Research and analysis to provoke public awareness and critical thinking
We contribute to the liberalisation of the democratic instituions of society, for they have been captured by the owners of the market. They work in tandem with their market agents, who, posing as public servants, are entrenched in the halls of government. The political class has betrayed its public mandate and instead operates to impose a marketocratic state to maximise the shareholder value of the institutional investors of international financial markets. They own the global corporations and think they own the world on behalf of their very private interest.
Our spheres of action: true democracy – true sustainability – living wage – basic income – inequality – ecological footprint – degrowth – global warming –human development – corporate accountability – civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, responsible consumption, sustainable autonomous citizen cells...
Parting from an ethos of true democracy and true sustainability, We, the citizenry, work to advance the paradigm whose only purpose is to go in pursuit of the welfare of People and Planet and NOT the market.
Living-wage assessment – PPP Wage rate gaps for selected "developed and emerging" economies for all employed in manufacturing workers (1996 up to 2015).
From an equalisation perspective, among East Asian countries, South Korea has not been able to sustain its growing trend and instead declined in 2014 and then stalled. Japan shows a similar equalisation trend and has been declining since 2014 as well. After strong gains since 1996, particularly for South Korea, both reached their best position in 2012 or 2013, but in 2015 both dropped back to the levels recorded in 2010 for South Korea and 2006 for Japan, with Eq-Idx of 66 and 67 respectively. Singapore in contrast has been able to sustain a growing Eq-Idx, and despite a drop in 2013, it has now been able to recover and reach its best position ever, with a 78 index in 2015.
Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Argentina's wage rate gap 1996-2015
Despite high inflation and currency devaluations since 2010, real wages continued growing powerfully in US dollars. This allowed manufacturing wages to only lose two points in their Equalised Index (Eq-Idx) since 2013, when they reached their best index (56), the highest recorded in twenty years.
Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Brazil's wage rate gap 1996-2015
Brazil has no longer sustained its Eq-Idx due to the deep recession that has ensued in the last years. Brazil’s government has continued complying with its minimum wage appreciation law, but equalisation will not resume until economic growth also resumes.
Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2015 Real wage-gap rates for twelve economies, in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, for all employed in manufacturing. *(The base table used for all PPP real-wage gap analysis)
Beginning with the 2012 living-wage gap assessments, the purchasing power parities (PPPs) used refer to private consumption ~(i.e., household final consumption expenditure), as opposed to the PPPs for Gross Domestic Product previously applied. The PPP for GDP includes prices for the entire economy and not just for the private consumption of consumer households. This change enables Jus Semper to deliver a more accurate metric of all the indicators that we used in our methodology to assess the wage gaps between actual and equalised wage rates. The PPPs for private consumption have been therefore revised for all years beginning in 1996.
Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Mexico's wage rate gap 1996-2015
Nothing has changed in 2015 except to get worse.. The Mexican State, which has been permanently challenged for the lack of legitimacy of its elections in 2006 and 2012, corroborates every year its vocation as a customary violator of the labour rights of its citizens.
Living-wage assessment – New assessment of Spain's wage rate gap 1996-2015
To put Spain’s living wage rate position in a European perspective, only three economies recorded gains in 2015 vis-à-vis 2014, seven others recorded no change , whilst Spain and nine others recorded a widening of their living-wage gap with equivalent U.S. wages. This is worse than when comparing 2015 versus 2012, when Spain and three others recorded no change but seven recorded gains in their equalisation. Overall, as with most countries, wage equalisation in Spain’s manufacturing sector has stagnated, but extremely high unemployment and the deliberate neoliberal job casualisation policy remain its most conspicuous features.
Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2015 Real wage-gap rates for twenty-one European economies.
Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2015 Real wage-rate gaps for eight Asia and Oceania economies.
Living-wage assessment – Table T5: 1996-2015 Real wage-gap rates for the four largest economies in the Americas (Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina).
True Sustainbility and Degrowth in the citizens' Imaginary – The People and Planet paradigm in a truly democratic ethos unburdened by capitalism
The world is steadily going back to stages that we thought we had overcome. Democracy and its so-called democratic institutions are, for the most part, a complete mockery. In lieu of a democratic ethos, the market dictates the rules by which everyone must attempt to live, in complete contradiction with the most basic premise of democracy: to procure the welfare of every rank of society, and with special emphasis on the dispossessed.
Parting from this context, the premise of this work is that we must start today to radically change our life styles to put them in harmony with what Mother Earth can provide in food, water, energy and other natural resources in a truly sustainable manner for us and for all living beings. This means that we must embark on a quantum leap paradigmatic change that puts an end to marketocracy.
Living Wages in the Paradigm Transition – The Imperative Challenge of Trascending the Market
The living wage is a human right even though most governments do not recognise it as such. Most workers in the world still earn less than a living wage for their labour. Living on an unliveable wage is a global challenge of immense proportions, affecting the wellbeing of billions worldwide and dragging on the prospects for achieving just and sustainable societies. Although we must work to transform the system and transcend the market, through a systemic transition, the right to a living wage must be recognised in its own right irrespective of the prevailing system.
Transcending the dominant marketocratic paradigm is essential not only because of its incompatibility with basic human rights but because the market cannot sustain limitless growth without violating ecological limits. Achieving this requires building a new truly democratic ethos, rooted in harmonious coexistence for people and the planet.
