Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘unemployment

How could parenthood be worse than divorce, unemployment, or the death of a partner?

Life has its ups and downs, but parenthood is supposed to be among the most joyous. At least that’s what the movies and Target ads tell us.

In reality, it turns out that having a child can have a pretty strong negative impact on a person’s happiness, according to a new study published in the journal Demography.

In fact, on average, the effect of a new baby on a person’s life is devastatingly bad — worse than divorce, worse than unemployment and worse even than the death of a partner.

Researchers Rachel Margolis and Mikko Myrskylä followed 2,016 Germans who were childless at the time the study began until at least two years after the birth of their first child.

Respondents were asked to rate their happiness from 0 (completely dissatisfied) to 10 (completely satisfied) in response to the question, “How satisfied are you with your life, all things considered?”

“Although this measure does not capture respondents’ overall experience of having a child, it is preferable to direct questions about childbearing because it is considered taboo for new parents to say negative things about a new child,” they wrote.

The study’s goal was to try to gain insights into a longstanding contradiction in fertility in many developed countries between how many children people say they want and how many they actually have.

In Germany, most couples say in surveys that they want two children. Yet the birthrate in the country has remained stubbornly low ( 1.5 children per woman  for 40 years).

Margolis, a sociology researcher at the University of Western Ontario, and Myrskylä, director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, found that most couples in their study started out pretty happy when they set out to have their first child.

In the year prior to the birth, their life satisfaction ticked up even more, perhaps due to the pregnancy and anticipation of the baby.

[How parents create narcissistic children]

It was only after birth that the parents’ experiences diverged.

About 30 percent remained at about the same state of happiness or better once they had the baby, according to self-reported measures of well-being.

The rest said their happiness decreased during the first and second year after the birth.

Of those new mothers and fathers whose happiness went down, 37 percent (742) reported a one-unit drop, 19 percent (383) a two-unit drop and 17 percent (341) a three-unit drop.

On average, new parenthood led to a 1.4 unit drop in happiness. That’s considered very severe.

To put things in perspective, previous studies have quantified the impact of other major life events on the same happiness scale in this way: divorce, the equivalent of a 0.6 “happiness unit” drop; unemployment, a one-unit drop; and the death of a partner a one-unit drop.

The consequence of the negative experiences was that many of the parents stopped having children after their first.

The data showed the larger the loss in well-being, the lower the likelihood of a second baby.

The effect was especially strong in mothers and fathers who are older than age 30 and with higher education.

Surprisingly, gender was not a factor.

“Fertility is a choice for most people in the developed world … [I]f the transition to parenthood is very difficult or more difficult than expected, then people may choose to remain at parity,” the researchers wrote.

Margolis and Myrskyla wrote that challenges of new parents that impacted their decision to have another fell into three categories.

  1.  The first two had to do with health. Mothers reported physical pain and nausea conflicted with their desire to work. Fathers expressed concern about the medical issues of their partner.
  2.  Second, complications during the birth also appeared to shape their decision to not “go through it again.”
  3. The third category was the most significant and was about “the continuous and intense nature of childrearing.” Parents reported exhaustion due to trouble breast-feeding, sleep deprivation, depression, domestic isolation and relationship breakdown.

The findings are likely to be eye-opening for some policymakers who are concerned about low fertility rates in their countries and suggest that governments should consider giving additional support to new parents.

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A new study shows that the happiness of a first-time parent falls after the baby arrives. That may be why so many don’t end up having a second.
washingtonpost.com

 

Toward zero unemployment

A dozen generations ago, there was no unemployment, largely because there were no real jobs to speak of.

Before the industrial revolution, the thought that you’d leave your home and go to an office or a factory was, of course, bizarre.

What happens now that the industrial age is ending?

As the final days of the industrial age roll around, we are seeing the core assets of the economy replaced by something new. Actually, it’s something old, something handmade, but this time, on a huge scale.

The industrial age was about scarcity. Everything that built our culture, improved our productivity, and defined our lives involved the chasing of scarce items.

