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Social Science
SOSC 1510
David Langille

SOSC 1510 Tutorial Leader: Corey September 5 , 2012 INTRODUCTION th September 12 , 2012 MP VISIT th September 19 , 2012 - 1950’s/60’s = a time of optimism – build a better world, a just society, using government and technology  experts predicted we would work less and enjoy more leisure - 1970’s/today – people were/are often discouraged  working longer for less - Experts see work as a problem  shortage of jobs and less quality of jobs - Canada is becoming richer every year, upper class improving, middle class disappearing - Want a world where there are best practices  based on values (what you consider desirable), and based on ideals (idea of something that is excellent or perfect) - Values: form the basis of how you approach your life. A collection of guiding, positive principles. When you set priorities in accordance with your values there is less stress and pressure - Define what you want/need  examine world and change as necessary  maintain idealism, hope, sense of possibilities BECAUSE our lives are not pre-determined - If society is product of our work, then we can improve our society, and quality of life through work - Try to meet your needs: physiological, safety and security, love and belonging, esteem, and self- actualization  mazlov hierarchy of needs - To save environment and economy, we must put a higher value on quality of life rather than quantity of goods acquired - Labour Force Participation Work: Core from 25-60  most income from jobs (67%) - Work offers a sense of meaning, purpose, personal identity, and participation in society - Poor jobs offer poverty, inequality, bad bosses, poor health, unsafe working conditions - Even after working full time for minimum wage, single person lives 33% below poverty line - 41% of food bank clients in Ontario are children - Few years ago, government gave MPP’s 25% salary increase – more than minimum wage worker will earn in a year  b/w 1995-2007 MPP’s increased annual base salary by 97%  during same time, minimum wage in Ontario increased by 14% - USA then UK are top countries with population living below 60% of median income - Macroeconomic conditions, economic and industrial restructuring, and changing occupations/skill requirements determine the quality and quantity of jobs - Government policies can also make a big different  some economists prefer “flexible” labour markets, a “slack” in the job market (use immigration to increase the reserve army of labour) - Other economists advocate “activate labour market policies”  train you for better jobs, strong social services help you in other countries (not in Canada) - Precarious employment *IMPORTANT*  - Unions also determine quality/quantity, 1/3 of Canadians are covered/protected - Cyclical vs. Structural Changes  cyclical changes occur due to the business cycles (cycles of growth and recession). Structural changes occur between similar economic periods, on new technologies and such THE NEW POWERPOINT - We are having economic problems with high social impacts, but the explanation and the solutions are political (why are working people suffering when economy is doing well?) - Capitalism is working for the capitalists  corporate profits have grown - Canadian companies have been posting record profits since recession wore off - Capitalist society has: private property, wage labour, market relations - Inherent contradiction in capitalism between capital and labour  business needs labour to make a profit, and labour needs business to make a living, but the more business pays labour, the lower the profits - Canada has an open economy with a long history of dependence on foreign markets & investment (staple product: raw material or resource e.g. fish, fur, timber)  always been a globalized economy - Industrial unions had strong unions, creating a strong middle class - Prior to 1850, half of Canadians worked in agriculture  farmers were self-sufficient - After 1850, private industry nad paid workforces became dominant 1) Capitalist class emerged, owning factories - Great depression of the 1930’s led to millions becoming unemployed - Capitalism is so productive, making more goods than the market can observe. People want goods, but they couldn’t afford to buy them  henry ford offered $5 a day, his workers could buy his cars - Increasing wages allowed “mass production for mass consumption” - After World War 2, wages rose faster than inflation - Workers allowed capitalists to control the workplace, as long as it was guaranteed they could make a living, as long as unions gain legal recognition and labour codes - John Maynard Keynes suggested that governments stimulate demand using… Fiscal Policy: spend more and cut taxes in hard times, and vice versus Monetary policy: lower interest rates in hard times, and vice versa - Keynes contra-cyclical policies result in smoother economic growth  labour gains recognition, wages, members, and capital enjoys its golden age (high profits, continuing control) th September 26 , 2012 The Fordist Era In Canada Industrialization – the