San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
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Public Lecture organised by:
HudCRES - Huddersfield Centre for Research in Education and Society
Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate, School of Oriental and African Studies
Professor Standing is a founder member and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), an international non-governmental organisation that promotes basic income, whose members include economists, philosophers and other social scientists from over 50 countries. He has a doctorate in economics from the University of Cambridge and a master’s degree in industrial relations from the University of Illinois. He has written and edited books on labour economics, labour market policy, unemployment, labour market flexibility, structural adjustment policies, and social protection policy.
The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay
We live in paradoxical times, when the rhetoric of free markets is triumphant, yet when more of the income and power are going to those who use non-market devices or who benefit from them. We are in the most unfree market system ever devised.
Contrary to what Keynes wrote in 1936 when predicting “the euthanasia of the rentier”, rentier capitalism has flourished in the neo-liberal dis-embedded phase of the Global Transformation that began in the 1980s. In the name of promoting liberalised markets, governments and international agencies have constructed a system to promote competitiveness that has resulted in a rising share of income going in various forms of rent, linked to the possession of assets and their contrived scarcity, rather than the production of goods and services. The resultant greater inequality is not due to improved brilliance by the winners but to changes in the rules. It is neither morally nor economically defensible.
Drawing on a recent book, this presentation will describe how rentier capitalism is being strengthened, how more income is going to the plutocracy and plutocratic corporations, and how the precariat is being disadvantaged in favour of rentiers. The spotlight is on the precariat; it is the only class that has a direct interest in opposing rentier capitalism, but so far its revolt has been populist and more often fanned by the political right. The final part of the presentation will sketch policies for reducing inequality and economic insecurity, extending arguments contained in the previous book, A Precariat Charter.
 G.Standing, The Corruption of Capitalism: Why rentiers thrive and work does not pay. London: Biteback, 2016.
Timings for the evening are:
17:30 Reception with light refreshments
18:15 Public Lecture
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