Reply to: Re: Inefficiency of capitalist

Jon Flanders 72763.2240 at
Thu Apr 25 21:27:20 MDT 1996

 >> This is an interesting observation, and perhaps even accurate to some
 extent, but misses the overall point that even though the relative
 share may over time remain unequal or even grow more unequal, the
 absolute value of the worker's share keeps growing and growing. <<Brian

 Jon Flanders:

  I don't know how much more I want to respond to this sort of stuff, but this
is like a hanging curve ball just waiting to be hit out of the park.
 Not only does Carnell seem not to "read" anything on this list, he also must
not be reading those marxist rags the New York Times or Business Week.

  The decline in real wages and household income has received an ever
increasing drumbeat of coverage in the capitalist press.  President Clinton is
feverishly trying to work on a spin to deal with the problem as the November
election looms.

   The NYT reported the following concerning a Labor Department study.

 >>Middle-class angst over falling wages, sometimes dismissed by
 economists as a matter of anecdote and not fact, received statistical
 confirmation Thursday as the Labor Department said that wages plunged 2.3
 percent after adjusting for inflation during the 12 months through March.

 The drop, while not the first, is the largest in the eight years that the
 Labor Department has calculated these figures, in large part because the
 department revised upward its estimate of the number of people working in
 occupations with falling wages...... Bradford DeLong, who was deputy
assistant secretary for policy analysis at the Treasury until last month and
is an economic historian, said the drop might be the largest since the 1840s,
when the introduction of power looms produced widespread unemployment and
falling wages among weavers, who were then the largest group of industrial
workers.<<NYT 6-23-95

  Or lets hear from the communists of Business Week.

 >>Department: The Workplace
 Issue: October 10, 1994

   President Clinton took office promising to steer the U.S. onto a
 high-skills, high-wage growth path. In hopes of doing so, he soon launched a
variety of modest programs, from apprenticeships to more assistance with
college expenses.
   Unfortunately, several recent reports make it clear that this effort
 hasn't started to pay off--even with the help of an economic expansion. Two
Labor Dept. studies show that employment growth in the 1990s has been
 depressingly similar to that of the 1980s: An abundance of white-collar jobs
have been created but mostly in lower-paid service industries-- along with
plenty of low-wage service and clerical positions (charts). What's more, other
studies show that pay hikes for existing jobs still aren't outpacing
inflation. The result is that average real wages continue to fall for
blue-collar workers and remain substantially below their prerecession peak for
white-collar employees.<<

  In his new book, The Future of Capitalism, Lester Thurow makes the following

 >> No country not experiencing a revolution or a military defeat with a
subsequent occupation has probably ever had as rapid or as widespread and
increase in inequality as has occurred in the United States in the past two
decades. Never before have Americans seen the current pattern of real-wage
reductions in the face of a rising per capita GDP.<<

  One could go on indefinitely in this vein. There is literally a torrent of
articles and books on the subject. Our friend Mr. Carnell should take a break
>from posing inane questions on the Marxism list and go read some of them.

  Now, with the diesel mechanics, electricians, clerks and laborers I work
with every day, reading a book on this subject is not necessary. They are
acutely aware of this problem, and I get no denials from them that it exists.
It is a commonplace subject of conversation, and saying that a revolution may
be necessary is becoming a cliche. This doesn't mean that they all are going
to be marxists tomorrow, but it does show that being part of the working class
has something to do with your consciousness and what you know.

  E-mail from: Jonathan E. Flanders, 25-Apr-1996

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