We’ve reached a point where we have a crisis, an emergency

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Elizabeth Economy and John Promfret: As US Leadership in Global Affairs Recedes, is China Stepping in to Fill the Void?

As the US continues to abdicate its leadership role in global affairs, China’s international influence continues to grow – diplomatically, economically and politically. Will it, can it, fill the void? And how will its role on the world stage influence domestic policy? Elizabeth Economy, senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and John Pomfret, former Washington Post bureau chief in Beijing, and author of “The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present”, discuss the ramifications of America’s absence in global leadership with Ray Suarez, former chief national correspondent for PBS NewsHour.

China-us

http://www.worldaffairs.org/radio

The Origin Story Of The Gig Economy | On Point


August 20, 2018
“Temp” by Louis Hyman. (Alex Schroeder/On Point)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

How the American dream became temporary. We explore the origins of the gig economy, and what these gigs mean for workers now.

Louis Hyman, professor at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. Author of “Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary.” (@louishyman)

From The Reading List

Excerpt from “Temp” by Louis Hyman

Job insecurity is both what is new and what has become expected. Even where old-fashioned permanent jobs remain, workers must content with a new truth: they can be replaced with a phone call. Americans cannot typically rely on just one job anymore, certainly not over a lifetime, and—for the working poor—frequently not even at one time. Though day laborers, office temps, and management consultants—as well as contract assemblers, Craigslist freelancers, adjunct professors, Uber drivers, Blackwater mercenaries, and every other kind of worker filing an IRS Form 1099—span the income ranks, what they do have in common is what we all have in common in this post-1970s economy: they are temporary.

Just as our business and policy leaders make choices to bring about this insecurity, we are at a moment when we can once again choose to remake our economy. To do so, however, we must confront some uncomfortable truths about how American capitalism has been remade from top to bottom. For some, the rise of the gig economy is liberation from the stifled world of corporate America. It is a return to the autonomy and independence of an economy before wage labor. No desk. No boss. Every consultant is her own master. Yet for the vast majority of workers the freedom from a paycheck is just the freedom to be afraid. It is the severing of obligations between firms and employees. It is the collapse of the protections that we, in our laws and customs, fought hard to enshrine.

After a long history of insecurity in the labor market, not until the mid-twentieth century, in the heyday of postwar capitalism, did we find a way to create economic security in America’s wage-work economy—a steady paycheck, health insurance, and quality housing. The New Deal ended this century-long war over who would benefit from rising industrial productivity. New Deal policy embedded security into a particular kind of industrial-era, full-time, employer-employee relations that was itself born of a historical moment when automobiles and aerospace defined the leading sectors of the economy. Policy makers, in ways that are now forgotten, supported business to invest in these radical new technologies, while at the same time making sure that workers got their fair share of the wealth.

At the same time, we should not romanticize the postwar period and its associated protections. For those excluded from those jobs—women, Latinas, African Americans, undocumented migrants—the rest of economy was not so glorious, and their work helped make that economy possible. In many ways, as Temp shows, the experiences of the people who were left out of the good postwar jobs became the rehearsal for most people’s jobs today. As the century progressed, these groups would work, but their labor would not be as protected, as valued, as white men’s labor. The New Deal protections remained on the books, but were not renewed along with the economy, making them ever more peripheral; in the end, even white men were not protected from this new reality, contributing to the Trump victory in 2016. Again and again, we must ask the same question: Who counts? At the same time, we must not forget that even for those white men who had the good paychecks, working on an assembly line or in a mine was dehumanizing, backbreaking, and most important, soul-breaking work. Whatever the wages and benefits, humans should not do the work of robots.

Excerpted from TEMP by Louis Hyman. Copyright © 2018 by Louis Hyman. Reprinted with permission of Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

…(read more).

5 Reasons That Trump’s Big Coal Bailout Is A Bad Idea

Domino-effect of climate events could move Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state | Enviro nment | The Guardian

Leading scientists warn that passing such a point would make efforts to reduce emissions increasingly futile

Jonathan Watts

Tue 7 Aug 2018 02.21 EDT First published on Mon 6 Aug 2018 15.00 EDT

A domino-like cascade of melting ice, warming seas, shifting currents and dying forests could tilt the Earth into a “hothouse” state beyond which human efforts to reduce emissions will be increasingly futile, a group of leading climate scientists has warned.

This grim prospect is sketched out in a journal paper that considers the combined consequences of 10 climate change processes, including the release of methane trapped in Siberian permafrost and the impact of melting ice in Greenland on the Antarctic.

…(read more).

See:

Edge of Extinction: Elaborating on “This is Probably It”


Nature Bats Last
Published on Jul 3, 2018

Referenced video embedded here: https://guymcpherson.com/2018/06/edge… www.guymcpherson.com www.onlyloveremains.org Message from Afrizen: “In my journey through the “DABDA” stages of grieving, regarding my understanding and expectation of what is to come in terms of anthropomorphic climate change, this song expresses my time in the first A – Anger. With time and reflection I’ve made it through to the second A, Acceptance, and my position regarding my lyrics has changed. They made sense when my assumptions were 1. that humanity and nature are separate, 2. that humanity is “committing crimes” against nature, and 3. that humanity will be punished for doing so. My thinking now is that 1. I don’t see a fundamental distinction between our species and the rest of nature, and 2. humanity is behaving exactly in accordance with its evolved genetic imperatives to survive, thrive and multiply today, regardless of the consequences tomorrow. I think my lyrics’ vitriolic theme and tone are misplaced and I suspect the song’s effect might possibly be to either foster or reinforce anger and bitterness in listeners. These are natural and appropriate emotions when first waking up to the predicament we are in (as I understand it) but, in my personal experience, anger and bitterness are unhelpful and detrimental if not worked through and overcome. The upsides of this new perspective for me are greater compassion and tolerance for my fellows, greater peace of mind and general happiness. I can only wish the same for others who are going through this.” ©2018 Pauline Schneider

Edge of Extinction: I Am Not a Therapist


Nature Bats Last
Published on Aug 20, 2018

www.guymcpherson.com www.onlyloveremains.org Message from Afrizen: “In my journey through the “DABDA” stages of grieving, regarding my understanding and expectation of what is to come in terms of anthropomorphic climate change, this song expresses my time in the first A – Anger. With time and reflection I’ve made it through to the second A, Acceptance, and my position regarding my lyrics has changed. They made sense when my assumptions were 1. that humanity and nature are separate, 2. that humanity is “committing crimes” against nature, and 3. that humanity will be punished for doing so. My thinking now is that 1. I don’t see a fundamental distinction between our species and the rest of nature, and 2. humanity is behaving exactly in accordance with its evolved genetic imperatives to survive, thrive and multiply today, regardless of the consequences tomorrow. I think my lyrics’ vitriolic theme and tone are misplaced and I suspect the song’s effect might possibly be to either foster or reinforce anger and bitterness in listeners. These are natural and appropriate emotions when first waking up to the predicament we are in (as I understand it) but, in my personal experience, anger and bitterness are unhelpful and detrimental if not worked through and overcome. The upsides of this new perspective for me are greater compassion and tolerance for my fellows, greater peace of mind and general happiness. I can only wish the same for others who are going through this.”