SEJ Blogs

Our blogs are short commentaries on current affairs issues.

Wage Cuts And Austerity Have Come To Belgium

Ronald Janssen

Workers are paying the bill while business is getting a free lunch Today, trade unions in Belgium are organising a general national strike. This will come on top of 3 days of regional strikes as well as a national manifestation, all of which have been massively followed up by workers over the past month. Moreover, […]

Inequality And Work In The Second Machine Age

Henning Meyer

My latest publication entitled ‘Inequality and Work in the Second Machine Age‘, which was published last week as SEJ Research Essay in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung London and The Worker Institute at Cornell University, has made quite a splash! If you are interested in the general debate you can watch the discussion I joined last week […]

After Rana Plaza: What The Brands Say

Henning Meyer

As part of our ‘After Rana Plaza‘ project we also wrote to a number of brands and asked the following questions: Has your company met its contribution commitment to the ILO administered fund to help the Rana Plaza victims? If the answer to this question is no, why is this the case? The working conditions […]

Access To Healthcare In Times Of Crisis

Hans Dubois

The crisis has had an important impact on hugely complex healthcare systems, interacting with, and sometimes dominated by, other major drivers of change. Maintaining access to healthcare has become a challenge for policymakers and care providers in the wake of the crisis, with reduced supply of services and a rise in demand for some healthcare […]

Why The Structural Deficit Does Not Exist

John Weeks

Deficit Politics A few days ago the Italian government objected to the way that putative technocrats at the European Commission calculated their country’s “structural deficit”. To all but the few familiar with the arcane intricacies of the Maastricht Criteria, the Six-Pack and the Two-Pack the objection might seem esoteric at best. However, it has the […]

No Investment But Reforms Until The Economy Tanks Again

Ronald Janssen

Up until now, the incoming Commission has been given the benefit of the doubt whether its new start for Europe would also mean a new and different policy course. After last week’s events, however, this is no longer valid. A European Investment or a European Insurance plan? First, it turns out that the Commission’s long […]

Why President Obama Needs To Reframe The Wage Debate

George Tyler

Stagnant wages have robbed the American middle class of opportunity. Wage compression is why fewer Americans now believe they are middle class; remarkably, the share of Americans who self-identify as below-middle class has risen 60 percent since 2008 to near equivalence in size with those identifying as middle class. Horatio Alger has emigrated to Australia […]

Italy Calls For A Bretton Woods For The Eurozone

Paolo Pini

French President Francois Hollande has announced that he will ignore the European budget constraints; his intention is to defer the return of the deficit/GDP ratio to below 3% for two years. This could signal the end of Fiscal Compact austerity. The French decision only highlights the critical state of the overall system (and the widespread […]

A Sovereign Wealth Fund For The Eurozone?

Henning Meyer

Social Europe Journal has just published its latest Research Essay “Public Capital in the 21st Century” by Giacomo Corneo. The main argument of the paper is that the state should become a kind of investment state in order to make sure that high returns on capital do not further increase inequality but benefit the wider public. […]

Why The ECB Needs To Finance The European Investment Plan

Ronald Janssen

The incoming Commission, as reported here, seems to be critical of the idea of funding its 300 billion European Investment plan by an additional capital increase of the European Investment Bank (EIB). It is right to be sceptical. Indeed, the experience with the Growth Compact of June 2012 is a bit sobering. Whereas the 10 […]

Labour Mobility Within The EU: The Real Picture

John Hurley

General and labour mobility across borders within the EU decreased sharply during the immediate crisis period in 2008–2010. There is consistent evidence of a rebound in mobility since 2011, but mobility rates remain lower than before the crisis. In spite of EU policies facilitating free movement, European and national data suggest that the level of […]

Getting The Germany Argument Right

Simon Wren-Lewis

As the Eurozone experiences a prolonged demand-deficient recession, and given Germany’s pivotal role in making that happen, it is important to get the argument against current German policy right. It seems to me there are two wrong directions to take here. The first is to argue that Germany needs to undertake fiscal expansion because it […]