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tv   The Bottom Line  Al Jazeera  January 17, 2022 9:00am-9:31am AST

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ah, al jazeera ah ah, me at the clock and the top stories here on out 0 and you see linda. las trillion have sent air force event flights to toner, to survey damage caused by saturdays volcanic eruptions. unami let report suggest there have been no mass casualties. but roads and buildings have been severely damaged or above manly as this report. 2 days after this massive under see a rupture in the pacific island nation of tonga remains cut off from the world. a fiber optic cable said to be its main line of communication. now broken,
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that was this giant explosion, which scientists think is one in a 1000 year event. this so volcano it takes about a 1000 years. a fully reach answer would just happen to be around the point where is, i'm least a vast amount of it's migrant. a really explosive way was probably one of them and energetic explosions of the entire 21st century. new zealand had sent in the rhine surveillance plane to assess the damage. australia is author sending a military plane to help. we will be working closely with the government of toner with her, all highness, the high commissioner of toner in canberra to ensure that we are able to deliver the sort of support that we provide to our pacific family and our pacific friends at this is a very challenging time communications are deeply, deeply affected by the events of the volcanic eruption. it has been felt in other parts of the region. both countries at wait is for $20000.00 meat of cloud with
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ash to clear. those ash particles have been falling across tongue as islands racing fears about its fresh water supply. and that also thought to be widespread damage after tsunami ways washed up in target main island target tarp. oops. and buildings and the cap to an aqua loafer, including this church. there was lots of shock because even though people have been experiencing these smaller options for the last month or so. and this really came out of the blue in terms of the size and scale of disruption. and so they were, it had taken people by surprise as had be an inundation from this, an army way. with communications and electricity disrupted, the full impact from saturday's larger option remains unclear as that the scale of 8 needed to help the people of tonga,
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nor the money to serum. a chinese economy grew faster than expected last year. it expanded 8 point one percent, slightly ahead of forecasts. but on the current outbreaks and the property slumped, have slowed growth in the last quarter. for climate says more from hong kong, china had a great, a very strong start to 2021, but it started to lose steam in the 2nd half. and there are a number of factors that contributed to that. including regulatory clamp down that we saw impacting a number of sectors, the education sector, we saw it impact technology and of course property with the crisis his ever ground as well. now what we did see is a statement released by the statistics bureau that said, we must be aware that the external environment is more complicated and uncertain. and now what they're alluding to, of course, is the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and what may lie ahead and how that might impact supply chains. south korea's military says north korea has to
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projectiles believe to be ballistic missile. they will launch from an era close to the capital p on. yeah, it is a countries 4th miss our launch since the thought of this year. know about junk of is arrived in dubai. off been reported from australia. young vaccinated tenant star had to leave country after caught up held the cancellation of his visa on public health grounds, bangladesh, his titan restrictions after coded 19 impressions tripled in a week to almost 5000 to day. large gatherings, abandon transport is running at half capacity. for his police have arrested 2 teenagers in the city of manchester, connection with a siege at a synagogue in texas on sunday, a british national was shot dead after taking for people hostage. the us president has called the incident an act of terror. the headlines, small news here and officer right after the bottom line. ah,
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i am steve clements and i have a question as the 12 punch of technology and the pandemic change, the way we work forever. let's get to the bottom line. ah. economists are calling it the great resignation. it started in april when the number of americans who quit their jobs broke all records. we're not talking about just a few people here and there in august alone, 4300000 americans woke up one day and they just walked out. it's not that people don't want to work. it's just that during this pandemic, billions of us took a step back and wondered about the value of our lives. many people decided they wouldn't keep jobs, they didn't like, or jobs. it didn't give them what they felt. they deserve. many turn to the gig economy where they can work as many hours per day as they want, delivering food or people, for instance, but without the benefits of the old economy, the size of
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a shift in the labor market is wreaking havoc everywhere from restaurants to hospitals, with millions of jobs unfilled. so what's the future of work and workplaces what to employers need to know if they want to attract and keep workers. and if employee labor relations changed forever. today we're talking to adam osi mac, chief economist at the pre last job website up work where he leads research on labor market trends and vena do ball professor of law at the university of california hastings, where she researchers, how digital technologies are impacting the lives of workers, we let me start with you. look, i remember when there was this romantic notion that, you know, after the 20082009 financial crisis. you know, people were going to have an opportunity work a little bit here, work a little bit there. you know, we called it the gig economy and it was to get flexibility. but then we went to a point where we began saying way, maybe those goober jobs and you know, those, those food delivery jobs weren't as romantic as we thought because they didn't have
