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Signs of Hope – A continuing series – 2016 roundup December 29, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Well, it was a difficult year. But we have managed to have a few signs of hope. Any in particular from the year that was in it that struck people as having a lasting effect?

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1. CL - December 29, 2016

“As 2016 comes to a close, at least 40 cities and states around the country will be raising the local wage floor. The hikes come after dozens of bills and ballot measures were passed by voters and local lawmakers in recent years, moving local minimum wages well above the federal floor of $7.25 per hour.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cities-states-raise-minimum-wage_us_5859aff0e4b0de3a08f36246

These wages are still way too low, but a step in the right direction nonetheless.

Liked by 1 person

2. GW - December 29, 2016

For me two positive developments stood out on the level of electoral politics.

First was a leftish coalition agreement in the Berlin city government. It’s extremely limited in what it can do within the federal and constitutional financial and political constraints, and the federal government is centralising more powers. That said it’s a chance to establish somewhat more humane policies at the local level. But early days yet.

Secondly the European Left did not fall into the trap of diverting their energies onto a terrain that favours the right – namely the question of membership of the EU. There are 8 new national parties since the congress this December in the coalition. Whether it can play a more decisive role in changing political direction in an Europe that is undergoing continual crisis is another question altogether. The willingness is there but the means aren’t up to the job.

Unfortunately electoral politics is likely to dominate until after the French and German elections until the end of October during 2017.

On the non-electoral front, the spectacle of the ongoing Brexit debacle, has boosted the energy and urgency of pan-European groups like DIEM25 to organise for a different Europe from below, to counter the rightist “nationalist international”.

The growing resistance to the PISer fascist-spectrum government in Poland is also a cause for cautious hope IMHO.

Liked by 1 person

3. yourcousin - December 29, 2016
4. sonofstan - December 30, 2016
5. GW - December 31, 2016

A successful humanitarian Keynesian stimulus

A recent study showed that the influx of refugees added 0.3% to German GDP in 2016 and is expected to contribute 0.7% next year. 18 billion was spent to do something worthwhile that stimulated the local economy.

Because this is real economic activity that can’t be outsourced; not notional GDP growth comprised of fraudulent corporate profit assignment or ‘intellectual property’ scams.

Builders had to build, plumbers plumb, caterers cook and cleaners clean. Educators had to teach, health care professionals had to work to repair traumatised people’s physical and mental health. Social workers have to help people become acquainted with new ways of doing things. Translators have to work round the clock, and security people had to protect refugees. The knock-on effects for secondary suppliers multiply the economic stimulus.

So how about it for Ireland? 50,000 refugees would be a much needed shot in the arm for the real local economy. The money’s there – it could easily be paid for by a windfall tax on Apple, Facebook, Microsoft or whatever corporate tax dodger you’re having yourself.

It’s a win-win for the refugees and the local economy. It would also do wonders for the reputation of a country badly damaged by the shameless support of Apple’s tax theft.

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GW - December 31, 2016

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