What should we make of Anneliese Dodd’s first big speech, last week, on Labour’s economic policies? The Financial Times (Jan 13th) considered it part of the process of making Labour more ‘responsible’, while parts of the Corbynista press have framed it as yet another example of the Party’s ‘move to the right’. They cite Dodd’s … Continue reading Labour and the economy.
Verso 2020 Aaron Benanav is becoming a cult figure with parts of the Left. His short, but intriguing book sets out to refute arguments that capitalist economies are experiencing profound changes in the production process because of automation. Rather than a Second Machine Age or a Fourth Industrial Revolution creating a new ‘technological unemployment’, the … Continue reading Review: Aaron Benanav, Automation and the Future of Work
As this nifty little chart, courtesy of the FT shows, despite denials, the government has been doing what it said it would never do. The huge increase in borrowing needed to support the economy during the Covid crisis, largely equates with the amount of public debt bought back by the ‘independent’ Bank of England. Whereas … Continue reading Shaking the magic money tree
If it’s been a bad year for education, it’s been a terrible one for 18-year olds. At the end of March, thousands were suddenly informed that summer A-level exams were cancelled and that alternative arrangements would be put in place. Released from the worry and stress that these exams inflict, students were left to sit … Continue reading A terrible year for 18 year olds
An increasing amount of literature predicts a Jobless Future, because of automation and AI - with the Bank of England recently estimating that 40% of current jobs – including some considered to be ‘professional’ could be lost in the next few decades, a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or a Second Machine Age. Yet … Continue reading The covid crisis will lead to increased automation
According to the Chancellor and the OBR, the UK is facing an economic contraction of 11.3 per cent this year, the largest fall in output for 300 years - representing an ‘economic emergency’. The OBR is forecasting a surge in unemployment to 7.5 per cent in the second quarter of next year when Covid job … Continue reading Spending Review: how should Labour respond?
The government has announced that it will review higher education admissions to improve social mobility. Gavin Williamson says the current admissions system penalises bright pupils from more disadvantaged backgrounds. While the overall trend is for grades to be over-predicted, Institute of Education research says that socially disadvantaged students are likely to be marked down. The … Continue reading Should university admission procedures be changed?
Writing about industrial capitalism over 150 years ago, Marx thought that the replacement of workers by machines would be a consequence of increased competition and the push to restore the rate of profit. This would lead to mass unemployment and increased poverty and misery amongst the proletariat. Yet at least, until now, falls in the … Continue reading Covid and the furlough – new types of green jobs, backed by automation is the way forward.