On the other hand, the connection economy, our economy, the economy of the foreseeable future, embraces abundance.

No, we don’t have an endless supply of the resources we used to trade and covet.

No, we certainly don’t have a surplus of time, either.

But we do have an abundance of choice, an abundance of connection, and an abundance of access to knowledge.

We know more people, have access to more resources, and can leverage our skills more quickly and at a higher level than ever before.

This abundance leads to two races.

The race to the bottom is the Internet-fueled challenge to lower prices, find cheaper labor, and deliver more for less.

The other race is the race to the top: the opportunity to be the one they can’t live without, to be the linchpin we would miss if he didn’t show up.

The race to the top focuses on delivering more for more. It embraces the weird passions of those with the resources to make choices, and it rewards originality, remarkability, and art.

The connection economy continues to gain traction because connections scale, information begets more information, and influence accrues to those who create this abundance.

As connections scale, these connections paradoxically make it easier for others to connect as well, because anyone with talent or passion can leverage the networks created by connection to increase her impact.

The connection economy doesn’t create jobs where we get picked and then get paid; the connection economy builds opportunities for us to connect, and then demands that we pick ourselves.

Just as the phone network becomes more valuable when more phones are connected (scarcity is the enemy of value in a network), the connection economy becomes more valuable as we scale it.

Friends bring us more friends

. A reputation brings us a chance to build a better reputation.

Access to information encourages us to seek ever more information. The connections in our life multiply and increase in value. Our stuff, on the other hand,  becomes less valuable over time.

… [this riff is inspired by my new book…]

Successful organizations have realized that they are no longer in the business of coining slogans, running catchy ads, and optimizing their supply chains to cut costs.

And freelancers and soloists have discovered that doing a good job for a fair price is no longer sufficient to guarantee success.

Good work is easier to find than ever before.

What matters now:

  • Trust
  • Permission
  • Remarkability
  • Leadership
  • Stories that spread
  • Humanity: connection, compassion, and humility

All six of these are the result of successful work by humans who refuse to follow industrial-age  rules.  (Only connected people can gather all these characteristics?)

These assets aren’t generated by external strategies and MBAs and positioning memos. These are the results of internal struggle, of brave decisions without a map and the willingness to allow others to live with dignity.

They are about standing out, not fitting in, about inventing, not duplicating. (What a challenge: to find work you have got to stand out?)

TRUST AND PERMISSION: In a marketplace that’s open to just about anyone, the only people we hear are the people we choose to hear.

Media is cheap, sure, but attention is filtered, and it’s virtually impossible to be heard unless the consumer gives us the ability to be heard. The more valuable someone’s attention is, the harder it is to earn.

And who gets heard?

Why would someone listen to the prankster or the shyster or the huckster?

No, we choose to listen to those we trust.

We do business with and donate to those who have earned our attention.

We seek out people who tell us stories that resonate, we listen to those stories, and we engage with those people or businesses that delight or reassure or surprise in a positive way.

And all of those behaviors are the acts of people, not machines.

We embrace the humanity in those around us, particularly as the rest of the world appears to become less human and more cold. Who will you miss? That is who you are listening to .

REMARKABILITY: The same bias toward humanity and connection exists in the way we choose which ideas we’ll share with our friends and colleagues.

No one talks about the boring, the predictable, or the safe. We don’t risk interactions in order to spread the word about something obvious or trite.

The remarkable is almost always new and untested, fresh and risky.

LEADERSHIP: Management is almost diametrically opposed to leadership.

Management is about generating yesterday’s results, but a little faster or a little more cheaply. We know how to manage the world—we relentlessly seek to cut costs and to limit variation, while we exalt obedience.

Leadership, though, is a whole other game. Leadership puts the leader on the line. No manual, no rule book, no überleader to point the finger at when things go wrong.

If you ask someone for the rule  book on how to lead, you’re secretly wishing to be a manager.

Leaders are vulnerable, not controlling, and they are racing to the top, taking us to a new place, not to the place of cheap, fast, compliant safety.

