Friday, 21 December 2012

You Are Undone If You Once Forget That The Fruits Of The Earth Belong To Us All, And The Earth Itself To Nobody

Goodbye welfare, hello workfare

"The social contract between state and individual is being rewritten. Aided by media rhetoric of ‘dole queens’ and ‘benefit scroungers’, workfare is part of a wider narrative arguing that countries can no longer guarantee the welfare of their citizens.

This narrative exposes the real thinking behind workfare: to deter people from claiming welfare and reduce welfare expenditure.

Unemployment is no longer a consequence of competition for jobs in a globalized market, or the failure of governments’ economic policies. Instead, it is the personal failure of the individual to gain employment, regardless of financial crisis or recession.

Yet blaming the individual looks increasingly weak. The International Labour Organization recently issued a report which concluded that the global economy needs to create 600 million jobs in response to the employment crisis.

As workfare decreases paid employment, it also undermines economic recovery.

This creates a paradox: while the concept of welfare is eroded and those who receive it are expected to get less for doing more, companies involved in workfare benefit from higher profits without employing more people.

Tesco has acknowledged that it has profited from approximately 300,000 hours of unpaid work from 1,400 placements in ‘recent months’.

Neoliberal governments and the workfare industry are actively intervening to restructure the labour market by suppressing wages and increasing the pressure on people to accept low-paid work.

The labour market is becoming a workfare market."


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