I think its also important to see the source of all these liberal rags saying “2016 WAS THE WORST YEAR EVER” like when was the last time the huffington post was on our side lol. I obviously feel for and want to support to the best of my abilities he migrant proletarians and marginalized groups threatened by the rise of trump and brexit but its important to look between the sensationalist headlines.
This apocalyptic misanthropy is just daft tbh, its very easy to see us as losing or being beaten but in 2016 we’ve seen the biggest strike ever in history in india, autonomous workers in china seizing factories and lynching bosses, the kurdish comrades make massive gains in terms of both territory and setting up communes and collectives, the western liberal establishment shit itself, the far right lock itself in the dead end of reformism even here on this rainy fascism island we’re greeting the new year with a wave of logistics strikes and migrants on the frontline making demands in the gig economy and winning tbh.
On a more radical note the whole economy hasnt recovered since 2008-11 and to riff on the kaiser chiefs I predict many more 2011 style insurrections in the coming decades both here and abroad. And as a marxist, not just of struggle but of crisis too its important to remember that capital is eating itself and collapsing so of course things look dire, I mean I think Gramsci hit the nail on the head when he said “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”
Here is the simple truth. Trump’s reactionary agenda will not be defeated in the halls of Congress. It will be defeated when millions of Americans, at the grassroots level, come together to oppose xenophobia and attacks on the immigrant community. It will be defeated when we stand together against racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia. It will be defeated when working people throughout our country – black, white, Latino, Asian-American and Native American – demand a government and economy which works for all, and not just the one percent. Our political task now is to educate, organize and mobilize.
Here is the simple truth. Trump’s reactionary agenda will not be defeated in the halls of Congress. It will be defeated when millions of Americans, at the grassroots level, come together to oppose xenophobia and attacks on the immigrant community. It will be defeated when we stand together against racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia. It will be defeated when working people throughout our country – black, white, Latino, Asian-American and Native American – demand a government and economy which works for all, and not just the 1 percent. Our political task now is to educate, organize and mobilize.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
To think. We had a chance for this man to be our president.
Uber, which has over 30,000 drivers in the UK, workers that have been characterized by the company as ‘independent contractors’ or ‘self-employed’, has received what may turn out to be a devastating blow to the on-demand economics underlying the company’s multi-billion valuation. Since these independent workers are not considered employees, the company sidesteps requirements for minimum wages, insurance, vacation and sick leave, and other benefits.
Bosses of the mobile app company, which lets customers order taxis over their smartphones, said their status did not entitle them to the benefits of employees and is to appeal against the decision of the tribunal.
But the drivers said they were being treated unlawfully.
The Central London Employment Tribunal ruled in the drivers favour, with the GMB union saying that outcome of the case could have “major” implications for other staff at the firm.
This summer, two Uber drivers took the company to an employment tribunal with the help of the GMB Union.
James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam argued that they were “employed” by Uber, which under employment law would entitle them to certain rights, including sick and holiday pay.
But the company insists it was simply a technology platform that links supply with demand - in this case the supply of self-employed drivers with demand for cabs.
After deliberating over the case, the employment tribunal in London ruled in favour of the drivers, agreeing they should be treated as employees and entitled to all the workers’ rights that go with it.
A further 17 claims have been brought against Uber, according to law firm Leigh Day, which are likely to be decided on this ruling.
Uber is to appeal against the decision.
And of course, if this leads to judicial policy then other on-demand services – not just on-demand car services – may be subject to similar interpretations and regulation.
The bottom might be starting to fall out of the on-demand economy, where entrepreneurs seek to make billions by socializing the externalities of their business models – namely, benefits for the workers – onto the workers and public, since the workers gain few or no benefits from the companies, and the national and regional governments are left to act as the safety net.
We recovered so strongly from the 2008-2009 recession in large part due to the different choices we made. Unlike at the onset of the Great Depression, our policymakers took aggressive and rapid actions to boost aggregate demand to get our economy growing again, stabilize financial markets, and support workers who had lost their jobs. In total, the Recovery Act and a dozen subsequent measures provided $1.4 trillion in support for the economy. The dividends of this decision have been clear over the past seven years, as the economy has recovered much more rapidly than it did during the Great Depression and has also outpaced other countries that went through similar crises this time.
The success of the recovery is clear in terms of both employment and economic output. We have just completed the best two years of job growth since the 1990s and seen the fastest two-year decline in the unemployment rate since the 1980s, all while extending the longest streak of monthly job creation on record. Meanwhile, private domestic final purchases—the sum of personal consumption and business investment, the most stable and persistent components of economic output—rose 2.7 percent over the past year, reflecting our strong domestic demand.
Advertisements for photography used to tell us that good parents and good friends preserved precious memories to look back at, nostalgically, from a future yet to happen. Remember those Kodak moments? Today we are told to show others how much we care across social-media platforms. When photography answered the demands of the Fordist economy, profits were generated through sales: of cameras, film, developing services. Now its main economic value lies in rendering lives visible to multinational corporations.
Soon, you’ll be able to go to the Olive Garden and order your fettuccine alfredo from a tablet mounted to the table. After paying, you’ll rate the server.
Then you can use that tablet to hail an Uber driver, whom you’ll also rate, from one to five stars. You can take it to your Airbnb, which you’ll award one to five stars across several categories, and get a TaskRabbit or Postmates worker to pick up groceries — rate them too. Maybe you’ll check on the web developer you’ve hired through Upwork, perusing the screenshots taken automatically from her computer, and think about how you’ll rate her when the job is done. You could hire someone from Handy to clean the place before you leave. More stars.
The on-demand economy has scrambled the roles of employer and employee in ways that courts and regulators are just beginning to parse. So far, the debate has focused on whether workers should be contractors or employees, a question sometimes distilled into an argument about who’s the boss: are workers their own bosses, as the companies often claim, or is the platform their boss, policing their work through algorithms and rules?
But there’s a third party that’s often glossed over: the customer. The rating systems used by these companies have turned customers into unwitting and sometimes unwittingly ruthless middle managers, more efficient than any boss a company could hope to hire. They’re always there, working for free, hypersensitive to the smallest error. All the algorithm has to do is tally up their judgments and deactivate accordingly.
Yes, thank you for reminding me that thousands of clever young people who went to college or had plans to do so will probably find that their degrees are considered worthless in Europe and will be forced to accept low pay service jobs, meeting our economies’ demand for cheap un-unionized labour.
Also, thank you for reminding me that ‘pro-refugees’ capitalists are not my allies. They’re just at another link in the ‘make refugees desperate so we can exploit them more efficiently while using them as scapegoats for all the hardships we force on the people we were already exploiting’ chain.