STORIES THAT SPREAD:

The next asset that makes the new economy work is the story that spreads.

Before the revolution, in a world of limited choice, shelf space mattered a great deal. You could buy your way onto the store shelf, or you could be the only one on the ballot, or you could use a connection to get your résumé in front of the hiring guy. In a world of abundant choice, though, none of these tactics is effective.

The chooser has too many alternatives, there’s too much clutter, and the scarce resources are attention and trust, not shelf space. This situation is tough for many, because attention and trust must be earned, not acquired.

More difficult still is the magic of the story that resonates. After trust is earned and your work is seen, only a fraction of it is magical enough to be worth spreading.

Again, this magic is the work of the human artist, not the corporate machine. We’re no longer interested in average stuff for average people.

HUMANITY: We don’t worship industrial the way we used to. We seek out human originality and caring instead. When price and availability are no longer sufficient advantages (because everything is available and the price is no longer news), then what we are drawn to is the vulnerability and transparency that bring us together, that turn the “other” into one of us.

For a long time to come the masses will still clamor for cheap and obvious and reliable.

But the people you seek to lead, the people who are helping to define the next thing and the interesting frontier, these people want your humanity, not your discounts.

All of these assets, rolled into one, provide the foundation for the change maker of the future.

And that individual (or the team that person leads) has no choice but to build these assets with novelty, with a fresh approach to an old problem, with a human touch that is worth talking about.

I can’t wait until we return to zero percent unemployment, to a time when people with something to contribute (everyone)  pick themselves instead of waiting for a bureaucrat’s permission to do important work.

 

 

 

It’s No Myth:

Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Erase Jobs in Nearly Every Industry

With the unemployment rate falling to 5.3 percent, the lowest in seven years, policy makers are heaving a sigh of relief.  (Every time these short terms sighs of relief to fool the people)

Indeed, with the technology boom in progress, there is a lot to be optimistic about.

Manufacturing will be returning to U.S. shores with robots doing the job of Chinese workers;

American carmakers will be mass-producing self-driving electric vehicles;

technology companies will develop medical devices that greatly improve health and longevity;

we will have unlimited clean energy and 3D print our daily needs.

The cost of all of these things will plummet and make it possible to provide for the basic needs of every human being.

(No sweat hoping. And what of the people who needs a job?)

I am talking about technology advances that are happening now, which will bear fruit in the 2020s. (How about in 50 years if no major calamities hit us before then?)

But policy makers will have a big new problem to deal with: the disappearance of human jobs.

Not only will there be fewer jobs for people doing manual work, the jobs of knowledge workers will also be replaced by computers.

(So even educated people will have no jobs?)

Almost every industry and profession will be impacted and this will create a new set of social problems — because most people can’t adapt to such dramatic change. (Why should they?)

If we can develop the economic structures necessary to distribute the prosperity we are creating (here we go again), most people will no longer have to work to sustain themselves. They will be free to pursue other creative endeavors (assuming that the opportunities are there?

The problem is that without jobs, they will not have the dignity, social engagement, and sense of fulfillment that comes from work.

The life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that the constitution entitles us to won’t be through labor, it will have to be through other means. (How about we start thinking of these other means?)

It is imperative that we understand the changes that are happening and find ways to cushion the impacts.

The technology elite who are leading this revolution will reassure you that there is nothing to worry about because we will create new jobs just as we did in previous centuries when the economy transitioned from agrarian to industrial to knowledge-based. (kids were working in the mining industries, in tunnels deep inside the bowel of earth)

Tech mogul Marc Andreessen has called the notion of a jobless future a “Luddite fallacy,” referring to past fears that machines would take human jobs away. Those fears turned out to be unfounded because we created newer and better jobs and were much better off. (Please expand on these new jobs and their cumulative trauma disorders)

True, we are living better lives. But what is missing from these arguments is the timeframe over which the transitions occurred.

The industrial revolution unfolded over centuries. Today’s technology revolutions are happening within years.

We will surely create a few intellectually-challenging jobs, but we won’t be able to retrain the workers who lose today’s jobs.

