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View Diary: Dean Baker: How much unemployment was caused by Reinhart & Rogoff (74 comments)

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  •  interesting pamphlet from 1943 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    by a Polish economist working in Britain during WWII has this to say

    the maintenance of full employment would cause social and political changes which would give a new impetus to the opposition of the business leaders.  Indeed, under a regime of permanent full employment, the 'sack' would cease to play its role as a 'disciplinary measure.  The social position of the boss would be undermined, and the self-assurance and class-consciousness of the working class would grow.  Strikes for wage increases and improvements in conditions of work would create political tension.  It is true that profits would be higher under a regime of full employment than they are on the average under laissez-faire, and even the rise in wage rates resulting from the stronger bargaining power of the workers is less likely to reduce profits than to increase prices, and thus adversely affects only the rentier interests.  But 'discipline in the factories' and 'political stability' are more appreciated than profits by business leaders.  Their class instinct tells them that lasting full employment is unsound from their point of view, and that unemployment is an integral part of the 'normal' capitalist system.
    This is from Political Aspects of Full Employment by Michal Kalecki, which was being discussed in Britain a few months ago while I was visiting there. I'd never heard of it before, but I now I really recommend it, it's a short and very to the point treatment of stuff that's extremely relevant to what's going on in the current austerity push. (I added the bolding)

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