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the right benefits. and then we talked about robots coming in and displacing all of those people to day. we have a major gap in lots of jobs open and we don't know where the people are. what's going on, give us a quick frame of what's happening from your perspective. i think that during the pandemic, as you said, a lot of people realize that what they were doing at work in their, in their jobs, was exploited of that. they didn't like answering to a boss. they didn't feel valued in their workplace, and frankly, they weren't making enough money, given how much experience they had, how much, how long they had worked in the economy and what they felt that they deserved. because we are in a labor market that is a workers labor market, a lot of people have been able to leave their jobs and unprecedented ways, unprecedented numbers. and, and look for something better. is also has a lot to do with the, the benefits, the unemployment insurance benefits and the pandemic unemployment assistance that
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the government provided to give people the ability to say, hey, i haven't been appreciated in my workplace. i haven't been earning what i deserve to earn. and they're looking for other options. many of them are making other options, but it's important as we are in this inflection point, to think about what got us here. what got us here was a exploitation. what got us here was a disregard for human dignity in the workplace. and as we build back, as we think about the world, the future of work for workers that we want to create, we have to take into account the lessons of the last 15 years. and those lessons include, but humans need not just dignity, not just flexibility, but also stability and security. oh, thank you, adam. i'd love to get your take from up works perspective you written out of all of
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your newsletters that you've got basically 40000000 people are now going to be working online digitally. not in corporate offices, over the next 5 years. what is that will look like you and give us both, what you see is the positive dimensions of that scaffolding and those that concern you? sure, so i think, you know, to step back we, we, we've had, we had about a 3rd of people doing some freelancing. pretend i think it's important to recognize that not all of that is full time. so, we've got about a 3rd of people do freelancing. and then a little more than a 3rd of them who do that on a full time basis. so we're talking about, you know, just over 10 percent of the workforce to full time free. i think it's significant. it's a really important part of the economy. i think it provides that type of work that these people who choose this way of working prefer. it gives them flexibility that they want and that they need. but there's no reason to worry that this is going to
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be like everybody, you know, i think what's most important is that we have a tight labor market. we keep a tight labor market and people choose the type of work that's the best fit for that. and, and i think that with the growth of remote work and with people taking a look at what they value in their work circumstances, we are going to see more people are choosing to freelance. we're starting to see that already and i think we're going to continue. well, i don't want him to take your notch further. recently, i did an interview with les shuler, the new female president of the a, f l. c. i o, the 1st woman president. ever in the f l. history and we talked about whether this moment where labor has kind of an edge ought to be renegotiating more than just flexibility. when you get to venus point, you see a kind of neutering, if you will, of a lot of the traditional benefits that used to come with employment and jobs. and as we've gone into the gig economy, it's been those benefits have been shorn off. so is this a moment from your perspective, looking at issues beyond flexibility,
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which is you've got part time work that you can assemble and maybe stack in different ways. but there are other things in this moment to give labor more edge in the process with, with employers. i think workers certainly have more bargaining power. now it's important not to take for granted the short term circumstances we're seeing right now. it's true that there's a lot of bargaining power, but as venus that a lot of that is due to short term things like that just ended and household savings being higher than normal from stimulus payments. what's really important is that we need the federal reserve to remain aggressive in keeping labor market type . and we can't simply look at around at the high rates that we see right now and assume that you know, the job is done. we gotta keep the markets tight. that'll be great for bargaining power that's going to help to, you know, and all sorts of working conditions for workers. and i really don't think that's an issue of, you know, whether people are freelancing or not. that's an issue of,
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you know, macroeconomics. we need good monetary policy and we need that to sustain. that's good for all workers. you know, i don't, i don't mean this with any disrespect, but i'm in your field both of your field. there's a lot of jargon that i don't understand, and i want our on our audience to understand you right. a lot about precarious work . what is precarious work? tell our viewers understand what your focus in, in precarious working where that you know what ledger those workers out on as you see it. it's a great question. so precarious t. definitionally means uncertain tear instability. and so about 15 years ago and the political science literature, anesthesiology and anthropology literature, we started focusing on the reality that work had shifted. i'm starting in the late 19 seventy's. there was a shift in how people experienced employment, instead of having a single employer being unionized, getting
