Paul's six questions

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Tue Aug 22 07:54:48 MDT 1995


Paul:
-----

To my question "What are the causes of growing unemployment
in the developed countries?"

Chris B replied that technological innovations
reduce employment and new production may not
compensate for it.

If this is the reason, why has employment
not fallen steadily since the 18th century.
This explanation is a reversion to Luddism.


Chris:
------

Luddism is a solution. I was responding to a question
about what is the problem.

About the problem, I did not suggest that there are
never times that there can be a redistribution of the
labour power of the society to produce a wider range of
commodities, but that it may not always happen, and may not
happen smoothly.

It seems to me that war and armaments are social programmes
that help to re-employ the excess army of labour.

Nevertheless I think the regeneration of economic activity
may be jerky, and may not fully involve all the labour force.
Marxism and Keynsianism are both compatible with the present
world situation where 1/3 of the workforce is unemployed or
underemployed.

Anyway that is how I respond to the question.

I had offered no solution here, and certainly not Luddism.



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