The working people will experience the same unemployment and despair that their forefathers did. It is they who we need to worry about. (Which means 6 billion people?)

The first large wave of unemployment will be caused by self-driving cars. (if the technology is here, who in his right head will give up control over the car?)

These will provide tremendous benefit by eliminating traffic accidents and congestion, making commuting time more productive, and reducing energy usage. But they will eliminate the jobs of millions of taxi and truck drivers and delivery people.

Fully-automated robotic cars are no longer in the realm of science fiction; you can see Google’s cars on the streets of Mountain View, Calif. There are also self-driving trucks on our highways (they should be banned) and self-driving tractors on farms.

Uber just hired away dozens of engineers from Carnegie Mellon University to build its own robotic cars. It will surely start replacing its human drivers as soon as its technology is ready — later in this decade (And give away the profit it is amassing by hiring drivers?).

As Uber CEO Travis Kalanick reportedly said in an interview, “The reason Uber could be expensive is you’re paying for the other dude in the car. When there is no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere is cheaper. Even on a road trip. (Assuming the clients will prefer Not having this dude on the wheel)”

The dude in the driver’s seat will go away.

Manufacturing will be the next industry to be transformed.

Robots have, for many years, been able to perform surgery, milk cows, do military reconnaissance and combat, and assemble goods. But they weren’t dexterous enough to do the type of work that humans do in installing circuit boards.

The latest generation of industrial robots by ABB of Switzerland and Rethink Robotics of Boston can do this however. ABB’s robot, Yumi, can even thread a needle. It costs only $40,000.

China, fearing the demise of its industry, is setting up fully-automated robotic factories in the hope that by becoming more price-competitive, it can continue to be the manufacturing capital of the world.

But its advantage only holds up as long as the supply chains are in China and shipping raw materials and finished goods over the oceans remains cost-effective.

Don’t forget that our robots are as productive as theirs are; they too don’t join labor unions (yet) and will work around the clock without complaining.

Supply chains will surely shift and the trickle of returning manufacturing will become a flood.

But there will be few jobs for humans once the new, local factories are built.

With advances in artificial intelligence, any job that requires the analysis of information can be done better by computers. This includes the jobs of physicians, lawyers, accountants, and stock brokers.

We will still need some humans to interact with the ones who prefer human contact, but the grunt work will disappear. The machines will need very few humans to help them.

This jobless future will surely create social problems — but it may be an opportunity for humanity to uplift itself. (That is the biggest lie that has been perpetrated this century)

Why do we need to work 40, 50, or 60 hours a week, after all? Just as we were better off leaving the long and hard agrarian and factory jobs behind, we may be better off without the mindless work at the office.

What if we could be working 10 or 15 hours per week from anywhere we want and have the remaining time for leisure, social work, or attainment of knowledge?

Yes, there will be a booming tourism and recreation industry and new jobs will be created in these — for some people. (Assuming the money are there for these entertainment)

There are as many things to be excited about as to fear.

If we are smart enough to develop technologies that solve the problems of disease, hunger, energy, and education, we can — and surely will — develop solutions to our social problems.  (Then why famine is still harvesting millions of people?)

But we need to start by understanding where we are headed and prepare for the changes.

We need to get beyond the claims of a Luddite fallacy — to a discussion about the new future.

Vivek-Wadhwa-41

Vivek Wadhwa is a fellow at Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke, and distinguished fellow at Singularity University.

His past appointments include Harvard Law School, University of California Berkeley, and Emory University. Follow him on Twitter @wadhwa.

Though robots and artificial intelligence will erase jobs and bring social challenges, they may also provide an opportunity for humanity to uplift itself.
singularityhub.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four years in the Syrian civil war: Repercussion on Unemployment in Lebanon

Former minister Charbel Nahas said:

“The Syrian crisis deepened inequalities in Lebanon society”

« La crise des réfugiés a rendu la société libanaise encore plus inégalitaire qu’elle ne l’était. »

Depuis le début du soulèvement en Syrie, l’économie libanaise, affectée par l’instabilité régionale et locale, tourne au ralenti.

