European Commission - Growth

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Making Progressive Politics Work Published on: 20/05/2014

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As the slow return to growth begins to gather pace in western democracies, the danger is that insufficient attention has been given to structural economic weaknesses and long-term stresses on representational politics and governance. This ranges from technological change and disruptive economic forces to growing insecurity and inequality, fragile tax systems, skills and education mismatches, polarised labour markets, uncertainty over middle income jobs, and vulnerable social security settlements.

Meeting these challenges will require tough prioritisation and radical reform. The aim of this ‘handbook of ideas’ is to advance political debate by bringing together short policy recommendations and proposals by leading international thinkers on how progressives should approach the major economic and political challenges of our times.

Please take a closer look at least at the following interesting chapters:

The rise of the service economy
by ANNE WREN

The transition to a post-industrial economy will bring significant challenges for western societies.  Parties of the centre-left are best placed to ensure that these changes do not imply serious compromises in terms of equity.

Falling behind in the innovation race
by ROBERT D. ATKINSON

Innovation is the prime driver of growth yet both the United States and Europe have fallen behind.  By embracing policies to drive innovation and productivity, both can ensure that they see the 21st century as better than the 20th.

Embracing low-end service jobs
by LANE KENWORTHY

While technological change may enable continued production of manufactured goods in affluent countries, it won't alter the downward trend in manufacturing employment. Public policy must ensure that job inequality should not spill over into social inequality.