Kate Philip

Markets on the Margins: Mine Workers, Job Creation and Enterprise Development

By Kate Philip (2018)

This book provides an eyewitness account of South Africa’s unsuccessful efforts to end mass unemployment and mass poverty.  But it is more than an eyewitness account.  It is a participant observer account.  The author is a scholar-activist who has been deeply involved in thinking through the economic rationale, designing and implementing key programmes and projects.   She is equally at home in the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and in remote country villages.

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Building Community in the Crash of 2001

Juan Regache: In October of 2001 Argentina was in crisis.  I had to close my business.   There were no customers.    I had fixed costs I could not avoid –wages, taxes, rent, utilities.

Howard Richards: October of 2001 was two months before the complete collapse of the economy on December 14, 2001, when bank accounts were frozen and nobody could access their savings or write checks.  What kind of business did you have ?

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unb feb


By Howard Richards

New times call for new ideas.   In a desperate situation, like that of South Africa today, some people may be willing to consider the new ideas that are on offer, going on the lookout for measures that might work.  Others may have their minds already made up; they might be already sure that they know what miracle, if it would only happen, would save South Africa.  read more



The challenge- Human exploitation:

The greatest challenge facing humanity today,  I would say,  is exploitation of a group of people by other groups of people. It is I believe one of the most pressing problems today. Daily in the world we see people working hard, e.g. the domestic worker, the farm worker, the factory worker and so on. They leave home before we even get up from our beds, they walk and commute long distances to get to work because they do not have their own cars and in most cases they live far from their work places. Their work is hard and farm workers work in all weathers. Yet they earn a miniscule percentage of what we earn, and are treated as “second class citizens”. They are the working poor, they are not unemployed yet they have very little money to be able to live a comfortable life. Importantly they are not counted in the statistics of the poor. read more

campos de aroz en Mu Cang Chai vietnam

A General Solution to Economic Problems

I refer to the unsolved ones, not to those that are pretty satisfactorily solved already.   I focus on our two acronyms SF1 and SF2, where SF can be read as Staggering Fact or as Structural Fact. In the terminology of John Maynard Keynes SF1 generates a chronic shortfall of the inducement to invest.  Once a society comes to depend on investment-for-the-sake-of-production-for-the-sake-of-sale-for- the- sake-of-profit to meet its needs, investment becomes its drug.   It can never get enough of it.   SF2 generates a chronic insufficiency of effective demand. read more