technical aspects of gathering and processing resources  the use of machinery - The struggle between capital and labour is decisive  it is of critical importance in shaping our world - Business and labour struggle over who will control the workplace and how the revenues will be divided - Struggle between these classes influence our politics, institutions and lives of working people Counter Argument - Industrial pollution is killing our planet - Soviet Russia was an ecological nightmare - China – quickly learning to control pollution - Social democratic Sweden and Germany regulate industry in the public interest, and develop green technology - Canada and USA  prisoners of greedy oil companies Bottom Line - We need industry/machinery  don’t blame your tools/technology, blame how they’re used (whether they are operated in public interest, or to benefit a few for profit or other reasons) Inequality = a key benchmark - Capitalism creates inequality - A measure of the disparity between rich and poor  a measure of fairness - What share of income or wealth is held by the top quintile (20%) compared to the bottom quintile? = GINI coefficient (measure of inequality) Adam Smith - Wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776 - Celebrated self-interest and the pursuit of profit in the face of a stuffy old aristocracy that wanted to control all business (mercantile system) - Advocated freeing enterprise from their control and allowing hidden hand of market to guide people towards prosperity - Appreciated how capitalism could generate wealth  if people have to compete for scarce resources, they will work hard - Warned of poor wages and working conditions Karl Marx - Spent his life studying capitalism  published Capital: A critique of political economy - Noted that capitalism was very productive and could generate wealth (at high social costs) - In capitalist mode of production, the means of production (factories) are owned by a few, and the other shave to work for them to make a living - Relationship led to conflict between these two classes  capitalist owners and workers - Marx noted that capitalism is full of contradictions and prone to crises EXAMPLE: how capitalist quest for profits conflicts with the workers desire for better wages and working conditions EXAMPLE: how relations at work were so alienating and dehumanizing that workers would rebel - Hoped and predicted people would try to replace capitalism with more social or communal system - Focused on power, exploitation and inequality, on conflict and control = the focus of sociology, political economy, industrial relations, labour studies The Fordist Compromise - Labour fought against the institutions of 1800’s and early 1900’s and finally achieved a compromise after 1945  creating new institutions (welfare state) Labour’s Compromises: - Leave capitalists in control of the workplace - Unions gain legal recognition and labour codes - Unions purge or marginalize radicals Prosperity in the Post-War Period - Keyne’s contra-cyclical policies result in smoother economic growth - Labour gains recognition, wages, members - Capital enjoys its Golden Age  high profits, continuing control - “Affluent Society” – “End of Ideology” OCTOBER 3 , 2012 Why Neo-liberism - Problems for capital in the early 1970`s o Profit rates from mid 1940s-mid 1960s = 15-20% o Late sixties > sharp decline - Faced with o Failing profits, rising wages, stagflation (high unemployment), labour militancy (strikes) The Neo-Liberals Roll Back Fordism 1. Changes in production a. Closed factoris, outsourced, subcontracted, changed labour forces - Flexible production lowers wages/costs o Lean production  increase productivety via teamwork, job rotation, quality-control, multi- tasking - Outsourcing to where costs are cheaper o Shift production overseas or to low cost areas - Weaken unions o Downsize, hire non-union, exploit divisions o Outsource/contract out o Small batch production 2. Changes in policy a. Restructure social programs b. Downsize, rationalize, privatize c. Shift from Keynesianism to monetarism, as advocated by Milton friedman - Neo-liberal = return to classic liberal economic ideals of the 1800s – celebrating free markets and individualism (liberal – liberty – free) Three Themes  Free Markets = free from government regulation > greater efficiency > benefits trickle down  Fiscal Prudence (thought government should balance their books) vs state indebtedness > balance budgets  Corporate Efficiency > naturally lean and mean governments are wasteful and inefficient o Avoid state involvement in the conomy  Deregulation, privatization, downsizing tax cuts, public private partnerships (example highway 407 built, but tolls are charged  private profit at public expense) 3. Impact on culture a. From we to me –greed is good b. From social justice to poor bashing – blaming the victims Supply-Side Economics (also known as monetarism) - from Keynesian emphasis on stimulating demand for goods and services, and thereby creating jobs - to neo-liberal “supply-side” policies that stimulate the economy (the supply of goods and services) by lowering