Les taux de croissance annuels d’environ 2 % enregistrés ces quatre dernières années (contre 8 % en 2010) masquent une sombre réalité socio-économique dans les régions périphériques, où s’est installée la majorité des réfugiés syriens, en particulier dans le Akkar, Tripoli, la Békaa, et le Liban-Sud.

Car si l’économie a pu s’adapter à la baisse des exportations, du tourisme et des investissements, le marché de l’emploi absorbe très difficilement le choc démographique que représente l’accueil d’environ 1,2 million de refugiés.

Selon la Banque mondiale, la population active a augmenté de 15,4 % au Liban depuis le début de la crise syrienne. Photo Joseph Eid

Quatre ans après le soulèvement en Syrie, la guerre civil en Syrie a eu un impact globalement mitigé sur l’économie libanaise qui continue de résister tant bien que mal.
En revanche, le choc démographique que représente l’afflux des réfugiés syriens a bouleversé le marché de l’emploi.

La population du Liban a ainsi augmenté de près de 30 % en quatre ans.

Cet afflux s’est accompagné d’une aide humanitaire internationale, estimée à 800 millions de dollars par an.  (The minister of finance has no formal reliable data on any kinds of aids)

En soutenant la demande, les aides versées aux refugiés ont permis, à elles seules, de générer 1,3 % de croissance en 2014, souligne l’économiste Kamal Hamdan.
Ces aides sont insuffisantes pour permettre aux réfugiés de vivre décemment, ne serait-ce que pour payer des loyers qui ont flambé sous la pression de la demande.

Une enquête menée par l’Organisation internationale du travail (OIT) en 2013 auprès de 2 000 réfugiés avait révélé que près de la moitié d’entre eux travaillent pour compléter leurs revenus.

Plus de main-d’œuvre pour autant d’emplois
La population active, c’est-à-dire l’ensemble des résidents en âge de travailler (employés ou chômeurs), a augmenté de 15,4 % en quatre ans, selon les estimations de la Banque mondiale.

Étant donné le contexte économique morose, il est admis que les créations d’emplois n’ont pas suivi, même si les statistiques manquent cruellement dans ce domaine.

« Le taux de chômage (toutes nationalités comprises), qui était estimé à environ 11 % avant la crise, est passé à 18 voire 20 % », affirme l’économiste Kamal Hamdan.

« Si l’on ne considère que les Libanais, le nombre de sans-emplois a sans doute doublé, avec au moins 150 000 chômeurs de plus en quatre ans. »

En cause : le marasme économique, mais surtout la concurrence de la main-d’œuvre syrienne, prête à accepter des salaires largement inférieurs à ceux des Libanais.
Contrairement aux idées reçues, les qualifications des travailleurs libanais et syriens ne sont pas très éloignées.

« Le chômage au Liban ne touche pas essentiellement les personnes qualifiées comme on le pense, puisque de nombreux jeunes diplômés trouvent du travail à l’étranger et émigrent. Les personnes non qualifiées en revanche n’ont pas d’alternatives. On estime que 48 % de la population active libanaise a un niveau d’études élémentaire », indique l’économiste et ancien ministre du Travail, Charbel Nahas.
Pour ces derniers, la concurrence syrienne n’est pas un phénomène nouveau.

Bien avant 2011, les ouvriers syriens avaient déjà largement remplacé les Libanais dans les emplois non qualifiés du secteur agricole et celui de la construction.

« Les Libanais non qualifiés s’étaient alors tournés vers le secteur des services qui représente 60 % de l’économie. Ils travaillaient essentiellement dans les petits commerces, en tant que vendeurs, serveurs, cuisiniers, coiffeurs, etc. Mais aujourd’hui on observe un effet de substitution aussi dans ce secteur », constate le directeur de l’Institut du Levant pour les affaires stratégiques (LISA), Sami Nader.

