Tag Archives: Unemployment

Why Stephen Hawking is more afraid of capitalism than robots

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In October, a Reddit user asked Stephen Hawking if he thinks robots are coming to take all of our jobs.

“In particular, do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated?” the user asked the renowned physicist on an Ask Me Anything thread.

The question isn’t crazy. Computers are getting smarter and more efficient all the time. It’s conceivable that we one day will reach a point where machines’ output is simply much more valuable than humans’.

Hawking didn’t discount the notion that machines may replace us. But he said whether this is good or bad depends on how the wealth produced by machines is distributed. That is, Hawking is more concerned about capitalism than he is about robots. He wrote:

..Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

We could be headed toward a work-free utopia where machine-produced goods and services are cheap and plentiful for all. Or, as Hawking suggests, the coming robot age will just exaggerate the income inequality that’s rampant across the globe. (Hawking is generally ambivalent on the advent of artificial intelligence. “We are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history,” he has said.)

Read more » Vox
See more » http://www.vox.com/2016/2/27/11119804/stephen-hawking-robots

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Finning swings to loss; to cut 400 to 500 more jobs

catBy Reuters

Canada’s Finning International Inc, the world’s biggest dealer of Caterpillar Inc equipment, posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and said it would cut more jobs.

The company, which cut 13 per cent of its global work force last year, said it would cut another 400-500 jobs by mid-2016.

Finning had about 14,500 employees as of Dec. 31, 2014.

Shares of the Vancouver-based company were down 7.4 per cent at $17.29 in early trade.

Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, has been hit by weak mining, drilling and construction activity around the world.

Finning in November shut 11 facilities in Western Canada, in addition to previously announced 16 closures, to cut costs.

Read more » The Globe And Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/finning-swings-to-loss-to-cut-400-500-more-jobs/article28794252/

Bombardier to cut 7,000 jobs as it enters ‘year of transition’

By BERTRAND MAROTTE

MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail – Bombardier Inc. chief executive officer Alain Bellemare is vowing that 2016 will be a “year of transition” for the Montreal-based plane and train maker after significant rounds of cost cutting last year.

But many investors, analysts and observers were disappointed by worse-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and surprised by the magnitude of a new wave of cost cutting – 7,000 jobs to be slashed over the next two years –

Read more » The Globe And Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/bombardier-to-slash-7000-jobs/article28779506/

Husky Energy lays off workers across company’s operations

Calgary-based Husky Energy said it has laid off workers on Tuesday but declined to provide specific numbers or details on the jobs lost.

“These are difficult decisions and we will continue to take the steps necessary to ensure the company’s resilience through this cycle and beyond,” spokesperson Mel Duvall wrote in a statement.

Duvall said the job cuts were across the company’s operations.

Posts on social media and tips sent to Global News from people claiming to be employees suggested as many as 500 positions had been eliminated.

Read more » Global News
See more » http://globalnews.ca/news/2507657/husky-energy-lays-off-workers-across-companys-operations/

BP posts biggest ever annual loss, to cut 7,000 more jobs

BY KAROLIN SCHAPS AND RON BOUSSO

LONDON — Reuters:  BP slumped to its biggest annual loss last year and announced thousands more job cuts on Tuesday, showing that even one of the nimblest oil producers is struggling in the worst market downturn in over a decade.

Read more » The Globe and Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/european-business/bp-posts-worst-annual-loss-in-20-years-to-cut-7000-more-jobs/article28505561/

Rogers Media to cut 200 jobs

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO — Rogers Media has told employees that the company’s workforce will be reduced by 4%, affecting 200 jobs in television, radio, publishing and administration.

The Toronto-based company says the cuts are part of efficiency efforts at Rogers Communications, one of Canada’s largest telecom companies.

A memo to Rogers Media staff says the job cuts will begin in February and will conclude as soon as possible.

Read more » Calgary Sun
See more » http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/01/25/rogers-media-to-cut-200-jobs

America the Unfair?

