World Bank recommends that countries eliminate minimum wage, dismantle wrongful dismissal rules and contractual protections for workers


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/21/are-there-no-workhouses-4.html


#2

Or we could just make all companies worker owned.

I don’t see a path to get us there, but it’s the only plausible alternative to the endless abuses of corporate finance, now that finance has entirely recaptured the political spectrum.


#3

They forgot the part about lavishing hefty annual performance bonus’s on Executives.


#4

The neoliberal imagination really does not know how to deal with inequality, because it imagines that it has something to do with production and not power, I.e., should be fought by increasing labor power. It is also apparently unable to imagine, err, development, where employers are native and not multinational corporations whose profits go to a holding company in Panama.

Its great for them that the Bretton Woods institutions found a second life as global kneecappers under neoliberalism, but maybe its time for them go down with the sinking ship.


#5

the worlds of “soylent green” and “blade runner” minus the replicants is more likely to be our future than the “star trek” universe, any variation you wish to point to.


#6

Apparently it’s just taken as a given. As natural and necessary as rain. (Which says a lot about who the “World Bank” actually benefits.)


#7

There are no decolonized countries.


#8

This is obviously a predatory solution to a predatory problem. That’s the thing, though. I don’t think any minimum wage will ever work, since all humanity lives in a predatory economic system. The system will always adapt to make whatever minimum wage inadequate.

In the US, our solution to every problem is to throw money at it, and surprise, nothing ever gets solved. Maybe we should look for other approaches.


#9

This makes me want to train with Leon, The Professional. I think more than a few greedy idiots need to be taken out of the picture.
The fatal part of the plan is, there are too many greedy idiots who are happy to take their place.


#10

Why not a Star Trek reality in space and a Soylent Green reality on earth?


#11

There is a solution, default on the debt. National assets can be seized and enterprises can be formed for the management of these assets.

What it takes is ethical well minded people and technical talent to make it happen.

Don’t play the game they offer you. Dismantle it and form something rational.


#12

They are priming the pump for something like the Chinese Social Credit system to adopted in the West. For us plebs, how you behave will be more important than the money you have.

Do you work and be content and the elite will make sure you don’t starve.


#13

I think that’s Elysium.


#14

Citing the accelerated pace of automation, the World Bank suggests developing countries consider slavery. “For many people, the choice is clear. You can either be a slave and get fed, or starve in the sidelines while robots do all the work,” a spokesperson for the World Bank said.


#15

The report does not contemplate the possibility that the world’s governments would just raise taxes on corporations and their investors to provide for all their citizens.

giphy%20(3)


#16

The report doesn’t consider taxing the corporations as an answer because it isn’t one. The basic problem is that people are trying to mandate a standard of living higher than the productivity of the countries supports. That’s just not going to happen no matter how much you wish it to.


#17

I recommend we dismantle the World Bank.


#18

Roger that!


#19

The World Bank’s recommendations feel like the beginning of the end-game of late-stage capitalism, a recognition that the post-war era in which cruel exploitation of workers was considered a bug rather than a feature is drawing to a close

To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get an organisation to imagine new alternatives when its continued existence in its current form depends on its not being able to understand them.

In terms of their economic underpinnings it seems so as long as orgs like the World Bank are maintaining the neoliberal consensus as default and helping along bad and unsustainable trends. The tune is about to stop in the game of musical chairs, and of the original 100 seats available only 20 (at best) of varying quality will be left to sit in. If you’re caught standing, look forward to a permanently immiserated life for you and your children involving a highly restricted UBI drained each month by high city rents and costs of living (unless you live in the depopulated and infrastructure-starved dead-end exurbs and rural areas, in which case the UBI allowance will be adjusted downward).

If automation reaches the levels that have prompted the World Bank to make this recommendation then the countries’ productivity will be much higher than they are now as a consequence. The question then becomes how much of the resulting profits get taxed to support those human citizens put out of employment prospects by said automation. That is a question that the World Bank is not inclined to ask, so from them we get another “free” market competitive solution, this one between robots and humans.

You are correct that it’s unrealistic to assume that everyone on the planet living on some form of a UBI will enjoy a standard of living comparable to the American middle class during the post-war economic anomaly, but that’s a separate issue.


#20

But that’s… “socialism” /s