‘Low-skilled’ or ‘high-skilled’. An ‘economic net contributor’, or ‘a drain on public services’. For decades, immigrants have been treated as scapegoats for everything from failing public services to violent crime. And much too often, as less than human But how did we get here? How did the public conversation about immigration become so toxic? And is there another way forward – an alternative to the hostile environment? This week, New Economics Foundation is at SOAS with a live audience and Maya Goodfellow, author of ‘Hostile Environment: How immigrants became scapegoats’.
It’s one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. But unlike the phone, the car, computers and indoor plumbing, the weekend is still stuck in the 1930s. As productivity increased, the promise of shorter working hours always seemed just out of reach. But now, there’s a campaign to make the 4-day week a reality within our lifetimes. Obviously many people would love to work less. But what would it mean for the economy? And what would it take to make it a reality? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Alfie Stirling, Head of Economics and Aidan Harper, Researcher at the New Economics Foundation.
Last month, the owner of a chain of British hi-fi shops did something unusual. Julian Richer, the founder of Richer Sounds, gave away control of the company to the employees, and even gave them each a £1,000 cash bonus for every year they’ve worked there. It’s a rare move for company owners to give up their wealth. Is this just generosity, or could it actually be good for business? And could it also be good economics, and even good for the planet? The New Economics Foundation is back for a brand new series of the Weekly Economics Podcast. Ayesha Thomas-Smith is joined by Marjorie Kelly, Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow of The Democracy Collaborative in the US, and Mathew Lawrence, director of the think tank Common Wealth and co-author of a NEF report about inclusive ownership funds.
Ayesha Thomas-Smith, Marjorie Kelly, Mathew Lawrence
The Green New Deal has rocketed to the top of the agenda in the US. It’s an ambitious plan, spearheaded by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to decarbonise the US economy and eliminate economic insecurity at the same time. But in fact the Green New Deal has some of its origins at the New Economics Foundation. So what’s the story behind the development of the idea? And how would a Green New Deal actually work, both in the UK and across the pond? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined this week by: Ann Pettifor, director of Prime Economics and one of the co-authors of the Green New Deal report published by NEF in 2008; Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation; and Waleed Shahid, communications director of the Justice Democrats, who also worked on the campaign to elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Ann Pettifor, Miatta Fahnbulleh, Waleed Shahid
Oxfam reported that in the 10 years since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires around the world has nearly doubled. It’s fair to say, the economy isn’t working for everyone. Every week on this podcast we look at a different economic problem and how to solve it, but what if economics itself – the way we teach it, talk about it and think about it – is the real problem? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by three people working to democratise economics and change how it’s taught across the country: co-director of Rethinking Economics Maeve Cohen, Chief Exec of Economy Joe Earle, and Polly Trenow from the Women’s Budget Group.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Maeve Cohen, Joe Earle, Polly Trenow
The Windrush scandal outraged the nation last year. But last week the Home Office reinstated deportation flights to Jamaica for criminal offenders who they say are foreign nationals. Meanwhile, parliament passed a new immigration bill last month, promising to control the “number and type” of people coming to the UK. The home secretary came under fire for proposing a £30,000 income threshold for EU immigrants. A lot of the debate we hear about immigration is made in economic terms. But it’s also about identity, race and belonging. It can be hard at the moment to imagine that a more humane immigration policy might be possible, but that’s exactly what we’re trying to do this week. Guest host Dave Powell is joined by chief exec of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants Satbir Singh, executive director of War on Want Asad Rehman, and Maya Goodfellow, author of a forthcoming book on Britain’s immigration policies.
Dave Powell, Satbir Singh, Asad Rehman, Maya Goodfellow
In this special edition of the Weekly Economics Podcast from its Archive, the issue of climate change is back on the global news agenda. We explore some of the possible solutions, debate what real action looks like and how those most affected can be the most powerful agents for change. It’s easy to feel defeated when the environmental crises we face are so immediate and huge. But action is urgently needed.
David Powell, Environment Lead at the New Economics Foundation, takes over hosting duties and is joined by Alice Bell, Director of Communications at 10:10, and Asad Rehman, Executive Director at War on Want.
New Economics Foundation weekly podcast is back with a hot topic: Environment. In this week podcast Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Dave Powell, head of environment at the New Economics Foundation, and Alice Bell, director at climate charity 10:10 to discuss one of the most fashionable economic ideas of the past decade: The idea that a little prod from government can encourage us to change our behaviour and be better citizens, maybe without even realising it. Meanwhile, good old-fashioned regulation seems to have been decidedly out of favour with recent governments – and leaving the market to just do its thing isn’t all that popular with campaigners.
When it comes to the environment, do all of these approaches have their place? What works best? And are there better or worse ways to make sure our economy doesn’t wreck the planet?
Universal basic income is now one of the most fashionable concepts in progressive politics. With automation increasing and wages stagnating, the theory is that giving everyone a set amount of money each year will liberate them to do what they want with their lives – and keep them out of poverty. But some people think universal basic income is an utopian impossibility. Others think it’s dangerous. So there’s a proposal for another solution: universal basic services. Instead of giving people money, why not guarantee all of the public services they need to live a full life? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith explores the two ideas with Barb Jacobson, Co-ordinator of Basic Income UK, and Anna Coote, New Economics Foundation Principal Fellow.