America’s political and economic inequalities feed each other. The richest 1 percent in the U.S. now own substantially more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

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Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders don’t agree on much. Nor do the Black Lives Matter movement, the Occupy Wall Street protests and the armed ranchers who seized public lands in Oregon. But in the insurgent presidential campaigns and in social activism across the spectrum, a common thread is people angry at the way this country is no longer working for many ordinary citizens.

And they’re right: The system is often fundamentally unfair, and ordinary voices are often unheard.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/opinion/america-the-unfair.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur&_r=0

Oxfam says wealth of richest 1% equal to other 99%

The richest 1% now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined, according to Oxfam.

It uses data from Credit Suisse from October for the report, which urges leaders meeting in Davos this week to take action on inequality.

Oxfam also calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

It criticised the work of lobbyists and the amount of money kept in tax havens.

Oxfam predicted that the 1% would overtake the rest of the world this time last year.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35339475

Walmart to close 269 stores in U.S., South America

Retail giant says it’s not planning to close any Canadian stores

Walmart is closing 269 stores, more than half of them in the U.S. and another big chunk in its challenging Brazilian market.

The stores being shuttered account for a fraction of the company’s 11,000 stores worldwide and less than one per cent of its global revenue.

Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/walmart-closing-stores-1.3405511

Toshiba To Axe 7000 Jobs; Exit PC, TV Business

Toshiba has announced that as part of its restructuring plan, it will lay off 7,000 employees and sell its Indonesian TV plant

By Martin Blanc

Toshiba Corp. (USA) (OTCMKTS:TOSYY) has announced that it will lay off almost 7,000 employees, in a bid to make up for losses and streamline its business in the chip industry, and nuclear energy space.

Furthermore, the company reported that it will sell its television manufacturing plant in Indonesia, further adding to the planned job cuts in its PC-to-nuclear transition. Around 10,000 employees are expected to lose their jobs at the company.

Read more » BDNESS
See more » http://www.bidnessetc.com/59709-toshiba-to-axe-7000-jobs-exit-pc-tv-business/

Canada – Maple Leaf Foods to cut more than 400 jobs, 3% of workforce

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MFI.TO 1.6%) said it would cut more than 400 jobs, or about 3 per cent of its work force, nearly a month after the Canadian meat packer pushed back its timeline for hitting a key profitability target.

Read more » BNN
See more » http://www.bnn.ca/News/2015/11/25/Maple-Leaf-Foods-to-cut-more-than-400-jobs-majority-to-come-before-year-end.aspx

Shame of inequality

By FAISAL BARI

JAVED’S mother insisted that we, the owners/managers of a motorcycle repair shop, hire her son as an apprentice even if it was with no pay. We refused as Javed was only eight years old. His mother’s logic was simple. “I cannot feed him at home, he cannot go to school as I cannot afford it, and we need any money that Javed can make. Even if you do not pay him for an initial period, he will get lunch here and will also learn a skill. That is enough.”

We made some arrangements for Javed. But there are millions of Javeds in Pakistan. Even though, and there is evidence for this, absolute poverty has gone down in the country, inequality has, by all estimates, increased significantly. This does not mean there are no poor people in Pakistan. There are still plenty of them. But the percentage of people living a life of absolute deprivation is lower than before.

The story is one about poverty and the extremes of inequality this society appears to be willing to live with.

Yet, not only has inequality increased manifold, it seems the progress we had been making on reducing infant mortality, maternal mortality, malnutrition in children and morbidity has slowed down significantly and, in some cases, disappeared. This is quite a paradox: poverty is down but why are child and mother health indicators not improving? Is it a case of time lags? Or is there something more to it?

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1220930

Bernie Sanders Is Really Not Impressed With Hillary Clinton’s Plan For Wall Street

This is the moment when things got heated.

By Associate Politics Editor, The Huffington Post

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was not impressed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s plan to regulate Wall Street.

“I’ve laid out a very aggressive plan to rein in Wall Street, not just the big banks; that’s a part of the problem and I am going right at them, I’ve got a tough plan,” Clinton said, going on to explain how the government needed to regulate the “shadow banking industry” such as hedge funds, insurance companies and investment banks.