taxes and restricting the money to supply Neo-Liberal Policies 1. liberalized (free) trade + deregulation + privatization 2. spent less money on social programs o reduce costs, tighten eligibility 3. remove labour rights o relax labour laws (i.e. offer less protection to the workers), freeze minimum wage, use back-to- work legislation, declare essential services Democracy on the Rise - more and more people got the right to vote over the past 200 years - citizens used their power to regulate the economy and improve their lives  democracy - democratic expanded, but unevenly. Capitalism failed during the great depression and democracy was at risk during WW2 - post-war there was more pressure to regulate the economy and redistribute wealth (Keynes, soviets, labour movement) - 1950s – the welfare state brought economic growth and prosperity - 1960s – social movements increase demands - 1970s – business leaders complained about an excess of democracy o Government had grown too large and interventionist - They Organized: o THINK TANKS  heritage foundation, cato, fraser institute, IRPP o BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS  business roundtable, business council of national issues (BCN) o They defined the new “common sense” Age of Falling Expectations? - The new right/new-liberals tell us: o You are a consumer  when 9/11 happened bush said “go shopping” o You have choice  shopping makes people feel powerful o You can express your individuality by what you purchase  achieve the good life o The poor deserve to be poor Who Rules? - Who were the architects of neo-liberalism? What is the CCCE - 150 CEO’s from top transnational corporations - The most powerful interest group in the country - Setting the agenda for Canadian politics since 1976 - Finance, Manufacturing, resources, services, conglomerates are involved What is their Objective? - They seek less government o Which means less spending on education and health care - Want to make their companies more competitive in world markets o Which means more profitable for them - CCCE are getting richer and richer while income of regular Canadians are stagnant or falling  their income of average CEO’s are 6.1 million - If we’re so rich, why can’t we afford social services? - Shifted the tax burden from corporations to citizens Growth and Decine of Government - The CCCE’s goal: o To make government serve the needs of business o To work in partnership – with the state as a JUNIOR partner - CCCE opposed the Kyoto Accords Privatization of Public Enterprises - We used to own the assets, enjoy the services, and share the revunies: o Air Canada, petro Canada, Canadian national railways were all SOLD o Corporations result in loss of popular control (sovereignty) Why are they so powerful? - Their power comes from corporations with assets of 4.5 trillion - Revenues increased greatly, but employment has gone down - They have good political organization  good at research TH OCTOBER 10 , 2012 - Labour union: Collective of workers in a union that want to get a sense of stability through a collective voice The Changing Canadian Labour Force - GDP: how you measure prosperity of a nation o Major determinant of GDP is productivity, especially labour productivity o Labour force is a major factor of GDP calculations - Predicting labour force is difficult task because there are many changing variables: o Aging of population o Immigration o Expected impact of retirement within baby boom generations o Participation of women o Education level of population Projected Canadian Labour Force Trends - 2010 = 18.5 million  2031 = 20.5-22.5 million - Total population aged 15+ is the overall participation rate o Participation rate is expected to fall by 2031 - Increase in number of people aged 55 or older  by 2021 about 1 in 4 people will be older than 55 o Due to the aging of the baby boomers - By 2031, less than three people working will be paying the pension of the person aged over 65 - Approximately 1 in 3 people in the labour force will be foreign born by 2031 o Expected to be higher in ON and BC  people have been emigrating from Asian countries because ON takes in at least 50% of new immigrants o 100% of our labour force will be met within 5 years (but this will not affect our participation rate because they will be doing jobs we would not be willing to do) - Over the last 20+ years, immigration has mainly been from Asian countries o Seen change in the proportion of labour force belonging in a visible minority group o Visible minority groups can go up to 40% in ON and BC by 2031 Growth of Labour Force - By 2016, projected growth expected to be less than 1% (was over 4% when baby boomers entered labour force) - Slowing of labour force is projected to be completed after 2026 o This is because most baby boomers will have left the labour force - Size and growth of the labour force over the next two decades are sensitive to factors such as immigration and fertility o If Canada were to admit no immigrants over the next two decades  Labour force begin to shrink in 2017 o Low fertility would lead to a slowing in the growth of the labour