Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Weed of Rand bears Bitter Fruit!

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. From a 1993 New York Times OpEd by John Kenneth Galbraith (h/t The Big Picture for the archaeological discovery)
There are the many who live in recession with a wholly secure livelihood and with a lessened fear of price increases, of inflation. They are in no real danger of loss or diminution of income. Present here are the more secure parts of the modern corporate bureaucracy. Its members see their brethren being shed. (The corporate elite is never fired or sacked; in the interest of efficiency, in is only shed.) However, those who are truly influential have no fear. They, always in the interest of efficiency, are the ones who do the shedding.

Similarly secure are many in the professions, professors, needless to say, some public servants, lawyers, doctors and media stars. Also very important is the modern large rentier class. And many who live on Social Security or pensions.

For all these, recessions mean stable or even falling prices and no serious reduction of income. Relatively secure also are those Kansas farmers, constituents of Senator Bob Dole, whose prices are guaranteed by the Government, whose expenses and labor costs are now stable.

Also, in an economy where services are increasingly important, a recession means a more willing and pliant labor supply, an underclass more available for the unpleasant toil that makes life for the rest of us more agreeable. And for employers.

A recession in modern times is also for many far more attractive than remedial action against it.
Krugsandra recently made the point that we're living in a rentier dominated economy.  Our failure to act on the unemployment situation is indicative of our rentier world.  High unemployment facilitates the interests of our Galtian overlords who, through their political instruments like Scott Walker, drive down the standar of living for the middle-class so the wealthy can have just a little bit more.

It's hard to argue with Krugsandra, or with this 1993 re-incarnation of John Kenneth Galbraith.

No comments:

Post a Comment