Read more » The Huffington Post
See more » http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-wall-street_5647f6cee4b08cda34892850?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013&section=politics

Million Mask March against Capitalism in London

Million Mask March: Three officers and six police horses hurt on night of violence in London

Fifty people arrested after three police officers hospitalised during anti-capitalist march in central London that also saw photographer hit by supercar

Excerpt:

The Million Mask March, organised by Anonymous to hit back at austerity measures and perceived inequality brought about by the Government, started peacefully enough, with songs and chants at Trafalgar Square.

Read more » The Telegraph
See more » http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11975183/Million-Mask-March-Anonymous-protesters-hurl-fireworks-at-police-in-London-live.html

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Kraft Heinz to cut 2,600 jobs as it closes seven plants, including in southwestern Ontario

By National Post Wire Services

Kraft Heinz is closing a plant in southwestern Ontario and six others in the United States over the next two years as part of a downsizing that will eliminate 2,600 jobs, the newly merged food company announced Wednesday.

More than 200 employees will lose their jobs as Kraft Heinz closes its Richardson Foods plant in St. Marys, Ont.

Read more » Financial Post
See more » http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/kraft-heinz-to-cut-2600-jobs-as-it-closes-seven-plants-including-in-southwestern-ontario

Global Middle Class Shrinking, As Report Finds Richest 1% Owns Half Of All Wealth In The World

It is official, the richest one per cent now owns half of all the wealth in the world, and unfortunately it also looks as though the global middle class is shrinking as this happens, according to a new study.

Credit Suisse recently released its annual report on global wealth, and according to the CBC, this marks the first time that the world’s richest group has amassed enough wealth to cross that line.

The report also found that from 2008 on wealth gains have been shifting away from the middle class in favour of those at higher wealth levels. This has created a decline in the middle class wealth in ‘every region since 2001 and a decline in all regions except for China for the entire 2000 – 2015 period.’

Also troubling is that 3.4 billion adults – 71 per cent of the world’s population

Read more » TEAMSTERS 362
Learn more » http://www.teamsters362.com/global-middle-class-shrinking-as-report-finds-richest-1-owns-half-of-all-wealth-in-the-world/

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International Students Find the American Dream … in Flint

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A few months after Abhishek Y. Utekar left Mumbai, India, to start an M.B.A. program at the University of Michigan campus in Flint, his landlord gave him a driving tour of his new home. Dennis Brownfield watched out for his tenants, and he wanted Mr. Utekar to understand the dynamics of a city often defined by deindustrialization and decay. His car provided the first lesson. It was a Honda Civic with a license plate that read “GM LEFT,” a commentary on the 70,000 automotive jobs that have disappeared over the years in this birthplace of General Motors.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/education/edlife/international-students-find-the-american-dream-in-flint.html

Deutsche Bank to Cut 35,000 jobs

Deutsche Bank to Shrink Workforce by 35,000 in Broad Revamp

Bank reports steep loss for third quarter

By JENNY STRASBURG and MADELEINE NISSEN

FRANKFURT— Deutsche Bank AG on Thursday said it would eliminate thousands of jobs and shut operations in several countries, the latest European bank taking sweeping action to arrest declining profits.

The biggest lender in Europe’s most powerful economy will cut 35,000 jobs from its payroll and make a raft of other changes to fix a bank its new co-Chief Executive John Cryan described as saddled with broken technology and “poor historic behavior.”

Read more » THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
See more » http://www.wsj.com/articles/deutsche-bank-posts-6-6-billion-loss-1446104427

Bill Gates: Only Socialism Can Save the Climate, ‘The Private Sector is Inept’

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Bill Gates explains why the climate crisis will not be solved by the free market.

In a recent interview with The Atlantic, billionaire tech magnate Bill Gates announced his game plan to spend $2 billion of his own wealth on green energy investments, and called on his fellow private sector billionaires to help make the U.S. fossil-free by 2050. But in doing so, Gates admitted that the private sector is too selfish and inefficient to do the work on its own, and that mitigating climate change would be impossible without the help of government research and development.

