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A Massive Loss of Habitat: New Drivers for Migration

Saskia Sassen: The paper examines three emergent migration flows, each with specific features that can be described as extreme. The effort organizing the paper is to understand conditions at places of origin that lead people to risk their lives in dangerous trips to escape those places of origin. As is by now known, these migrants are not the poorest of the poor in their places of origins. The rapid surge in these flows combined with the conditions they leave behind raise a question that organizes much of the analysis: Are the categories we use to understand and describe migrations—that is, the notion of people in search of a better life, who leave behind a family and home that they want to support from afar and possibly return to–enough to capture the specificity of these emergent flows. My answer is: not quite. One big difference from the past is that part of the story is a massive loss of habitat due to a variety of extreme patterns, from massive land-grabs to poisoning of land and water due to mining. The paper examines how the development models implemented over the last 30 and more years have enabled some of these negative conditions. Further, another major factor reducing the habitat of these migrants is a proliferation of asymmetric wars. Both sets of factors reduce the habitat for more people. One outcome of this combination of elements is these new migrations. Keywords:migration, development, globalization

Social Exclusion, Education and Precarity: neoliberalism, neoconservatism and class war from above

In this article we analyze neoliberalism and neoconservatism, their intentions and characteristics, and the relationship between them. We locate these ideologies and associated policies and discourses as part of the `class war from above' (Harvey, 2005). We critically interrogate the impact of their policies and discourses on the social production and hierarchicalisation of labour power, firstly, with respect to education, and, secondly, to employment. Keywords: precarity, jobs, education, class, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, discourse, policy Capitalism and Class War from Above Commentators from across the political spectrum are in general agreement that in a vigorous `class war from above’ (Harvey, 2005; Hill, 2012a, 2013a; Malott, Hill and Banfield, 2013) since the economic crisis of the mid-1970s, (‘the oil crisis’), and, more spectacularly, since ‘the bankers' crisis' of 2008, the capitalist class has been remarkably successful in wresting back from the working class a

Fed Economist Cheers Middle Class Squeeze

"This isn’t one rogue economist. This is a highly trained government official in a position of authority who says he just doesn’t care whether cities are places where the middle class can live. His remark is entirely in keeping with a decades-long series of policy decisions that makes life for the middle class last priority. A new Brookings Report shows that the middle is disappearing from New York, San Francisco, and dozens of other cities. And that’s just peachy, says the only government official quoted in the story. If no one really cares, then how much easier will it be to cut loose the middle class entirely? Why worry about predatory lending and home mortgage foreclosures, why regulate tricks and traps in credit cards or payday lenders, why fix public schools or think about how to provide universal health insurance? The rich are doing fine, and, according to the Federal Reserve economist, so long as service labor can be imported from elsewhere, life without the middle class goes on very nicely."

Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior (PNAS)

Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.