Basic Tenets of Marxism
an understanding of class based on economic and social relationships
belief that relationships can be changed
sympathy for working class (proletariat)
interest of the workers best meet interest of humanity in general
economy controlled by workers
all property owned by state
workers decide their own futures
labour vouchers - would work like cash
communist manifesto - suggested revolution to overthrow political and social order to give more power to the poor
The Evils of Capitalism
capitalism is forced on other countries by military force - government is highly involved
parliamentary democracy - people are historically left out of voting rights
warfare - used to spread capitalism and increase profit
economic rights - right to employment, right to housing, food, medical care
political rights - right to vote, free speech, assembly, movement
Proletariat - individuals who sell their labour and do not own the means of production
Petite Bourgeoisie - employ labour but also work themselves. i.e. small merchants or trade workers
Bourgeoisie - those who own the means of productions and buy labour. Exploits proletariat through salaries
A Political and Social Theory
A Very Brief History of Economics MR
Most goods were produced by monopolies (one company or group has control over the production of a particular item)
The monopolies were partially paid by the taxes and were backed up by a military presence (that was paid for by taxes)
Because only one company controlled production, they could charge whatever they wanted , this created high prices for most goods
Also there was no quality control, companies could make a bad product and people would still have to buy it
The industrial revolution changed the type of workplace, many workplaces (factories) employees thousands of employees
This lead to many people moving to cities and needing a place to live
There were no workplace standards regarding minimum wage, worker safety, child labour
Workers had little or no access to education or healthcare
Living conditions were often crowded and unsafe
Created a permanent system of poverty, no way to work your way out of poverty
Translates from greek- "No Rulers"
Suggested that workers form voluntary groups. These groups would be democratic
wanted to get rid of state power
should be organized on the basis of personal need
Organizing an economy based on the greatest possible decisions made by individuals mediated to a free marketplace Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations.
Multiple producers could produce the same product, large monopolies would be broken up
People were free to chose who to buy their products from based on what they could afford or who had the best product
Companies had to set their price and product quality according to what people would buy or else people would buy from their competitors
Gov't involvement should be minimal
Gov't shouldn't be involved in economic matters
Gov't may be involved in providing public goods, but the goods should be paid for by the people using them
Gov't enforces laws, rights to property, freedom of speech and the press
Gov't should break up monopolies on entities
Actions of individuals are largely based on self interest and allowing them to act without restriction will provide the best results for everyone (
The Invisible Hand
People generally want the best product for the cheapest, if companies are more expensive than their competitors , people will buy from the cheaper competitors
If a competitor is losing business because their price is too high or their product isn't of good quality, they will either lower their prices or improve the quality, benefiting the people
People should be very suspicious of business suggestions regarding political policy because they are generally only good for the producers and bad for the consumers
Developed by Adam Smith
WWII and Keynesian Economics
WWII created an increase of employment and production, and managed to raise almost every economy out of the great depression
Keynesian Economics: gov't involvement to increase capital infrastructure and stimulate economemy
Every $1 that the government spends = $1.5 dollars in the economy
State intervention was necessary to mitigate boom and bust cycles, & certain industries were protected by tariffs
Safety nets for citizens were created
Free schooling, cheaper University and collage, Free medical care, Welfare, Unemployment insurance, Pension Plans, Workers safety laws, legalization of unions and collective bargaining, minimum wage .
!946-1970 was a period of economic growth
the gap between the rich and the poor decreased
response to Adam smith Liberalism. ISSUE: system is baed upon freedom choice. Supply and demand. Communism is a response to this problem.
Decrease gov't subsidies stop tarrifs, decrease business taxes, decrease employment standards, use pay per use where possible, decrease welfare payment and unemployment insurance
Allow market forces to decide what should and should not be produced
Paid sick days
Even though there are paid sick days, for precarious workers they are afraid to stay home due to fear of losing wages and possibly of being fired. Sick days are 10 days a year only for employees who work under employer for 5 years minimum. So it would rare for precarious workers because they don't stay under the same employers for a long period.
They never know when they are going to work and get called in at odd hours of the day.
They never know how many hours they are going to have a week.
low wage workers have little control over scheduling
There is no advanced noticed to scheduling of work.
