[OPE-L:3200] labour-power shortages

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 1 Oct 1996 06:59:25 -0700 (PDT)

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Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:3195]:

> Shortages of labour were probably significant in causing a falling rate
> of profit in the UK during the 1950's and 1960s, from my analysis of the
> economic statistics of the period at least.

Putting aside the many conceptual questions that I have regarding falling
rate of profit caused by labour-power shortage theories of crisis, I think
that it is misleading to examine this question empirically in the case of
one or even several advanced capitalist nations. If, for example, we can
talk about a *world-wide* crisis of capitalism in the 1970's, can we make
the case that there are labour-power shortages in most of these countries
during the expansionary period or are labour-power shortages special cases
in some (but not all) advanced capitalist nations prior to the onset of
the crisis? While some European countries in recent decades have had
labour-power shortages and this frequently manifests itself in the
increasing number of "guestworkers", can we -- in these instances --
attribute the crisis to the shortages of labor-power?

In Solidarity,