Featured post

Reading harmfuleconomics.org

This website concerns the economics of exploitation and oppression. The website has two major parts.   The first, the Understanding Exploitation page, is an analytical overview of exploitation and social systems that contain harm. The second, this homepage and related pages, feature current news stories and analysis where harm is important.  Standard economics principally looks at income obtained from production.  This website looks at income or other benefit gained by harm. This is much more important than suggested by standard economics. There is not just a productive system; there is a productive + harmful system. The view taken in this website is that through control of a society and its key elements of the society (economy, government, social system) some people/groups in the society obtain income from others. This income is not based on production, but some form of taking away from others. This taking away is typically resisted So, there are two basic aspects in a social system where harm is important: obtaining income and maintaining control. This is expressed in the principal categories used in the website, which can be seen in the right column of this and every page.

See banner photo caption here

George Floyd protests – Black Lives Matter

Think racial segregation is over? Here’s how the police still enforce it. Nikita Lalwani and Mitchell Johnston Washington Post July 1, 2020
We interviewed Monica Bell about her important new paper

Europe said U.S. influence had waned under Trump. Then Black Lives Matter protests rocked the continent. Michael Birnbaum Washington Post June 15, 2020

Milley apologizes for role in Trump photo op: ‘I Should Not Have Been There’ Helene Cooper New York Times June 11, 2020
President Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square, current and former military leaders say, has started a moment of reckoning in the military.

Protesters throng D.C., vowing to be heard after George Floyd’s death Samantha Schmidt, Jessica Contrera, Rebecca Tan, Hannah Natanson and John Woodrow Cox Washington Post June 7, 2020

Pentagon ordered National Guard helicopters’ aggressive response in D.C. Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt New York Times June 6, 2020
The high-profile episode, after days of protests in Washington, was a turning point in the military’s response to unrest in the city.

The Floyd protests are the broadest in U.S. history — and are spreading to white, small-town America Lara Putnam, Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman Washington Post June 5, 2020

Tax havens 2020

Who is opening the gates for kleptocrats? Transparency International June 11, 2020

Nothing to see here. Middle-men in the UK and Spain are falling short of anti-money laundering requirements. Theo van der Merwe Transparency International June 12, 2020

Rifaat al-Assad: Syrian President’s uncle jailed in France for money laundering BBC News June 17, 2020

Professional enablers of crime during crises Transparency International May 25, 2020 (Download the report from this page.)

Ten worst countries in the world for working people Credit: ITUC

2020 ITUC Global Rights Index: violations of workers’ rights at seven-year high

Ten worst countries in the world for working people Credit: ITUC

ITUC June 18, 2020 The breakdown of the social contract has been exposed in the 2020 International Trade Union Confederation Global Rights Index with violations of workers’ rights at a seven-year high.

This trend, by governments and employers, to restrict the rights of workers through limiting collective bargaining, disrupting the right to strike, and excluding workers from unions, has been made worse by a rise in the number of countries that impede the registration of unions.

An increase in the number of countries that deny or constrain freedom of speech shows the fragility of democracies while the number of countries restricting access to justice has remained unacceptably high at last year’s levels.

A new trend identified in 2020 shows a number of scandals over government surveillance of trade union leaders in an attempt to instill fear and put pressure on independent unions and their members.

The General Secretary of the ITUC, Sharan Burrow, said: “These threats to workers, our economies and democracy were endemic in workplaces and countries before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted lives and livelihoods. In many countries, the existing repression of unions and the refusal of governments to respect rights and engage in social dialogue has exposed workers to illness and death and left countries unable to fight the pandemic effectively.

“As we look towards the recovery and build resilient economies, the 2020 ITUC Global Rights Index is a benchmark against which we will hold governments and employers to account.

“If the findings of the Rights Index are not shocking enough, we are already seeing some countries take things further. Under the cover of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, they are advancing their anti-workers’-rights agenda. This has got to stop and be reversed.

“The Global Rights Index exposes a breakdown in the social contract that governments and employers have with working people. There’s a trend to restrict working rights through violations of collective bargaining, withholding the right to strike and excluding workers from unions.

“But the Rights Index is not just a list of violations. It is a stark picture of the rights deficits we need to address as we build the new economic model the world needs as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. It must be a resilient global economy built on a New Social Contract: a new commitment to workers’ rights, renewed investment in compliance and the rule of law, and a foundation of workplace democracy.”

The Middle East and North Africa is the worst region in the world for working people, for seven years running, due to the ongoing insecurity and conflict in Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Libya, coupled with the most regressive region for workers’ representation and union rights.

The ten worst countries for working people in 2020 are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

The seventh edition of the ITUC Global Rights Index ranks 144 countries on the degree of respect for workers’ rights. Key findings include:

  • 85 per cent of countries violated the right to strike.
  • 80 per cent of countries violated the right to collectively bargain.
  • The number of countries that impeded the registration of unions has increased.
  • Three new countries entered the list of ten worst countries for workers (Egypt, Honduras, India)
  • The number of countries that denied or constrained freedom of speech increased from 54 in 2019 to 56 in 2020.
  • Workers were exposed to violence in 51 countries.
  • Workers had no or restricted access to justice in 72 per cent of countries.
  • Workers experienced arbitrary arrests and detention in 61 countries.

Oppression and Exploitation News June 11 – 17

Coronavirus relief package

The best article HE has read on how Wall Street is obtaining large benefits from the pandemic relief package.
How big finance Is making a killing from the pandemic Ramaa Vasudevan Jacobin June 11, 2020
In spite of mass unemployment and a public health catastrophe, the stock market has been thriving, thanks to massive intervention by the Federal Reserve. We have to break the doom loop that links the Fed to the interests of financial megafirms.

Harm through the market 2020

Emails reveal chaos as meatpacking companies fought health agencies over COVID-19 outbreaks in their plants Michael Grabell, Claire Perlman and Bernice Yeung ProPublica June 12, 2020