A good editorial today:
It is time to think about the future of work
British academic and writer Guy Standing coined a word we are guaranteed to hear more and more over the coming years and decades. The word is “precariat”, which describes the notion of a precarious proletariat — or, to simplify matters, a workforce that can expect less job security and greater disruption.
The Labour Party has been doing some bold thinking in this area. The proposal to fund three years of post-school education by 2025 is one way to help guarantee a more flexible, technologically adept workforce. The release of “future of work” ideas, timed for a conference with international experts such as Reich and Standing, was another. It was there that the idea of a Universal Basic Income was put forward, as a means of both redistributing the benefits of technological progress and providing an income during periods of precariousness.
It is pleasing to see some long-term, future-based thinking in New Zealand politics. It is sometimes said that Labour has spent too much of the past decade mired in identity politics and relative trivia, playing games of reactive “gotcha!” politics rather than tackling big issues that will actually change lives. Instead, it was the Prime Minister’s turn to engage in short-sighted, headline-grabbing politics when he dismissed the ideas of Labour and experts like Reich and Standing as “barking mad”. Like climate change and ageing populations, the future of work needs consensus not name-calling. …
And as if to underline the point, two headlines:
We need a Labour government in 2017.