“There’s no fortune to be made. Even if you have a new energy source that costs the same as today’s and emits no CO2, it will be uncertain compared with what’s tried-and-true and already operating at unbelievable scale and has gotten through all the regulatory problems,” Gates said. “Without a substantial carbon tax, there’s no incentive for innovators or plant buyers to switch.”

Gates even tacked to the left and uttered words that few other billionaire investors would dare to say: government R&D is far more effective and efficient than anything the private sector could do.

“Since World War II, U.S.-government R&D has defined the state of the art in almost every area,” Gates said. “The private sector is in general inept.”

Read more » U.S. Uncut
See more » http://usuncut.com/climate/bill-gates-only-socialism-can-save-us-from-climate-change/

Stephen Hawking Says We Should Really Be Scared Of Capitalism, Not Robots

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According to world famous physicist Stephen Hawking, the rising use of automated machines may mean the end of human rights – not just jobs. But he’s not talking about robots with artificial intelligence taking over the world, he’s talking about the current capitalist political system and its major players.

On Reddit, Hawkings said that the economic gap between the rich and the poor will continue to grow as more jobs are automated by machines, and the owners of said machines hoard them to create more wealth for themselves.

Someone asked:

Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them?

In particular, do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated? Do you think people will always either find work or manufacture more work to be done?

Hawkings replied:

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

The insatiable thirst for capitalist accumulation bestowed upon humans by years of lies and terrible economic policy has affected technology in such a way that one of its major goals has become to replace human jobs.

If we do not take this warning seriously, we may face unfathomable corporate domination. If we let the same people who buy and sell our political system and resources maintain control of automated technology, then we’ll be heading towards a very harsh reality.

Courtesy: U.S. Uncut
Read more » http://usuncut.com/news/edit-complete-hw-stephen-hawking-says-really-scared-capitalism-not-robots/

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More details » Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stephen-hawking-capitalism-robots_5616c20ce4b0dbb8000d9f15?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

Yellow Pages to cut 300 jobs in corporate ‘realignment’

By JAMES BRADSHAW MEDIA REPORTER, The Globe and Mail

Yellow Pages Ltd. is cutting 300 jobs by November in a corporate “realignment” designed to make the company leaner and free up dollars to invest in its digital ventures as it continues to move away from print directories.

The company announced the layoffs, which represent about 10 per cent of its work force, on Thursday, and said they will “principally affect management positions that have been integrated within other functions or that are no longer aligned with the company’s digital operations.”

Read more » The Globe and Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/yellow-pages-to-cut-300-jobs-in-corporate-realignment/article26714341/

HP’s layoffs will exceed 55,000 people, CFO says

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HP’s CFO Cathie Lesjak says the company will cut up to an additional 5% more people from its workforce than the 55,000 people it had planned to eliminate.

This is a long-running layoff that began in 2012 with an initial target of 25,000 jobs, but grew until the target became 55,000 people.

Now it’s grown again. Lasjak didn’t give a new total number although she said the additional job cuts won’t force HP to spend more on restructuring than it had planned.

Read more » Business Insider
See more » http://www.businessinsider.com/hp-layoffs-to-exceed-55000-people-2015-8

Next wave of smarter, faster robots coming for many of our jobs

By Robert Riguaux

Will a robot replace you at work? The odds, increasingly, say yes.

The good news is that one recent analysis of the job with a 99 percent chance to be replaced by a machine is … telemarketer. There is admittedly some personal delight in learning that.

I also now understand why parents always cherish the idea that their kid wanted to be a doctor. Not for the prestige or money but for job security. The same analysis gives only a 0.4 percent chance a robot will replace that occupation.

If you keep up on the chatter about the future of work, it’s tough to avoid the buzz about a new wave of automated machines and robots empowered with advanced artificial intelligence. (We’re way past the Roomba automated vacuum cleaner from iRobot, folks.) Next-generation robots will begin to take over not just blue-collar, repetitive-motion jobs, but also white-collar occupations like bankers and, yes, even fashion models.