force throughout the projection period Some Conclusions… - Absolute number of persons in the labour force projected to continue to grow over the next two decades - After 2031 all the baby boomers will have reached aged 65, and the pace of retirements should therefore fall of considerably - If recent trends were to continue, labour force would be increasingly diversified ethno-culturally in the future - This makes future trends in the labour force participation and integration of these groups all the more important for the labour market and success of our economy and country Valuing Diversity and Working Towards Inclusivity - Diversity = differences o Requires an assumption that differences can add to organizational effectiveness - Inclusivity = create a whole from different parts o Goal is to harness the power that comes from heterogeneity to make organizations more effective OCTOBER 17 , 2012 How Demography Affects the Labour Market Aging Workforce - The boomers are retiring o Huge increase in births between 1946 and 1964 o Means there is little room at the top of the ladder  your mobility is blocked - Downsizing/austerity  means early (forced) retirement for those boomers o 2 million aged 55-64 are looking for work More Seniors - Seniors used to make up 5% of Canadians in 1920, and by 2026 there will be around 21% of Canadians - Retiring boomers worry about their pension because only 1/3 of retiring employees get a pension from their employer - Governments want to raise retirement age to 67 Diversity at Work - Immigration is tied to the labour market o doors open during labour shortage (open the west immigrants) o doors open when the market is tight (depress wages) o doors are open now but birthrates are low o 2006 had the highest immigration rate in 75 years (250,000 people) Visible Minorities - 43% of Toronto are visible minorities Toronto - Over 140 languages and dialects are spoken here - Half of torontonians are born outside of Canada Labour Force Participation Rate - The number of individuals 15 years of age or older who are working for pay or looking for work o 53% in 1901  60% by mid 70’s  67.8% by 2008 - Labour force participation has increased for women because of world war 2, where women would work and get paid the same as men. After the war women were sent back home, but after getting the taste of the good money, in the 60’s women wanted equal pay. Women were seen as a reserve of low class labour. Introduction of labour saving machinery meant that it didn’t take all day long to cook, and do the laundry, so women have more time to help. Birth control also meant that women would have less kids, so more time could be spent going to work Labour Force Participation for Youth - Generation X (after boomers) – 1960s-1970s  time of declining birthrates = smaller demographics - Generation Y – mid 1970s to the mid 1990’s Movie  - many companies keep labour costs low by scheduling employees at only peak customer times - many off-the-clock lawsuits are filled for workers who aren’t being paid when they’re doing extra work - commercials make it seem as if jobs like mcdonalds are good stepping stones to very good future careers o acknowledging that these are only temporary jobs, and not an industry to make a career in - mcdonalds brought the factory system into a commercial system o this led to having an un-skilled workforce, being allowed to pay lower wages o workers are just bossed around  everything is very factory based, with rules and order of commands - solution is to make bad jobs good again o to improve conditions in retail and fast food jobs, is to take collective actions to pressure employers to improve conditions o unions are still a powerful force OUR CHAGING LABOUR MARKET  from industry to services Why Occupy? - The main theme  we are the 99% of humankind whose lives are being controlled by the power and greed of the richest 1% Massive Inequality - Canada has 61 billionaires  represing under 0.0002% of the national population - Their combined wealth Is $162 billion - Own about 6% of all personal net worth in Canada - 61 individuals own twice as much wealth as the bottom 17 million Canadians We Target the Financial Sector - Because of their role in causing the current economic crisis  a crisis which is causing so much misery to so many people, while corporate profits continue to climb - Because the financial sector gets aid at the expense of the rest of us How can 99% achieve our goals? - New laws to restrict corporate power o Corporations should not have the legal status of persons o They should not get tax breaks for lobbying - Tax reform o Fair taxation whereby people pay according to their ability, and we are able to redistribute income and wealth - Better public services that put people ahead of profits o Invest in education, not war o Offer home care and pharmacare The Service Factors - 1891  half of Canadians worked on the farms, fishing, forests ,and mining - 2008  77% in services, 20% in secondary, 4% primary - Small secondary sector means we don’t have a lot of people making a lot of money in manufacturing Explain the Growth in Services 