Effet de substitution à tous les niveaux
Étant donné l’abondance de l’offre, la concurrence s’étend également aux emplois semi-qualifiés. Selon l’enquête de l’OIT, 45 % des réfugiés occupent un emploi non qualifié (agriculture, construction, concierge, chauffeurs…) et 43 % occupent un emploi semi-qualifié (menuisier, forgeron, industries agroalimentaires..), à des salaires imbattables.

Le revenu mensuel moyen d’un ouvrier syrien était de 418 000 livres par mois en 2013, la moitié de celui d’un Libanais non qualifié.
Cette forte concurrence a tiré le niveau des rémunérations à la baisse.

Toujours selon l’OIT, le salaire moyen d’un travailleur non qualifié a reculé de 30 % à Baalbeck et de 50 % à Wadi Khaled.

Près de 90 % des ouvriers libanais interrogés par l’OIT dans la Békaa ont constaté une baisse de leurs revenus. En moyenne, la Banque mondiale parle d’une baisse de la richesse par habitant au Liban d’environ 11 % depuis le début de la guerre en Syrie. Mais tous les habitants ne sont pas logés à la même enseigne.
En réduisant les coûts de production, la baisse des salaires a bénéficié aux entreprises.

En l’absence d’investissements, « cela s’est traduit par une hausse des profits du capital », souligne Kamal Hamdan.

L’OIT conclut dans son rapport que « les propriétaires de terrains et d’entreprises, et les autres membres de la classe moyenne et aisée profitent de la crise des réfugiés, tandis que les ménages libanais les plus pauvres et les plus vulnérables sont les plus menacés ». Charbel Nahas dresse le même constat : « La crise des réfugiés a rendu la société libanaise encore plus inégalitaire qu’elle ne l’était. »

4 000 nouveaux agents des FSI
Par manque d’opportunités de travail, les Libanais les plus défavorisés se dirigent donc vers le seul secteur qui leur est encore réservé : la fonction publique.

Et le gouvernement n’hésite pas à utiliser ce levier pour absorber le choc. Au début de l’année, les Forces de sécurité intérieure (FSI) ont embauché 4 000 nouveaux éléments et s’apprêtent à en recruter 4 000 autres.

« Par rapport à un million d’actifs libanais ce chiffre est énorme, souligne Charbel Nahas. C’est comme si la France, qui compte 30 millions d’actifs, recrutait 120 000 policiers d’un coup. » Selon lui, 120 000 Libanais travaillent aujourd’hui dans les services de sécurité de l’État (armée, FSI, Sûreté générale).

Proportionnellement, cela représente 7 fois les effectifs actuels de la France.

Pistes de réflexion
Pour le moment, c’est l’une des deux seules solutions qu’a trouvées le gouvernement pour réguler le marché de l’emploi.

La deuxième  solution étant de limiter l’octroi de permis de travail à la main-d’œuvre étrangère.

Le ministre du Travail a fait de la régularisation des travailleurs syriens son cheval de bataille. Mais ses ambitions sont limitées par les moyens dont il dispose, sachant que près de 90 % des refugiés interrogés par le BIT en 2013 travaillaient sans contrat, et que le ministère du Travail compte une dizaine d’inspecteurs sur le terrain.
« Il faut faire pression sur les entreprises, les menacer de sanctions », estime Kamal Hamdan.
Le directeur de LISA, Sami Nader, plaide, lui, pour des « solutions créatives » en considérant qu’il faut canaliser la main-d’œuvre syrienne dans le secteur de la construction et dans l’agriculture. « Pourquoi ne pas employer les réfugiés dans des unités de production offshore financées par des bailleurs internationaux et destinées à l’export vers les pays du Golfe par exemple? »
De son côté, Charbel Nahas propose une politique de relance de l’emploi à l’échelle nationale. « Il faut un sursaut à la hauteur du choc.
Le Liban doit se tourner vers la communauté internationale pour financer un mécanisme de subventions à l’investissement au lieu de se contenter des aides humanitaires. » Mais pour cela, ajoute-t-il, « il faut sortir du déni et reconnaître que le pays est au bord de l’implosion ».

