Posts Tagged ‘Neoliberalism’

Two telling tales: value of honest labour in the neoliberal society

2015-06-23

Teaching is a remarkable and fulfilling profession. But, to touch up the G&S line in Pirates of Penzance,  ‘the teacher’s lot is not always a happy one.’ Nor a financially attractive one.

Many who have gone the adjunct professor route can attest to the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment when students leave the course educated and energised. Of course, the consultant who has done so to supplement the tardy arrival or absence of contracts can also attest to the very rigorous demands of course preparation, even if exhilarating, demands not reflected in the remuneration. The Guardian offers us the ‘confession’ of an adjunct professor, I am an adjunct professor who teaches five classes. I earn less than a pet-sitter. And those other fellow travelers cannot but recognise the joy yet pain, mainly financial, of teaching. One excerpt, (more…)

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Portrait of a political leader – in word and deed

2015-06-21

No media creation, she. And among the few exceptional leaders in an America, where they all hail from the south.

At TeleSUR, Prof Juan Pablo Ferrero paints a portrait of the Argentina President, Cristina Fernández Kirchner (CFK). President Fernández ends her second and final term, as Presidential elections are scheduled for 25 October 2015. (more…)

The World Bank, the IMF, and the 21st Century

2015-04-18

‘Structural Adjustment’. ‘Washington Consensus’. ‘Privatisation’. ‘Budget Cuts’. ‘Austerity’. On and on…

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) hold their Annual Meeting this weekend.

As we know these two organisations are yet to have a non-Western director – the World Bank, always US, even though now the President is of South Korean extract; and the IMF, always a European, even if the President is now a French woman. Such an exceptional state of affairs has led to initiatives by major countries that see themselves treated as no more than second-class countries. The likelihood of the US ceding any control, its veto seems very low, to nil.

No surprise then that China, with fierce opposition from the US, has started its Asian Investment in Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), the BRICS, with their New Development Bank (NDB), both of which are to start operating within the year. Other factors have also led to disenchantment with these Western entities. Principal among these are perceptions that they more represent the interests of Western capital and finance, than those of the putative beneficiary countries. Sudden, severe economic and financial crises, especially from the eighties, had led many regional countries to rely on, even submit to multilateral development institutions, in particular the WB and the IMF, for assistance with development and debt challenges, with what seems to have been imperceptible benefits.

Fortunately economic fortunes of some countries would change, drastically and for the better, and for an extended period. Such benefits would enable Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Lula da Silva of Brazil, and Nestor Kirchner of Argentina to become key in weaning most Latin countries off those institutions that had inflicted such social and economic damage on their countries. (more…)