The spectre of ‘stagflation’ threatens the world once again. This time, the risk is the direct consequence of political provocations and war, and not simply due to inexorable economic forces.
Stagflation is a composite word implying inflation with stagnation. Stagnation refers to weak, ‘near zero’ growth, inevitably worsening unemployment. Inflation refers to price increases – not high prices, as often implied.
According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS)
, the unemployment rate in urban India stood at 9.4 percent between January and March 2021, with an even higher proportion of youth unemployment (22.9 percent). In the same time period, more than 11 percent of the urban workforce reported working for less than 36 hours in a typical week.
“If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”. Still haunted by the clever preaching of monetarist guru Milton Friedman’s ghost, all too many monetary authorities address every inflationary threat or sign they see by raising interest rates.
Doris Martínez was a cook in a Venezuelan restaurant that closed its doors; she emigrated to Colombia, got sick from working long hours standing in front of a stove, and returned to her country where, together with her husband and children, she runs a busy fast food kiosk on a road in Valles del Tuy, near the Venezuelan capital.
More than 60 percent of the world’s adult labour force –or about 2 billion workers– work in the informal economy. “They are not recognised, registered, regulated or protected under labour legislation and social protection. The consequences can be severe, for individuals, families as well as economies.”
For the past three years, BRAC International
has been piloting in Liberia an adaptation of its acclaimed Graduation approach
, whose impact on reducing extreme poverty was first proven in Bangladesh
. The success of the Liberia pilot, which I managed, provides not only further proof of impact but vital lessons that can enhance and accelerate scaling of the approach globally.
All too many developing countries have been persuaded or required to prioritize inflation targeting
(IT) in their monetary policy. By doing so, they have tied their own hands instead of adopting bolder economic policies for growth, jobs and sustainable development.
The world is currently facing a devastating war with dire prospects for our global security. Men are waging this war while women seek peace and security for their families, communities and our global society. Women are give birth and nurture while some men actively seek death and destruction. This is one of the fundamental differences between the sexes which underpins patriarchy and generates inequality on many levels. Women and girls bear the brunt of this unbalanced approach to life.
When countries improve their Global ranking, there is rejoicing within the community that progress has been made at last.. but has it and why does it matter ?
In the second week of January 2022, Purushottam—locally known as Prashant—a street vendor in central Delhi’s Connaught Place area, died by suicide. It was later discovered that the reason for his death was his inability to pay certain debts.
"We started making shampoos and soaps in the kitchen of a friend’s house in 2017. We were five or six girls without jobs, looking for a collective solution, and today we are here," says Letsy Villca, standing between the white walls of the spacious laboratory of Maleza Cosmética Natural, a cooperative that brings together 44 women in their early twenties in the Argentine capital.
All over the world, people expect policies by central bankers trained in economics to have a sound scientific base. But in fact, inflation targeting is an article of faith with neither theoretical nor empirical basis.
I hope you had a chance to listen to our last episode, Environmental disasters creating more migrants within countries
. We talked about the rising number of people who are forced out of their homes because of climate or environmental disasters. Nearly 30 million men, women and children in 149 countries were displaced in 2020, temporarily or for good and the signs are, that those numbers will only grow.
"Woman, poor, black and illiterate" - most domestic workers suffer quadruple discrimination in Brazil, which made them more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, says one of their leaders, Gloria Rejane Santos.
COVID-19 has exposed major long-term economic vulnerabilities. This malaise – including declining productivity growth – can be traced to the greater influence of finance in the real economy.
All over the world, students who attend tertiary education do so with the belief that the investment of their time, money and effort will provide them with returns on that investment that will change their lives and the lives of their families for years to come. As qualified graduates, those students emerge from their tertiary programmes with recognised skills and knowledge making them employable in their chosen fields, moving them forward along a career pathway and in many cases, bringing recognition to the institutions that trained them as they experience success and achievements related to their expertise.
The ocean covers more than 70 percent of our planet. There is no question it is critical for our health and well-being. It provides half the earth’s oxygen supply and every organism in existence depends on it to survive.
If India ranks among the world’s fastest growing economies it is also where inequity is growing the fastest, thanks to endemic features unique to the country such as the caste system.
Calls, even screams, to fight inflation above all else are getting shriller. Thankfully, even The Economist
(5 Feb. 2022) reminds all, Fighting inflation could put the world in a slump
No inflation consensus
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva doubts
the world faces a runaway inflation threat. She urges policymakers to carefully calibrate fiscal and monetary policies, with more “specificity”, as not ‘one size fits all’.
Now it comes to teleworking, the double-edged, relatively recent phenomenon imposed by COVID-19 lockdowns. On the one hand, it improves work-life balance, opportunities for flexible working hours and physical activity, reduced traffic and commuting time, and a decrease in air pollution. So far so good, but…
“Unless we take action, the share of children leaving school in developing countries who are unable to read could increase from 53 to 70 percent.”