A CITY WHERE EVERYONE WORKS. THERE IS NO POLICE.

AND THE SALARY IS 1200 EUROS

image: http://www.the-open-mind.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Marinelada-e1423377793345.jpg

Marinelada

With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia.

Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian village in southern Spain that is prosperous thanks to its farming cooperative.

image: http://www.livetravelenjoy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/a-city-where-everyone-works-there-is-no-police-and-the-salary-is-1200-euros01-600×223.jpg

a-city-where-everyone-works-there-is-no-police-and-the-salary-is-1200-euros01

On the face of it, the Spanish town of Marinaleda is indistinguishable from any other in its region. Nestled in the picturesque Campiña valley, the surrounding countryside is made up of rolling green hills, miles of olive plantations and golden fields of wheat stretching as far as the eye can see.

The town is pretty, tranquil and typical of those found in Andalusia, Spain’s poorest and most southerly province.

image: http://www.livetravelenjoy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/a-city-where-everyone-works-there-is-no-police-and-the-salary-is-1200-euros02-600×427.jpg

a-city-where-everyone-works-there-is-no-police-and-the-salary-is-1200-euros02

It’s also a democratic, anti-capitalist village whose mayor actively encourages shoplifting.

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, Marinaleda has shot to fame — and so has its maverick mayor Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, who earned the nickname,”The Spanish Robin Hood,” after organizing and carrying out a series of supermarket raids in a direct action protest last August.

Basic groceries such as oil, rice and beans were loaded into carts, wheeled from the store and taken to a local food bank to help the poor, as helpless cashiers looked on, some crying.

In an interview after the event, Gordillo, the democratically elected mayor since 1979, said it was not theft, but a non-violent act of disobedience.

“There are many families who can’t afford to eat,” he argued. “In the 21st century this is an absolute disgrace. Food is a right, not something with which you speculate.”

In this province alone there are 690,000 empty properties due to bank foreclosures. But not in Marinaleda, because Gordillo has a solution: anyone who wants to build their own house can do so for free.

Materials and qualified workmen are provided by the town hall, and the generous allowance of 192 square meters means the homes are spacious. Families then pay just 15 euros ($19) per month for the rest of their lives, with the agreement that the house cannot be sold for private gain.

In Andalusia, unemployment now stands at 37% (a staggering 55 percent for young people). But Marinaleda, population 2700, has virtually full employment through the town’s farming cooperative, where laborers earn equal wages of 1200 euros ($1600) per month.

Here, in a region where 1 in 3 people are unemployed, this achievement cannot be understated.

image: http://www.livetravelenjoy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/a-city-where-everyone-works-there-is-no-police-and-the-salary-is-1200-euros03-600×400.jpg

a-city-where-everyone-works-there-is-no-police-and-the-salary-is-1200-euros03

“We need to rethink our values, the consumer society, the value we place on money, selfishness and individualism,” Gordillo remarks. “Marinaleda is a small example, and we want this experience to extend throughout the world.”

The French mathematician Pascal wrote: “All afflictions of mankind is his feeling restless in a room:  He never learns to be at rest.  Man sincerely thinks that he is seeking rest and repose periods, but in fact he is after agitation.”  It is like life abhors the void; it is as keeping in restful position is tantamount to worthlessness.

Maybe idleness is mother of all vices; but it is certainly that idleness is mother of all virtues:  How else could you meditate, voluntarily inhale deeply, exhale slowly, reflect on your past achievement and plans, comprehend your limitations, capabilities, and potentials, setting up future action plans, revisit serious talks that passed you by, regain courage and the will to go forward?

Forced work and unhappy and unsafe workplace are excellent excuses to running away from pressing responsibilities at home, to delegating important responsibilities, to faking being too busy to listen and deliver on promises.  Is working for salary an excellent way out to earning some money to be freer in taking better decisions for better quality products, services, and taking longer leisure quality time?

Let me clarify how I comprehend class structure in capitalist system in order to drive my point through.  The lowest class is represented by 20% of the downtrodden or daily workers.  When a government claims that unemployment has reached say 10% it means that the lowest middle class is suffering most of the unemployment rate. 

