non-capitalist country through the last 50 years) that people work quite happily, and even more productively, if their basic needs are ensured by the state. Because work is fulfilling and you are quite right, it shouldn't be purely about money.

    He is proposing a system that works and the only argument against it is that a tiny minority won't have the pleasure of watching millions suffer, and the middle class won't be terrified into going to the jobs they hate, lest they wind up like the 'les miserables'. Anyway, I didn't post it to argue the merits of his theory, I completely agree with the guy and wanted to share his perspective because I think it's interesting. Have a nice weekend jj, I'm going out for the evening :)
     
  11. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,601
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    There's middle ground here. Laissez faire capitalism is seriously flawed and there are dozens of examples why. At the same time, communist economic structures only work on the small scale such as a Kibbutz where there is social pressure to contribute.

    People need motivation to contribute and that includes a living wage. And big money needs to be limited in how they influence the government and the ability of said wealth to unfairly stack the deck and abuse the work force because history clearly shows that without such regulation greed is a clearly evidenced human trait. Right now the greed and money side of the equation is seriously out of balance worldwide.

    In addition certain things just work better when funded by the community rather than private coffers. It's one big fat lie that private business always does better than public. I, for one, do not want to live under private policing. Private prisons have been disastrous here in the US. The telcom utilities monopolies are a travesty and have developed dishonest business models (see David Kay Johnston's work). Public utilities are plenty efficient. The US Post Office would be doing fine if Congress hadn't passed laws to suppress their ability to succeed in favor of private services, which you know, if they take over will simply stop delivering to low profit rural areas.

    Public funded health insurance is superior and more cost effective in dozens of objective measures over the US's mostly private system. And as evidenced by the student loan crisis in this country that came about as the GOP cut educational funding on local and federal levels with the claim that somehow it would make universities more efficient if the public coffers dried up. It hasn't.

    The evidence is clear. The political ideologies and the influence of greed and money means we are unlikely to do the right thing based on that clear evidence any time soon.


    Sorry about the run on sentences, they come out when I rant. :)
     
  12. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    So, people should work to make money above their basic needs, but only to a subjective point, otherwise they are greedy? This seems odd.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,601
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Is that question directed at me or @jazzabel?

    Since I used 'greedy' as an issue in my post I'll assume you directed it at me. Your interpretation of what I posted is ludicrous. I said no such thing. What I said was, since humans are frequently naturally greedy, large corporations with significant monopolies need to be regulated to prevent their having a tremendously negative impact on society.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  14. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    Well, I guess both of you seeing how she is saying people will work over and beyond their needs and you are saying they shouldn't go too far beyond their needs, otherwise they are being greedy.
     
  15. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,601
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Just after I explain to you this is not what I've said at all, not even close, you repeat this BS.

    Try addressing what I actually said rather than the straw man you built.
     
  16. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    I'm sorry. So you don't mind how much wealth people acquire, as long as they don't use it as a tool of power?
     
  17. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,601
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    More straw. I addressed regulating and compensating for the damage excessive wealth is capable of causing the society as a whole. Nothing in that sentence has anything to do with limiting wealth or restricting its use altogether to influence policy. The problem comes from an unbalanced influence that enormous wealth is capable of. It comes from controlling information such as a monopoly on broadcasting which now threatens to expand into a monopoly of Internet sources of information.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  18. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    A question can't be a straw man. I was asking your opinion, not stating yours.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,601
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Nonsense. Seriously, JJ, posts like this do nothing but stall the discussion. You've changed what I said and addressed your altered version.

    Try again.
     
  20. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    Again, I asked your opinion. Since it's obvious you don't wish to answer it, I will drop it. Take care.
     
  21. We Are Cartographers
    Offline

    We Are Cartographers Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    213
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  22. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,601
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Says the person who has contributed nothing to the discussion.

    Excuse me but what I posted had nothing to do with JJ's post. It's not my fault he challenged what I had to say.

    Maybe you should read what I posted and address that instead of your prissy pants personal issues.
     
    Simpson17866 and JJ_Maxx like this.
  23. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    Plot twist: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. :)
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  24. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,601
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Don't get too cocky.

    For the record, I like the mapmaker and most of what he posts. I just happen to think he made a rash and therefore false judgement of my posts in this thread.
     
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  25. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    I know, but for a brief moment there we shared something. :)
     
    Okon and Simpson17866 like this.

Share This Page