Is There a Gig Economy?

Kim Moody

December 6, 2018

Lyft is a symbol of the “gig economy” — but job insecurity has deeper and longer roots.

Jim West/

JOB SECURITY HAS never been a feature of capitalism. As competition drives accumulation from one industry or location to another in search of profits via the ups and downs of periodic crises, it necessarily alters employment patterns and the organization of work. Over the long haul, U.S. capitalism moved employment from agricultures to industry to often mislabelled service jobs.

For a brief period following World War Two until the mid-1970s, the system in the developed capitalist economies appeared to grant some security to sections of the working class, above all in manufacturing. This illusion was shattered with the increase in economic turbulence that characterized the neoliberal era, beginning in the early 1980s, as millions of manufacturing jobs were obliterated even as output continued to grow.

Dan La Botz
December 13, 2018

Andrés Manuel López Obrador took the presidential oath on December 1 and then gave an hour and a half oration to the legislators as well as another lengthy speech to the people of Mexico City gathered in the zócalo, in which he reiterated his campaign promises to end corruption, to bring about economic prosperity, and to lead Mexico into a new historic fourth period of Mexican history, a period of “rebirth.” The speech made clear that AMLO, as he is called by his initials in the press, is...

David Finkel
December 5, 2018

The flowing tributes to George Herbert Walker Bush recall what we’re told was a more dignified, less brutal and “tribal“ time in U.S. political life. Indeed, the 41st President carried himself with a certain grace, confidence and even humor — befitting the kind of man who believed that he and his family belonged to that estate born to rule the world.

But George H.W. Bush was never content to simply bask in the comfort of unearned privilege. He lived his life as a truly committed ruling class...

Léon Crémieux
November 26, 2018

On 17 November 2018, at least 2,500 blockades of road junctions and motorway toll booths were reported in all regions of France, involving, according to the police, at least 300,000 gilets jaunes (“yellow jackets” — protesters wearing a hi-vis safety jacket, mandatory in vehicles). The following week, many blockades continued in secondary cities and in rural areas. Last Saturday, 24 November many actions took place: more than 100,000 participants, including at least 8,000 in Paris...

Socialist Resistance
November 25, 2018

The following statement of position is from Socialist Resistance, the British section of the Fourth International. It explains their opposition to “Brexit,” the exit of Britain from the European Union (EU). The Conservative (Tory) government just reached an agreement with the EU leaders for terms of the March 2019 exit. The British Labour Party and the British left are sharply divided over Brexit. The statement was originally piublished here....

Luke Pretz
November 27, 2018

Ten years ago the global economy was thrust into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. In the ten years that have passed many working-class people are left asking “What recovery?” And “Whose recovery?” Those questions are asked despite the longest bull market in Wall Street history. With unemployment rate at pre-crisis levels wages...

Peter Solenberger
November 21, 2018

On October 28 rightwing demagogue Jair Bolsonaro was elected Brazil’s president. On November 11 the National Directorate of the Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSOL) adopted the resolution Organize Resistance and Popular Unity against Bolsonaro outlining PSOL’s tactics for the next period. Brazilian supporters of the Fourth International (FI) participate in PSOL, which makes it a sister organization of Solidarity.

The Solidarity Webzine has published articles...

Party of Socialism and Liberty (PSOL)
November 11, 2018

Resolution on tactics for the period

1. Many uncertainties surround the future government of Jair Bolsonaro. On one hand, he is surrounding himself with establishment names to gain the confidence of the elites - Paulo Guedes, Onix Lorenzoni, Alberto Fraga, Sergio Moro. On the other, he continues to threaten the press, social movements and opposition political forces, signaling a willingness to carry out an authoritarian escalation.

2. Thus there are two hypotheses at the moment, both...

Ron Lare
November 21, 2018

Where is the real progress in Germany?

Political reporting on Germany should still be seen in the context of the Oct. 13 march of 240,00 in Berlin against attacks on immigrants (as well as for other social justice causes). Before an update on elections and political parties in the state of Hesse, here is a reminder of some real action by real people.

The Oct. 13 Berlin march came following right-wing thuggery in the streets of the city of Chemnitz, an outrage inspired by the far-right Alternative for...

Ansar Fayyazuddin
November 22, 2018

The California wildfires raging in the north and the south of the state have left such horrific devastation in their wake that biblical metaphors of disaster come easily to mind. “Armageddon” and “inferno” appear regularly as descriptors in newspaper accounts of the disaster.  The photographic images of the aftermath of these wildfires recall destruction wrought by aerial bombing and scorched earth warfare but resemble most closely the iconography of post-apocalyptic cinema and therefore...

David Finkel
November 17, 2018

The much-discussed results of the U.S. midterm elections represent, in this writer’s view, a “rebalancing” rather than something “transformative.” It is of course significant that the far-right Republican stranglehold on both houses of Congress as well as the presidency will be broken by the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. But after the sound and fury, it’s also important to understand some sharp limitations.

To begin with, let’s imagine the scenario if the 2016...

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