For example, if we say that at least 70% of the “working people” are from the middle class (divided among the lower, middle, and upper) middle classes and that 70% of the middle class are represented in the lower middle class section then, about 4.9% of the unemployed are from the lower middle class (for example: 70%*70%*10%).  The other 5.1% of the unemployed are constituted from all the other classes (excepting the 10% of the richest class that hoard 50% of the wealth of the nation:  Its amassed wealth works for the richest class)

When a government starts drastic cut in the budget (except the military: It goes without sayin) it affects primarily the lower middle class, since the 20% of downtrodden are already suffering at the bare minimum and cannot contribute to taxes.  Actually, the class of the downtrodden feels helpless and waits for the middle class to begins marching revolts to join it and scare the richest class and their political, security forces, legal, and law institutions for a short while.  When unemployment jumps to 20% that affects 10% of the lower middle class then, serious problems await the power-to-be in capitalist systems:  This number of 10% of unemployed lower middle class is a critial turning point for serious revolts. 

It is to the advantage of most of the citizens in capitalist society that unemployment increases to beyond 20% for serious reforms to be considered and enacted in forms of laws and financial institutions control, restrictions, and constraints.

Are you being pressured to forced labor?  If you are not a teenager and think that you have skills then, would you work for McDonald and invite your kids to eat deadly food?  If you hate to lie and scam people then, would you work for Wall Street?  If you cannot suffer selling products and services that you don’t believe in because they are of low quality or unsafe to use then, would you work as a salesman for such a company?

First, do you know what kinds of moral values and ethical conducts that best represent your spirit and would make you happy to noticing their applications  around you and in your neighborhood?  Would you take sometime to learn and select the work you enjoy doing and stop this harassing fleeing exercises?  Would you mind getting organized around clear laws that equalize opportunities and fairness in employment?

“Joblessness or what ignite dormant revolutions” (December 6, 2008)

 

I read an angry article on wordpress.com by a very frustrated USA man earning $10 per hour and working 15 hours per week.  He said that it was about time that he signs up in the military for a steady job; he is also foreseeing someone entering an unemployment office, carrying an Uzi submachine gun, to reduce the number of unemployed applicants. (Uzi is the symbol of terrorism; just leave it to Israel to export what it does best).  I commented to him that his suggestion of crazy behavior for mass killing might haunt him when it happens and to refrain from publishing cheap and dangerous ideas when in anger.  Well, I am doing it anyway (maybe there is plenty of pent up anger in my psyche).

The irony is that Bush has already done his major war on Iraq to absorb the growing unemployment in the US and the country went bankrupt.  Starting another major war, as a tradition for absorbing surplus frustrated population, is no longer advisable for the time being.  Smart Obama has to be more creative than the Bush Administration.  It would be very painful for the US people to get back to work on jobs that add values to their economy and then lead the world to stability, but not the way around.

Dark times are awaiting all countries and the dormant state of revolutionary frenzy will ignite and catch up like wild fire in every corner of earth.  What happened in Bombay (India), the resurgence of violence in Iraq, Gaza, Sudan, Congo, Mozambique, the Israeli implants (colonies) in Palestine, and Egypt are the precursor signs.  Europe and China would not be spared and throwing in money to stabilizing an endemic faulty economies are placebo when it should be invested in healthy companies and re-educating the working people.

I suggest that the developed States re-think their current strategy on war on terrors and comprehend that the real coming terror is in their mist from the vast pool of unemployed population. The under-developed States might be used to surviving on little but what of those well fed, consumer maniacs, and spoiled people who are used to be treated like Gods?  Should the under-developed people continue to kneel in front of them while serving them the best food and luxuries?

Much violence will start in the under-developed States under the guise of national, ethnic, and religious self-autonomy demands and this fire will reach the developed States pretty soon; the revolutions in the developed States will start from within so they better open the borders and relax the immigration laws to put the lid on the red smoke.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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