You may have heard this line of conversation, as I have, in recent weeks. It goes like this:

If we eventually shift to driverless (automated) cars (goodbye, taxi drivers), then in theory we’ll have far fewer collisions (see ya, auto repair shops), ambulance calls (farewell, emergency med techs), less need for auto coverage (so long, insurance agents), attorneys (adios, personal injury lawyers) and certainly their overwhelming barrage of radio and TV ads (adieu, advertising agencies). These jobs won’t disappear entirely, but the growth of work opportunities in these occupations will undoubtedly shrivel.

Versions of this ripple effect from a robotic revolution are going on all around us. We just don’t always recognize it for what it is.

At direct mail marketer Valpak’s building along I-275 in St. Petersburg, one of the most automated materials handling systems in the world stuffs blue envelopes with coupons.

In downtown Tampa at USF Health’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (better known as CAMLS), visiting surgeons can learn robotic surgical techniques.

And some financial advisory firms are easing into the burgeoning automated investment management business — better known as robo-advising. It’s about providing clients with automated investing services that let algorithms do the work of financial advisers, assuring quality control in investment advice without the need to hire more expensive people.

Last year, Aloft Hotels announced an unusual hire at its California location: a robotic butler, or a Botlr, that can deliver room service to its guests.

This is just the beginning.

Two Oxford researchers recently analyzed the skills required for more than 700 different occupations to determine how many would be susceptible to automation in the near future. The news, says an article inthe Atlantic magazine last month, “was not good.” The two concluded that machines are likely to take over 47 percent of today’s jobs within a few decades.

That’s the same analysis that says telemarketers, umpires, lending officers, fashion models, restaurant cooks and manicurists are among many professions that have a 94 percent or higher risk of being replaced by a machine.

Conversely, teachers of younger kids, doctors, occupational therapists and clinical counselors all run a very low risk — less than 1 percent — of a robot taking their jobs, according to this analysis. How did they determine who was more or less at risk? Some aspects of a job are easier to automate than others. It all depends on the tasks.

If your job requires you to be creative, to squeeze into small spaces, to personally help someone or to demonstrate negotiation skills, it’s unlikely a machine will replace you.

The trick, of course, is that robots, automated systems and the rise of algorithms — step-by-step procedures for solving a problem or accomplishing some task by a computer — are getting more capable at a faster clip than human beings are improving their skills. Just look at smartphones and the number of apps we are all so happy to rely on.

Job hunters today, especially younger adults trying to find work at busy companies, must already get by algorithms used to initially screen the thousands of resumes sent online. Certain words or phrases indicating specific job skills, for example, may open the digital door enough to eventually reach a human and possibly an interview. Use the wrong word or phrase and you may be out of luck.

Part of the recent buzz over the coming robot invasion into the workplaces is because of a new book written by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Martin Ford. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future tells how the use of robots is about to dramatically increase, in part because technology has at last created a standard operating platform — like Android for smartphones or Windows for computers — that can now be built upon efficiently.

“We are at the leading edge of a wave of innovation that will ultimately produce robots geared toward nearly every conceivable commercial, industrial and consumer task,” Ford writes. Robots may even help reduce jobs being outsourced overseas because adding more robots to factories will reduce costs and make U.S.-based facilities more competitive. Ford calls this potential trend “factory re-shoring.”

Continue reading Next wave of smarter, faster robots coming for many of our jobs

After Greece & China, the next domino to fall: Latin America

The next domino to fall: Latin America

Greece needs a bailout and China’s stock market is in meltdown mode. But the global economy has another rising red flag: Latin America.

  @CNNMoney

Every major Latin American economy is slowing down or shrinking. The World Bank predicts this will be Latin America’s worst year of growth since the financial crisis. As if that’s not dire enough, the world’s two worst performing stock markets are in the region as well.

And things could get even uglier later this year for Latin America, a region which is double the economic size of India.

“The weakness in Latin America is reflecting the weaker global outlook,” says Win Thin, senior economist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

The ‘most vulnerable’: After years of checkered progress, Latin America is the “most vulnerable” region to China’s sputtering economy and market meltdown, experts say. It’s become a trade battleground area between the United States and China.