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a pension at the end of the day, we saw more and more people working several jobs, not out of choice, but because they needed those jobs to survive. those people oftentimes in retail, for example, were subject to just in time scheduling, where they didn't even know how many hours they were gonna work in a given week, or when they were going to work in a given week. oftentimes they didn't have health insurance. so precarious work refers to work that lacks income certainty, and that lacks benefits. and something that i want to really emphasize here is that for many people, it's pretty particularly in this tight labor market, choosing to leave their, their work as a choice. but for the folks that i study and that is low income, immigrant, racial, minority gig workers, the work that they do is not at a volition or out of choice. it is very much because they are marginalized,
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vulnerable workers, and this is the work that is available to them. and so what's important is not just that we sort of look to what workers want or what were workers desire, but understand why they're doing what they're doing. you might think of a company like uber as, as a technological innovation, that shifts shifts us from the, from the traditional union, hiring hall for example. so the traditional union hiring hall was this market mediator that helped workers prices that helped workers that working conditions and allowed them to be free and flexible in the ways that workers are free and flexible . you looper, however, enjoys the price premium that comes from their position is margaret mediator and workers in turn don't enjoy income stability. and they don't enjoy any of the collective bargaining power that workers had in the union hiring hall. so we can
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think of this moment actually as a time to, to combine both great technology and really good policy. and we have a centuries worth of, of excellent academic research suggesting what really good policy might look like right now. to bridge the gap in, in quality, particularly racialized racialized inequality. and to bridge to bridge what workers wine. right. thank you. i'm adamant. another dimension of this kind of landscape of, of, i don't know the equate the economic equation out there in america. there's a study, it's called the venture forward study that the university of iowa you see always anderson school. and i think arizona state university did in, in partnership with godaddy. godaddy is the largest internet registration firm ah, in the united states. and i'm fascinated i the study because when you look at it, you see a literal explosion of really hundreds of thousands of new micro businesses. they call them ventures. and in them, if you look, there is a lot in, in, in frankly,
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the minority communities of black and brown communities, new immigrant communities are creating, you know, what they call side hustles. and i'm interested in whether that is a strategy to cope a strategy to be more resilient. it's another way of talking about the gig world perhaps, but it is something i feel it is a little bit different and you can kind of see a, a strength there that may not be recognized by many this up work. look at that at all. have you, if you looked at the adventure forward work, i've looked at new business registrations, especially, you know, not employee business registration, meaning independent businesses always been demick. we've seen an absolute surgeon there. so i think that's the same phenomenon you're talking about. i think you're absolutely right. it's important to focus on the diversity in ways of working the economy and wellbeing is focused on low skilled, precarious workers it's. it's really important. understand that, you know, that's not the freelance economy overall. it's true,
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their lowest go working in the free economy. they're also low skilled employees as well. um there are a lot of high skilled workers in the brands are coming up. work is a skilled services platform. you know, we're talking about programmers, data scientist, web mobile software developers, marketing manager, social media strategy. this is high skilled work. it's people who choose this way of working. and i think that, you know, they, a lot of them think of themselves as small business owners. and so it's important not to complete that with low skilled work which can be precarious, but that for kennedy is not limited to so called good work, low skilled workers employment relationship or, you know, in the post great recession, era have not done well either. and that's a macro economic problem, and if you got rid of low skilled gig work overnight, those workers would be better off. they simply wouldn't be, they would still be facing low demand for low skilled workers. that's a macro economic problem. and it's important that we solve it for, you know,
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everyone through strong labor demand. and that's going to help people who are low skilled workers who are really answers and who are traditional employers. i think it's, it's, it's really narrow. it's really missing the point to see that is a problem that created by technology versus the problem that created by macroeconomic policy areas. and, you know, look around, you know, we're in a moment of very strong bargaining power for low skilled workers. technology hasn't changed, you know, the low skill freelance employers haven't gone away, they're still their workers have more bargaining power because we did something about it in the macro economy and i think that's the right approach. and you know, so you can keep that in mind and also just keep in mind this tremendous diversity as well. are talking about high skilled, small business owners for a lot of people want to work as i might work as skilled. but i also, i want, i want to say for a personal perspective as, as a child of immigrants, high skilled immigrants, i can tell you from, from the, for decades of my life,
