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Old 01-02-2012, 05:17 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,569
Default Re: Matt Yglesias: Creating Jobs by Cutting Wages

Originally Posted by jimM47 View Post
IThe story you are telling appears to be one in which middle-class laborers across all sectors are taking home large amounts of rents (payments not needed to induce them to provide their labor for its current use) extracted from employers, without which the middle class would be unable to afford anything like its current basket of consumption goods; and if employers were able to stop those rents from being extracted, then producers of that current basket of goods would cease to be viable.

But I see no evidence whatsoever for that theory, which, at best, holds true only for limited number of sectors mostly corresponding to those with high unionization. I think the reality is that middle class laborers do the lion's share of consumption and investing in this country because they also hold the lion's share of valued productive resources (their labor and their human capital therein) that exists in the economy. Their wages and spending power are not the result of what they have been given, but the result of what they have the power to demand.
I am failing to see the distinction you are making. My point is not that most workers have historically been gettings rents which are now being exposed as corrupt. It is that the balance of power has shifted so that workers have now less power to demand recompense for their labor than they did before. I agree with you that capitalism is indifferent to this, and I hope you didn't take my brief post as a critique of capitalism. I certainly agree that avoiding some horrific outcomes isn't inherently anti-capitalist.

Rather, I am critical of a legal framework that has given corporations all of the rights of personhood and none of the responsibilities, along with an entire political party that believes, contra you, that the way to create jobs is to simply shower corporations and the few wealthy individuals who head them with more wealth; that wealthy people create jobs naturally out of their excess wealth and the virtue that this wealth reflects, rather than that jobs are created from demand for goods and services and a populace living hand to mouth is in a less likely position to demand goods and services (or for that matter, to bargain for fair value for labor).
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