#10 Britain’s Livelihood Crisis
This new ToUChstone pamphlet shows that while the recession is often cited as the cause of today’s tough income squeeze, a livelihood crisis has been brewing in Britain for three decades, held off only by an unsustainable rise in personal debt. Wages have been falling sharply as a share of the national wealth since the mid-70s, while a rich minority have been taking an ever larger slice of the UK’s dwindling earnings cake.
Authored by Stewart Lansley, the pamphlet argues that the decline in middle-paid and skilled jobs and the deterioration of employment conditions has led to a ‘hollowing out of the middle’ of the labour market and a steady growth in ‘bad jobs’ offering poor wages and job security.
The embrace of market capitalism by successive governments – and the ensuing waves of downsizing, restructuring and short-termism that have accompanied it – has been the main catalyst for the Britain’s current livelihood crisis, and the pamphlet argues against a return to the 1970s model of weak corporatism and poorly targeted industrial activism.
Britain’s Livelihood Crisis calls for a new economic model, with a recast role for the state, a greater emphasis on wealth and job creation, and a fairer distribution of the national cake, as the only sustainable way to tackle our livelihood crisis.