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what it was like for my father to be a small business person. and why he chose to be a small business person, and it was not because he had these sort of entrepreneurial desires. it was because he was locked out as a high skilled worker of a labor market where he might enjoy full time employment. my enjoy a pension, my enjoy security, and as a result, despite the fact that i had heis high skilled parents, i looked a very, very precarious life. well, so, and there are ways in which, and there are ways in which and which technology, you know, up work for example here is, is facilitating a race to the bottom for folks who, who, and who you call high skill workers. you could also imagine a, a policy at the firm level in which you helped facilitate high wages instead of facilitating people competing against each other for really,
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really the scraps at the bottom of the, the bear. i guess what i'm interested in both of you is when you look at what is a healthier economy, look like that actually takes those workers on the lower end that precarious side and gives them opportunities through training or support to, to, to have ascension in the economy. as is, is that a fair question? is i just wonder? in a world where we've seen inequality widen so dramatically? what should we be doing as responsible policy makers to look at how we bridge the gap and begin creating an engine that moves people from one end of the spectrum where venus talking about to the other end, where adam is talking about. and we're actually people, if they want to basically have flexibility they can, but they're not living paycheck to paycheck with, you know, where $400.00 can, you know, sabotaged their whole, you know, economic situation. but, i mean, let me ask adam 1st and then vina to comment on that adam. sure, the most important thing we can do is have
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a foreign employment economy. that's the single most important thing to do. and you saw the negative effects of that in the aftermath of great recession. and you, you've seen it, you know, quite a bit over the last 2 decades, including, you know, after the tech level, we really haven't had a tight labor market in 20 years. that's the single most important thing we can do . and, you know, you can look around today and see, you know, short previews of what that'll look like when we get there. other important policies are the earned income tax credit is great policy to help increase take home pay for low income workers. the affordable care act was really important step towards creating more health care access. i think that they're saying we can do to strengthen that in my mind. you know, a full employment strong economy is the single best policy that we can pursue and support not to take our fall. but again, when we've been near a full economy before, we still had widening inequality. so is there, so what's missing so that we are by what you said on full employment boat, but we've had that, you know or near that before what would be the dimensions that we we should add to
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it to, to try to bring so that the gaps aren't whitening inside which have political dimensions, right. we saw that in recent elections in virginia and elsewhere. so i'm just sort of issue. are there any other pieces of scaffolding than you think we should consider? and then i'll jump the vina. so the 2 pieces counseling are, you know, wage subsidies for low income workers and you know, in addition to a robust welfare state, you know, food stamps are important component that to, that. those are important things to do in portable health care. but we haven't had phone and i think we would agree with that. we have not had full employment over the last 20 years. the last time we had a full employment economy was late 1990 s. and we started to get closer to one pre pandemic. and what we saw was that wages at the bottom of the spectrum started to come up, measures of inequality started to improve and we were moving in the right direction . and the important thing is that we get back there faster and then we not take a decade to do it like we did last time. so a tight labor market is not everything,
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but it's a lot and it does move those aggregate statistics. we want to move and it was started being and your thoughts. i think that we need to fundamentally shift the power between capital and labor over the last 70 years since the passage of taft hartley. it has been very, very difficult for workers in this economy to organize in this country to organize, unlike any other industrialized nation in the world. there are policy prescriptions that are on the table in congress right now. the pro act, which would make it much easier for workers to organize, much easier to have a seat at the bargaining table to raise their for their, their wages, their working conditions within the firm. of course, a tight late labor market isn't everything. if workers still don't have the ability to collectively bargain to collectively organize, to push for the kind of world that they want, not just in their own lives,
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but in all of our lives. let me take it one step further and just get it. you know, kind of, i ask what a medic question is. want to ask a medic question. i'm not talking about facebook, but i am going to ask a medic question. and i'm going to ask this question about how americans think about work from your perspective. because, you know, when you kind of look at what we've gone through in the last 4 years, which is kind of an anti immigrant bias that i think has become part of the american political scene. you know, i sort of look at america as being the very successful brain date, brain drain problem for the rest of the world. it was also the muscle drain problem, yet people on both ends of the spectrum coming in to do the work that a lot of americans didn't want to do. but you also had very smart people from other parts of the world. perhaps like venus parents coming in and going into us universities and whatnot and adding to the mixture. i mean, do you think that part of the dysfunction we see in the u. s. economy today to short form has been, you know, essentially we have a change attitude towards work in america,