1. Productivity increases in manufacturing and resource industries = fewer workers needed 2. Higher incomes lead in increased demand for services 3. State provides more education and health care The Service Sector - Upper Tier  54% of jobs in this sector  the good jobs o Distributive services (transport, communication, wholesale) o Business services (finance, insurance, real estate) o Education, health-care and welfare o Public administration - Lower Tier  23% of jobs in sector  not so good o Retail o Other consumer services Will there be good jobs in the service sector of tomorrow? - Business pressured for reduced government spending in the 90’s o ‘deficit reduction’ was the excuse o After tax cuts had reduced revenues - Once again they are calling for “austerity” (spending cuts) because of o More corporate tax cuts o They caused a recession Comparing Countries - Germany and Japan have more workers in manufacturing (and fewer in services) - United states has the same size service sector but with more in retail - Mexico has fewer in services, and more working in primary sector Comparing Genders - More women in services o Upper tier 62% of women, 47% of men o Lower tier 27% of women, 19% of men - More men produce goods o 35% of men, 11% of women National Occupational Classification System - Occupations = the actual work or tasks done - 4 skill levels depend on education/ training required - 9 skill types depend on task performed Other ways of Categorizing Workers - Blue Collar Workers  most of those in primary & Secondary industries (“dirty” work) - White Collar Workers  most of those secondary sector industries (“cleaner”) o Good job depending on the TIER you are in - Pink Collar Workers  the lower tier service sector where many women work (e.g. retail, fast food) Self-Employment - 2008  2.6 million or 15.4% - 1/10 are “own account self-employed” - Nearly 80% earn less than 20,000/year Staples Theory of Economic Growth - Staples = raw materials, resources - Canadian economic development has depended on developing a succession of staples products - Left us very dependent on foreign investment and foreign markets = vulnerable - Canada was caught in a staples trap  without “high value” jobs TH OCTOBER 24 , 2012 GOOD JOBS, BAD JOBS, NO JOBS Employment in Canada - Population 15+  27.6 million - Participation rate  67% - Unemployment rate  8% Jobs vs. No Jobs - Employment provides income, a sense of identity and helps to structure day-to-day life - Unemployment often leads to material and social deprivation, psychological stress, and the adoption of health- threatening coping behaviours - It can cause physical and mental health problems – including depression, anxiety, and increased suicide rates Unemployment Rate - The number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force o Divide the # of people out of work and actively seeking work (the unemployed) by the total number of labour force participants o Excludes those outside the labour force (students busy studying, unpaid houseworkers, those with disabilities who are not seeking work, and the retired) o excludes “discouraged workers” who have given up the search  that’s why they say real unemployment rate is a lot higher than it is said to be Unemployment in your Lifetime - average unemployment rate of 8.5% - all-time high of 13% in 1982 - record low of 6% in 2007 Unemployment over Time - 20% during the dirty 30’s - 2% during WW2 and the 40’s  women went to work, while men were off fighting the war - Gradually increased up to almost 10% by 80s and 90s - Since the year 2000, there has been fluctuations, with high and persistent unemployment o People are unemployed for longer Why there is Unemployment - It’s NOT because: o Too many people born or immigrating o Too many women o Too fussy o Too few skills  in reality, there is not much of a skills gap o Too lazy? Government too generous?  in reality, only 35% of the unemployment get employment insurance 3 Types of Unemployment 1. Cyclical  up and down cycles of the economy o due to recessions 2. Frictional  natural because some people are between jobs, and transitioning 3. Structural  term referring to last 30 years o Outsourcing for cheaper labour and fewer regulations o Automation/technical changes o Downsizing  switching to temporary agencies o Government switches priorities to lower inflation, acting in a neoliberalism fashion o Free trade agreements Factors when thinking about Fluctuations in Employment 1. Hires 2. Separations (e.g. layoffs, quits, etc) 3. The quality of jobs being offered - 4/5ths of new jobs that are being created are precarious jobs, compared to 22% of precarious jobs at the moment Good Jobs Offer - Good pay, benefits, security, good working conditions, opportunities for advancement, interesting, valued relationships, work-life balance Bad Jobs Offer - Alienating, authoritarian, unsafe, precarious - Precarious Work Involves: o Low pay o Part-time or highly variable hours o No benefits or pensions Stress - Increased health problems are seen among workers who experience high d
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