Re: The 'cultural and moral' component (was Meillassoux on population and wages)

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Fri Jun 13 2003 - 02:14:00 EDT

>OK, explain your structure--- once we have proceeded (as Marx
>intended after CAPITAL) to relax the assumption that the standard of
>necessity (ie., the use-values entering into the value of
>labour-power) is given.
>       in solidarity,
>       Michael L

I forgot to mention that Howard Botwinick has provided a structural
explanation for persistent wage differences; I think Michael Yates
reviewed the book in Monthly Review a few years back, and former
OPE-L'er Patrick Mason has of course developed similar ideas.
Yours, Rakesh

Persistent Inequalities
by Howard Botwinick

Product Details

     * Hardcover: 324 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.50 x 6.75 x 9.75
     * Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr; (July 26, 1993)
     * ASIN: 0691042977

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Up to now, most radical, as well as neoclassical, economists have
assumed that significant wage differentials among workers of similar
skill and ability will endure only when competition in the capital
and/or labor market is seriously restricted. In contrast, this work
uses a classical Marxist analysis of real capitalist competition to
show that substantial patterns of wage disparity can persist despite
high levels of competition and significant degrees of labor mobility.
Indeed, Howard Botwinick argues in this provocative work that
capitalist competition often militates against the equalization of
wage rates. An analytical strength of this new approach is that
critical institutionalist insights concerning the impact of unions
and industry structure can now be rigorously incorporated within a
highly competitive framework. Thus, this book provides unorthodox
economists with a robust alternative to efficiency wage theories,
which are once again suggesting that unions have little long-term
effect on the inter- industry wage structure. In addition to
providing the basis for a new explanation for the persistence of race
and gender inequality, the work has important implications for
effective trade union strategies in an increasingly competitive
environment. Contrary to corporate calls for team production systems
and other forms of labor-management cooperation, Botwinick argues
that labor's most effective strategy is to build wider levels of
militant union organization that can once again take wages and
working conditions out of capitalist competition.

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