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SOSC 1710 (3)

work and the economy , and different types of economies, four major economics sectors, topics in corporate laws and ethics...

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1710
Charles Battershill

Monday 21, 2011-11-21 Work and the economy • Pragmatic: means practical • Everyone is being practical , managing the economy • Know fiscal and monetary • Cant hurt if you quantities easing , you cant tell what it means from the letters, it really means economic hides more than it reveals. Profession creates a gap between the non professional. To an extend, professional economics is like many aspects real profession. This term really means print money, put more money in the systems. It should costs less to rent it. • Quantitative easing : describes a form of monetary policy used by central banks to increase the supply of money in an economy when the bank interest rate, discount rate and/or interbank interest rate are either at, or close to, zero. • Chapter 16 points out , there is no pure type of specialist in the economy and there in reality the government has a role in managing the economy and the society. Also, chapter 16 points out how big is the government’s role in the economy The Nature of work • Work remains central to our existence it is necessary for survival of most people. Work is activity to provide for food, clothing, shelter, other needs • Economy= work to produce what we need • Work is a social product= historical the way in which work is presently organized is not inevitable. It can be questioned and transformed • People seek meaning in their work quality and not quantity Hunting and gathering societies • Subsistence economy of immediate consumption • No accumulation of surplus, therefore minim cal exchange Agriculture societies • Increase in productive power • Accumulated of surplus therefore establishment of market exchange • Family economy household as place of work and residence, today work is becoming more de- bureaucratize , entrepreneurial Capitalism • Base on: private ownership over means of production • Exchange relationship between owners and workers • Economy driven by profit motive • Competitive market relations • Profit motive demands specific organization of production: maximum efficiency, minimum wages, these days: “doing more with less”, extraction of maximum labour within working day Industrialization • Factory system of production facilitated capitalist production, shaping the way people worked and lived  movement of work from homes and workshops to factories, time discipline, more specialized. Corporate ( or monopoly) capitalism • Legal separation of enterprise from people who own and control it= LLC  protects owners and executives from personal liability. BUT raises question of accountability? This is run by people who don’t have really a owner state, so it is accountable to the environment and the society and to the workers. • Second and third phase of IR: note change in ownership from individuals and families to corporations. YET PRIVATE OWNERSHIP • LLC = limited liability corporation • Monopoly : exclusive control of the market by one corporation legally restricted , as it restricts consumers “ choice”. Single provider • Oligopoly: control by an industry by several corporations = price setting and poor quality • Oligopoly assures profits at the expense of industrial development and development. Prevent competition, put some out of business Welfare capitalism • Economy is market based , but government intervenes ( regulations, control —some in the interest of corporations) • State – sponsored programs ( health care , education ) address needs of different groups.. Keynesian history  know it • Means of production are owned both by private individuals and by the state = Mixed economy • Socialism • Socialized economy: Public ownership of the factors of production under communism, the division of labour would be radically different • Command economy of the USSR was unable to adapt to changes in global economy former socialist countries now pursue capitalist economy • Also, Socialist- Marxian critics of capitalism have long argued that capitalism carries costs : Inequality, crime, suicide, alcoholism, War, environmental degradation . Global economy • Transitional corporations pursue cheap labour, low cost infrastructure , absence of labour regulation= offshore-ing • Labour in developing countries: legally unprotected and non- unionized • Negative consequences of globalization: homogenization of culture : global monoculture, intensification of divisions of labour ( by region , class, sex, and race)Why? Lower costs of production, your employer needs you less than ever than before, if you not valuable then you are replaceable. Unions are expensive labours • Consequences for workers in Canada: weakening of the political power of workers and unions. Four Major Economic Sectors • Primary resource industry: extraction of natural resources from the environment, the largest growth area in Canada in the 18 th and the 19 th centuries. • Manufacturing: processing of raw materials to usable goods and services it declines in Canada since the 1950s is caused by : technological change, and the relocation of production to low wage areas. • Service sector linked to : information based economy, strong consumer culture. The polarization of work : a few highly skilled and well paid jobs, many low skilled and poorly paid jobs • Low end service work is characterized by low trust between workers and bosses( close direction and surveillance ) = pink collar workers • Social reproduction: socially necessary labour that is not done in exchange for money usually done in family household by women, not officially recorded as a part of the economy, capitalist system benefits from unpaid labour, GDP misses much of workers social reality. • Informal economy vs. The formal economy : economic activity not reported to government, may be legal or illegal: eg barter to escape HST, the informal and the formal economy exist in every economy, they are also very prevalent in Africa, in answer to contracting opportunities in the formal economy. Scientific management • A method of organizing work and controlling workers, introduced by F.W. Taylor • Problems: low wages( contrary to Taylor’s original idea), overlooks worker’s need for intrinsic satisfaction Early humans relation schools • Recognizes workers needs : social package not just abstracted unit of labour power • Promotes discourse of cooperation with the management. Making worker feel valued ! • Problem: there is no real redistribution of power and control between management and workers • Also matching worker to the job is HR’s role HR : gives people the job of what they fit in , the better the fit, the lower the turnover and the happy the worker will be Organization of work today • Post industrial , or late, capitalism conditions expectations from a knowledge society: opportunity, increase in leisure time, positive work experience • Technology has created inequalities by elimination and deskilling jobs skilled technological work requires continuous learning, workers with higher educations Flexible work • Shrinking of core work force ( permanent , fulltime) and by non standard ( or contingent) employment ( part time, seasonal, contracted, self- employed • Employment relationship is tenuous • Flexible specialization ( or functional flexibility)  involves mult9 skilling , job rotation • Non standard labour is growing rapidly non standard workers tend to be women and young people, similar to the reserve army of labour ( Marx) • Self employment : long hours work, same earnings as regular employees, more pronounced gender gap in earnings. • Uses employees knowledge of work Gendered work • Labour market segregation by sex : the majority is concentrated in female – dominated occupations ( retail trade, secretary , nurse, elementary, school teacher). There is also a overrepresentation of women in precarious employment and pay gaps Youth and work • Many young people have withdrawn from the labour market because of the contraction of the labour market. Not counted officially.--> Many young workers feel that they are over qualified for their jobs= underemployment • Youth labour market is useful for the managerial goal of flexibility  because they anticipate Professions : negotiating control • Professions are occupations that : possess a body of esoteric knowledge, rely on specialized technical language, associations control entry and memberships through liscening, accreditation , and regulation • Ability to define an occupation as profession depends on the groups resources ( i.e. the position in relationships of power and control) • Arguable that are inefficient use of resources Labour unions • In spite of dominant media representation, strikes are rare in Canada • R
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