Thursday, April 21, 2011

The rise of 'neo-feudal' society

Building on your notion, Jazzbumpa.

Below is an excerpt from Interfluidity. I have divided the one paragraph into three to make it easier (for me) to read.

Before you read it I want to suggest simply that you consider the "employer of last resort" idea it presents, coupled with privatization:

... As far as I know, they have mostly converged upon the institution of a “job guarantee (JG)” or an “employer of last resort (ELR)”, whereunder the size and wage of a “buffer stock” of public labor would become the economic instrument of macro stabilization.

This is an ambitious idea, both politically and technically. Not only must one develop appropriate policies for stabilizing the economy on the fiscal side (i.e. the equivalent of a Taylor Rule for ELR wage levels), but one must also plan and implement real-world projects for a variable-sized pool of (hopefully) transient workers. These projects should usefully employ and develop the productive capacity of ELR participants, while remaining distinct from and and not interfering with the ordinary private and public sector workforces.

(As I understand the proposal, ELR employees would be distinct from other public employees, in that they’d be paid a standard, low but livable, package of wages and benefits. ELR employment would always be viewed as a backstop that individuals would be encouraged to transition out of, rather than as permanent employment.)

1 comment:

Jazzbumpa said...

Hmmm. On a week when I'm not blogging much at RB, I'm an inspiration to others. Kool!

That's an important article by Waldman. I've read parts of it, and started on his recommended readings, but in the press of other things, haven't gotten too far.

With that lack of background, the ELR idea strikes me as both socially responsible and highly dangerous.

The biggest danger comes from privatization. I don't think I would feel this way if our economy were based on capitalism. But we've moved beyond to a post-capitalist society, based on corporatism. An oligopoly of trans-national mega-corporations with no loyalty to anything or anybody is taking over the world. This is the real road to serfdom, and I am eskeered!

Look at the part the Citizens United decision is playing in all this. Koch industries is instructing all of their North American employees on how to vote, and it's now perfectly lgal for them to do so.