China is the biggest trade partner to many Latin countries, but the U.S. has tried to reassert its presence in recent months. Still, China’s sluggish growth is pulling Latin America down with it.

“We’re expecting very, very weak growth,” says Eugenio Aleman, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities. “Brazil is in bad shape. Argentina isn’t much better. Chile has slowed down to a trickle…Peru is slowing down considerably.”

That’s just the beginning. Venezuela is arguably the world’s worst economy with sky-high inflation. Next door, Colombia has the world’s worst stock market this year. Its index is down 13% so far this year. The second worst is Peru, down 12.5%. By comparison, America’s S&P 500 is flat this year. (Argentina has the world’s best stock market, but that’s more a reflection of politics than economics).

While many are focused on Greece right now, “a deeper downturn in China remains the key external risk for Latin America,” says Neil Shearing, chief emerging market economist at Capital Economics.

The big problem: The three “C’s” are weighing down Latin America: China, commodities, and currency.

Read more » CNN
Learn more » http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/09/news/economy/warning-sign-latin-america-economy/index.html

Canadian dollar drops to lowest level since 2004

‘The downside could be enormous from here. There is no reason why it can’t fall much farther’

By Pete Evans

The Canadian dollar dropped to levels not seen since 2004 on Wednesday.

The loonie closed at 76.70 cents against the U.S. dollar, according to the Bank of Canada, down 0.53 cents. That’s lower than the 76.85 cents the loonie closed at on March 9, 2009, more than six years ago. The loonie hasn’t been this low since September 2004, almost 11 years ago, when it touched the 75 cent level.

Read more » CBC
Learn more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-dollar-drops-to-lowest-level-since-2004-1.3163316

The end of capitalism has begun

Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian

By 

The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the forced destruction of the market from above. For much of the 20th century this was how the left conceived the first stage of an economy beyond capitalism. The force would be applied by the working class, either at the ballot box or on the barricades. The lever would be the state. The opportunity would come through frequent episodes of economic collapse.

Instead over the past 25 years it has been the left’s project that has collapsed. The market destroyed the plan; individualism replaced collectivism and solidarity; the hugely expanded workforce of the world looks like a “proletariat”, but no longer thinks or behaves as it once did.

Continue reading The end of capitalism has begun

Greece Financial Crisis Hits Poorest and Hungriest the Hardest

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ATHENS — Behind the lace curtains of a soup kitchen run by a parish in the humble Athens neighborhood of Kerameikos, the needy and hungry sit down to a plate of sliced cucumbers, three hunks of bread, a shallow china bowl of chickpea soup and often a piece of meat. Sometimes there is even ice cream, a special treat.

People prize the refectory, run by a priest, for its homeyness, and they travel long distances to fill their empty stomachs at least once a day.

But on Thursday, the priest, Father Ignatios Moschos was worried that he would no longer have enough food to go around if the country’s economic paralysis continues, as it seems likely to do even if Greece and its creditors manage to work out a last-minute deal this weekend to avert a Greek exit from the euro.

“It will be hard, dark, painful,” the priest said, nibbling from a bowl of pistachios as a long line of people waited for their turn to eat at the communal tables. “We will have trouble receiving food.”

Poverty in Greece has been deepening since the financial crisis began more than five years ago. Now, aid groups and local governments say they are beginning to feel the effects of nearly two weeks of bank closings, as Greecestruggles to keep its financial system from failing and to break out of years of economic hardship.

And any deal with creditors this weekend will bring further cuts in government spending. It will also bring higher taxes and, as a consequence, more short-term pressure on the economy.

As Athens takes on the aura of Soviet Russia, with lines of people outside banks waiting to receive their daily cash allowance, some aid groups are seeing their supply channels narrow. By some accounts, lines for food, clothing and medicine have grown fivefold in parts of the capital in the last two weeks alone.

The European Parliament president, Martin Schulz, has said he shares Greeks’ concerns. President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission said this past week that the European Union was making plans for humanitarian aid to Greece to cushion the blow if a third bailout was not worked out by Sunday and Greece was forced out of the euro system.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/world/europe/greece-debt-crisis-athens-poverty-inequality.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0