The premise of this paper is that the living wage is a prerequisite to a life with dignity and security. A remuneration for labour must be enough to fulfil basic household needs for food, housing, clothing, healthcare, education, transportation, and leisure. Both the living wage and environmental preservation are essential components of a just and sustainable future. The current market-driven system, where poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation are deemed acceptable and inevitable, cannot be compatible with the equity and inter-generation tenets that lie at the heart of sustainable development.
Alejandro Teitelbaum’s assessment of capitalism is the result of decades of previous works, studying it carefully as a researcher as well as a social representative committed to protecting the human rights of citizens through a binding regulatory framework of capital‘s activity. A regulation never achieved due to the concerted and systematic opposition of global business lobbies with the enthusiastic backing of the governments of the major powers. In this work Teitelbaum elaborates on the core aspects of capitalism and updates the wealth of evidence on its falsehoods and contradictions. Based on Marx's theory of the appropriation labour’s value, Teitelbaum shells out the main features of the capitalist system to display its contradictions and arrive at a well articulated conclusion. This is that capitalism is incompatible with true democracy from the moment that its supreme value is to protect the private ownership of the means of production, by which it appropriates the surplus value of labour, rather than seek the welfare of society, as it is in true democracy. Therefore, he argues, it is not possible to reform capitalism to make it compatible with democracy, but, rather that, it needs to be replaced ~by radically changing the essence of human labour as it exists in the capitalist system, in which the worker stands in the production cycle both at the beginning, alienated as a producer, and at the end, alienated as a consumer; from which it is inferred that a move towards true socialism is required. Yet, Teitelbaum asserts that, contrary to what happened in the Soviet Union and other societies, the transition towards socialism must take place in an environment of genuine and fully participatory democracy. That is, in an environment where the only purpose of the societies is the welfare of each and every one of the ranks of society to create social wealth to meet the material and spiritual needs of citizens, according to a social and democratic planning of production and distribution for the full realisation of the human being.
This implies that to live in a truly democratic ethos –and not in the mockery known as representative democracy– a hitherto unknown model must be built –in a superior stage of humanity– in which the citizens hold the initiative and are permanently involved in the public matter, in such a way that the public agenda is set by the fully acquainted citizens so that decision making becomes the result of a direct and informed participation. This is so, says Teitelbaum, for “capitalism has reached a level of development and is such a cumulous of contradictions that it has in fact become on the verge of socialism, as a way of resolving those contradictions in a humanly superior stage
Global Wage Report 2014/2015
The Global Wage Report 2014/15 presents both the latest trends in average wages and an analysis of the role of wages in income inequality. The first part of the report shows that global wage growth in recent years was driven by emerging and developing economies, where real wages have been rising since 2007 although wage growth slowed in 2013 compared to 2012. In developed economies, wages generally remained stagnant in 2012 and 2013, and in a number of countries wages remained below their 2007 level. These trends are a matter of concern.
At the level of the individual worker or firm, the immediate impacts of higher or lower wages are self-evident. At the national level, the effects of higher or lower wages on aggregate demand and employment are context-specific and cannot be predicted or evaluated without taking into account the level of wages relative to productivity, the degree of openness of the country under consideration and the relative size of the different components of aggregate demand. At the international level, if too many countries pursue wage moderation policies, the outcome is likely to be negative. In the current environment, in which the global economy risks sliding back into a low-growth trap, higher wage growth would be desirable in those countries where wages in the past have lagged behind productivity growth. As the report demonstrates, in some countries policies have already started to shift in that direction.
The second part of the report turns to the role of wages in income in- equality. Inequality has become the subject of growing interest in recent years across the world, and there has been a realization that growing inequality not only undermines social justice objectives, but can also have adverse economic conse- quences. Through the adoption of the 2008 Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, ILO Members renewed their commitment to pursue policies with regard to wages and earnings designed to ensure a just share of the fruits of pro- gress to all and recognized that for a fair outcome for all, it has become even more necessary to achieve social cohesion and to combat poverty and rising inequalities.
In many countries, the distribution of wages and paid employment has been a key factor in recent inequality trends. This highlights the importance of labour market institutions and policies – including minimum wages and collective bar- gaining – that have an effect on income distribution.
Human Development Report 2015
Work enhances human development, but some work damages human development and some work puts workers at risk.
When positive, work provides benefits beyond material wealth and fosters community, knowledge, strengthens dignity and inclusion. Nearly a billion workers in agriculture, 450 million entrepreneurs, 80 million workers in health and education, 53 million domestic workers, 970 million voluntary workers contribute to human progress.
When negative, in the form of forced labour, child labour and human trafficking, work can violate human rights, threaten freedom and shatter dignity. An estimated 21 million people are currently in forced labour of whom 14 million (67 percent) were exploited for labour and 4.5 million (22 percent) sexually exploited. There are still 168 million child labourers worldwide. And some work e.g. work in hazardous industries may put workers in risk. There are 30 million workers in mining and their face risks every day.
Over the years work has contributed considerably to impressive progress in human development. However the progress has been uneven with significant human deprivations and large human potentials remain unused.
The Degrowth Alternative
Both the name and the theory of degrowth aim explicitly to repoliticize environmentalism. Sustainable development and its more recent reincarnation “green growth” depoliticize genuine political antagonisms between alternative visions for the future. They render environmental problems technical, promising win-win solutions and the impossible goal of perpetuating economic growth without harming the environment. Ecologizing society, degrowthers argue, is not about implementing an alternative, better, or greener development. It is about imagining and enacting alternative visions to modern growth-based development. This essay explores such alternatives and identifies grassroots practices and political changes for facilitating a transition to a prosperous and equitable world without growth.