Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Andrew Jackson writes that widespread precarity in work is keeping wages down even as unemployment stays relatively low:
(W)age pressures and inflation might remain persistently low even with a low unemployment rate due to the seemingly inexorable rise of precarious work. Marx's reserve army of the unemployed has become a reserve army of the precariously employed.

Consider this: Of the 247,000 new jobs created over the past year (October to October), almost one in three (29.7 per cent) were temporary positions. The overall incidence of temporary work is now 13.8 per cent or about one in seven jobs, and it is much higher among young workers, women and recent immigrants.

The rise of temporary work suggests that many employers, particularly in private services, do not need to offer secure employment to attract workers. Nor do they need to offer decent wages to the precariously employed.
Employment has become more and more polarized as middle-class, middle-skill jobs have been lost to globalization and technological change. At the low end of the job market, there is fierce competition for even insecure and badly paid employment. But even those in more secure, high-skilled jobs are affected.

It seems that more secure jobs are being lost throughout the economy as many of the permanent, full-time positions vacated by retiring baby boomers are replaced by the temporary and contract jobs on offer to new entrants to the work force.
- Josh Bivens offers a reminder that corporate tax giveaways do nothing at all to improve wages for workers. And Nouriel Roubini points out that the U.S. Republicans' plan to further enrich the Trump class represents a slap in the face to the 99%, while Jared Bernstein is examining its effects piece by piece.

- Tom Parkin discusses how the Libs' plans on issues ranging from pensions to infrastructure are aimed at enriching the corporate sector at the expense of workers. And Christo Aivalis writes about the golden opportunity for Jagmeet Singh to own the issue of tax fairness, while PressProgress is compiling a growing list of Libs and Cons who have made use of tax havens to avoid paying their fair share.

- Finally, Carl Meyer points out the need for far more work in assessing and acting on the health effects of environmental damage. And Jodi McNeill notes the especially toxic legacy of the tar sands.

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