(OPE-L) 'Labor Market Dynamics Within Rival Macroeconomic Frameworks'

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Thu Dec 11 2003 - 13:36:14 EST

Hi Ian:

> Just a half penny on your exchanges with Paul:
> I can't imagine a capitalist economy would work if the wage share
> were either 0% or 100% of national income. A question then arises
> whether there is a natural equilibrium ratio of shares that the
> system is attracted toward, absent the class struggle.

The claim that Paul C (following Farjoun and Machover) made
concerns an _empirical_ trend (indeed what he called a "basic and
consistent feature of capitalism").  When one examines empirical trends
(particularly the wage share of national income!), one can not do this
"absent the class struggle" because the class struggle was not absent.

> My point is, I think, that it is ok to abstract from the class struggle
> when trying to understand some dynamics because that may reveal
> what is being struggled against.

My response is that within the context of a layered analysis of
the subject matter (in which capitalism is reconstructed in thought),
it is Okay (indeed, a necessary part of that process) to make
abstractions.  However, that is not what is at issue here.  What is at
issue is whether there is the observable empirical trend that Paul claims
(as I've explained, I see _several_ observable trends re the wage share
of national income) and, if so, what accounts for this trend (or
trends).   Within _that_ context, class struggle can't be abstracted

In solidarity, Jerry

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