Part time work
Lower wages,there is no rule saying that part time workers need to be paid the same amount as full time worker by employers
limited term of contract.
Insecure hours (hours, lay off without notice), low paid (working poor), underemployed, poorly protected, no healthcare, no paid vacation, no emergency days.
Anarchism/applied alternatives the Take
Belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion while providing mutual aid for other producers.
Government shut down factories so the workers came together and ran the factories on their own but had advisors to help.
Created anarchist organization, provided mutual aid by making parts for other factories. Ie) forged metal pieces for tractor producers
Worked together to make decisions, through votes or by consensus. Somewhat of a democracy amongst workers
Some factories distributed pay equally to all levels or workers, but in larger factories with certain trades pay would be different for each kind of worker. This is known as autonomy.
Occupy, Resist, Produce
Formed an organization, chose factory and group members. Somewhat free association.
income inequality/spirit level
Income inequality can negatively impact:
-math and literacy levels
Argument: looking at the word scale around income rates and health and social problems, but then focusing on the United States to prove how these rates are not cultural but can happen between two states that have different income inequality
-Changes how you see yourself and others
-Physiological response that changes our behaviour stress levels, respond to each other
-evaluate your own worth based on those you're surrounded by
1% 99% Stiglitz
Right and Left side Arguments:
Right: inequality is a good thing, as the rich increasingly benefit so does everyone else
Left: why should so few have so much when many have so little
Consumption problem: when vast sections of the economy does not have money they are not consuming. The economy does not grow. The highest economic growth happened when many people could afford goods
Rent seeking: not increasing wealth just taking a higher percentage of the available wealth.
Fairness:when they are laying off workers and increasing salaries workers see this and it decreases loyalty to the company
Opportunity- equal access to opportunity
Corrosive to trust:
1% be selfish: take care of those that are not as wealthy
Income inequality in Ontario
Statistics Canada says the average net worth of the top 20 per cent of families sorted by income group rose by an average of 80 per cent between 1999 and 2012, compared with a gain of 38 per cent among families in the bottom fifth of society, with this information you can see that the income inequality is widening out for the worse.
Inherited wealth will always grow faster than earned wealth
Capitalism is on a one-way journey towards inequality, it automatically creates levels of inequality that are unsustainable
Creates own world, with two basic social categories of wealth and income. Unlike Marxist economics, Piketty's world is made up of concrete historical data only
Piketty demonstrates that the idea around how upskilling the workforce and mild redistribution would promote social justice, is actually mistaken, and that all that social democracy and liberalism can produce with the current policies is for there to be coexistence between levels of wealth
Solutions to poverty income inequality
financial assistance to help with costs involving food, clothing, housing. Employment assistance to help prepare clients for a job.
to be eligible to qualify for Ontario works, you must live in Ontario, be in financial stress, and be willing to find, prepare and keep a job
you get put into a workshop, which helps you develop your skills/experience, and develop a plan based on your skills. helps you create a resume and prepare for an interview and helps you look for work.
Welfare wall: once your off welfare you loose benefits (I.E. free dental and health care), can't save up money, can't increase your income, you can only keep a certain amount from your pay cheques the rest goes back to the government
Guaranteed Annual Income
-higher graduation rates
lower hospitalization rate
reduction in hospitalization for mental health
adolescents stay in school longer
decreased poverty rates
married women spend longer time with their children after birth
experimental supplement income model that has been used to try and find a way to reduce poverty in Canada. also can be referred to as negative income tax
reduced need for administrative staff, reduced welfare and poverty numbers, and the plan has support from both wings
Raising minimum wage to a "living wage'
-$15 from minimum wage
-Helps students go through school
-Raising minimum wage would increase more living necessities
reduce reliability on government programs to support themselves and their families
Increase in job opportunities as people are creating more jobs
9.2% of Ontarios workforce, 540,000 people earn minimum wage an estimated 1.5 million workers earn less than $15 an hour.
the current minimum wage is $11.40, this does not include farmers, self employed, liquor servers, students (under 18) and home workers
the current living wage in Kingston is $16.28 for a single individual with no children
Definition of percarious work