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but we're not letting people in that we need to help be part of this economic equation. you know, i think him immigration is a huge part of the american success story. it's important. let immigrants and i don't think that later labor, short years we're seeing or primarily, or even significantly about you know, lack of immigration because it's important to understand that when immigrants move to this country, they bring both supply and demand, they buy and they consume and aren't on me and they do work on our end. you know, that's a really big, big picture truth about immigration. and it's important not to just think of them. you know, it's, it's simply coming here to work. but they're, they start businesses, they're innovators, they're entrepreneurs, and they're also consumers. and so i don't, i don't think that's really what we're seeing in the economy right now is decline. immigration, however, i do think that decline immigration is, is a huge negative for the long run the economy. i mean, i know, you know, the things that the, you know, we're dealing with this, you know,
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70 year downward fly and increase and precarious. but the fact of matter is more people want to move to the united states, one move to any other country in the world. this is still a place where you can find good work and, and make progress. and it's a very desirable location and we should lot more people come to me and i'm going to give you the last word. sure. i mean i, i largely agree with that. i think that we shouldn't understand. however, from a political and social perspective, immigration primarily through the lens of, of labor. this isn't just about the economy. people come here for political freedoms, social freedoms, for, for the ability to, to live and speak in, in ways that, that feel true to them. and many people, unfortunately, are also are also leaving. we found in the last 8 years, a lot of people, lot of people left to go back to their home country. immigration isn't also necessarily desirable people. people leave because they have to leave because they
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need something that feels more free, that is more free and, and so we, as we think about, as we think about immigration and work, it's also really, really important to think about the other dimensions of, of our society and what's happening with them, there's a real, a real sort of meeting here between labor and, and freedom of association, freedom, freedom of speech, all of these issues. and i think that they need to be seen and worked on together. and that i think is particularly important when we think about about labor organizing and unionization, a lot of these, a lot of these issues sort of get worked out and dealt with when, when people have more power, when low income people that have more power. when immigrants have more power, we can build and continue to build the kinds of robust rights and civil liberties and, and precautions that we want for all. well, well, thank you to you both. these are real big issues and i should remind our audience there are real human lives and families behind these issues. i'm glad we got to, to talk about the human dimensions of,
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of the future of work. adam mc chief economist, that up, work in vena do ball law professor at the university of california hastings. thanks so much for your candor and your thoughts today. thank you so much for having us. so what's the bottom line? it was happening before, but the coven pandemic? force billions of people to shift their work, their relationships, just about their whole lives on line these days. as long as there's a huge gap and employment and jobs are everywhere in the united states. workers have just a temporary bit of power, but benefits are under siege and the power of workers is shrinking. even if you see people quitting to become door dash drivers with flexible hours. the truth is that the cards are still stacked against today's workers. technology opens up opportunities, but it also breeds inequality, not just in india, but in indiana as well. right now too often instead of technology benefiting people, people are scrambling to benefit technology. and that's the bottom line.
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ah, what's out there? a new seats, it's launch us a principal presented to and as a correspondence with any breaking the story we want to hear from those people who would normally not get that voices heard on the international news channels. one moment i'll be very proud off was when we covered the napoleon of quake of 2015, a terrible natural disaster on the story that needs to be told from the hall of the affected area to be then to tell the people story was very important at the time compelling, we keeping our distance because it's actually quite dangerous. ambulances continue to arrive at the explosion. inspire i still don't feel like i actually know enough about living under fascism was life, unequal to broadcasting. something else have been august and i was born al
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jazeera english crowd recipient of the new york festivals broadcaster of the year award for the 5th year running. ah, adam the clock in the hall with the top stores here on al jazeera and you see linda and australia have sent air force surveillance flight to target to survey damage caused by saturday's volcanic eruption and soon ami. latest reports suggest there have been no mass casualties, but infrastructure is damaged communications limited. the situation in toner is not stable yet. we have limited access to information and we don't have a direct communication to, to talk at the moment. but we receive information through the.


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