World unemployment is on the verge of breaking new records. This trend will continue until 2017. That’s the news from the International Labour Organization (ILO) in their annual employment report.
Currently, 2009 is the record year for world joblessness, at 198 million. In its 2012 Global Employment Trends report (source), the ILO believes unemployment numbers will rise by over 5 million this year to reach 202 million, topping 2009′s record.
The report goes on to predict that unemployment will rise further in 2014, to reach 205 million. “Unemployment remains as dire as it was during the crisis in 2009,” Ekkehard Ernst, chief of the ILO’s employment trends unit, told CNBC.
A serious reservation: how credible are figures for worldwide unemployment? How credible is the ILO? What does unemployment mean in a third world nation? Our own figures are so suspect due to the vagaries of definition and manipulation, what can you make of international figures?
On a similar theme, a spirited challenge to the myth that we are living in a world driven by neo-liberalism.
I often wonder what world folks are looking at, let alone studying, when they make claims that the laissez faire model of economic liberalism is dominant. Every where we turn in our economic lives we can see the grabbing hand of the state. Throughout the western world we have bloated public budgets, the manipulation of money and credit, obstructionist regulations, and numerous measures to weaken the discipline of profit and loss. In short, we have state controlled market economies. We are living the policy reality of mercantilism, while rhetorically emphasizing economic liberalism.
Welfare for the wealthy in the US.
Two decades of record federal spending and expanding regulation have fostered a growing upper class of federal contractors, lobbyists and lawyers in the District of Columbia area. The federal government funneled $83.5 billion their way in defense and other work in 2010 – an increase of more than 300 percent since 1989, even after adjusting for inflation. Private industry poured more than $3 billion into lobbying to influence the government, nearly double what it spent a decade ago.
Like spokes on a wheel, the high-rise offices of this elite radiate out from Capitol Hill along major arteries deep into suburban Maryland and Virginia. The latest Census figures placed 10 of the capital’s surrounding counties in the top 20 nationwide for median household income – up from six in 1990.
On that theme, a telling insight into the minds of the bright young people who drove the Kevin-07 bandwagon and a glimpse inside the belly of the whale of Rudd’s administration,see James Button’s outstanding book Speechless. I only picked it up by accident from the New Books shelf at the public library but could not put it down. It operates at several levels, revealing the mindset of an honest member of the Dead Forest of the Left, Rudd’s dysfunctional style, some aspects of high-level policy-making and administration in Canberra, and the human subtext, the relationship of James with his father and beyond that the relationship of John Button to his own father.