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Success stories!

Success stories!

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Success stories!

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  1. Success stories! Groups recognising importance of reducing inequality now include (for example):- UNICEF, Children’s Society, Environmentalists & Green Party, Howard League for Penal Reform, UK Drugs Policy Commission, Health promotion etc.. Fairness Commissions Living Wage commission Invitations to lecture: c.700 lectures, including at: UN, EU, WHO, ILO, CSJ, LibDems Policy Committee, ETUI, various European Social Democratic parties annual conferences, TU Annual conferences, US Civil Rights, Increasing media attention internationally to inequality and issues like pay ratios

  2. Political pendulum: public opinion has now started to move in a more progressive direction

  3. Failure of 1960s radicalism Why Thatcher put the clocks back

  4. Transforming society • What is the potential? • Social deficit • Intellectual vacuum

  5. Social deficit • Material life no longer critical – GNPpc, LE, GPI • But social life has become critical • Social Status, Friendship, Early life150 studies of friendship, community life. • Babies’ weight gain, like death rates and adult social needs • Dickerson & Kemeny: social evaluative threat • Social contact: an ordeal for some? • Use of drink and drugs to socialise • Loss of settled communities and great inequality increases vulnerability to status seeking – restaurants, VIPs, ‘fast track’, 1st class • Less inequality strengthens community life etc.. • 10% on antidepresents, 23% some mental illness • Consumerism and status seeking about self-worth – 1/3%

  6. Popular mix of resentment, cynicism, anger, apathy & disgust towards politicians and many social institutions Russell Brand & Paxman: 9.3 million hits in one month - “…don’t vote, stop pretending. …shouldn’t destroy the planet, shouldn’t create massive economic disparities, shouldn’t ignore the needs of the people” But, like Occupy, short on solutions – intellectual vacuum? Danger of repeat of 1960s Spirit Level partly popular because of psychosocial and status interpretations, society better for all?

  7. Extending democracy into economic life A key to next stage of human emancipation

  8. TUC pamphlet, Workers on Board, on employee representation. In 1960s most shares were owned by individuals with a longer term interest in a few companies. But… Introduction from TUC Gen Sec Frances O’Grady: “UK institutional investors… spread their investments across hundreds, if not thousands of companies, increasingly relying on short-term share trading to generated gains.” Pamphlet author Janet Williamson: “the shareholders of a large listed company will number in the thousands (or) tens of thousands. …it can be difficult for a company even to get full information on who owns their shares.”

  9. To prevent a repeat of 1960s failure to make real change, democratising economic life has to be our central objective. • Companies make goods and services but must cease to be systems for creating huge undemocratic concentrations of wealth and power. Those are independent functions! • Economic democracy turns companies from being pieces of property into communities • More democratic companies have much smaller pay differences • They transform the experience of work – sense of purpose, self-worth, valued contribution • Employee buyouts redistribute wealth and reduce unearned income • Boards can include community and consumer representative as well as employees • Partnership increases productivity

  10. Sustainability • Failures to reach international agreement - partly because sustainability is seen as about belt tightening • It is, instead, about improving the real quality of life by improving social relations • Diminishing returns to economic growth • Tackle the social deficit • Rescue from status competition (& consumerism) • More democratic companies do better ethically

  11. Summary • The rich world has reached the end of the real benefits of economic growth. • Greater equality is now the best way to improve QoL. • Sustainability is not a belt tightening sacrifice but involves raising the real QoL. • Increase equality by extending democracy into economic sphere.

  12. Transformation • We can:- • Transform social relations, • Transform experience of work • Raise real QoL by meeting social needs, • Exchange consumerism for more time with friends, family, community • Achieve Sustainability