[OPE-L:1745] Re: Defining & understanding the accumulati

akliman@acl.nyit.edu (akliman@acl.nyit.edu)
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 16:56:26 -0700

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Isn't this negative IRA debate just terminological?

There can't be a negative number of workers in reserve.

But there can be negative excess supply of labor.

Yet, when we talk about the IRA, we shouldn't forget what Marx calls the
"latent" part of it. This is something the normal unemployment figures
never even make a stab at measuring.

I'm also extremely suspicious about all claims of labor shortages.
Economically, even from a neoclassical perspective, such claims make
little sense. If you can't get the workers you "need," bosses, well,
then, why don't you just raise wages and/or train some people. What?
It wouldn't be profitable? Ah.

Claims of labor shortages are thus either

(a) ideological attempts to get State policy to increase the IRA


(b) thinly-veiled for State subsidies (e.g., to train the workers instead
of the firms incurring the expense themselves).

Andrew Kliman