[OPE-L:3228] Re: labour-power shortages

Iwao Kitamura (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Wed, 2 Oct 1996 08:58:26 -0700 (PDT)

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>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?

I'm not clear on labour-power shortage theory of crisis, but the crisis
in '70 were caused by the shortage of new applicants due to the end
of the destruction of farm area at least in Japan. Such constraint
narrowed the possibility of further rapid accumulation. The second
case in Japan was in 1990. Japan experienced a certain wage rise due to
shortage of workforce without active labour actions. At the time wage rise rate
in smaller enterprises got higher than that in big multinationals. It was
an exceptional case since '60s. This wage rise led profit rates to decline
in general and caused extraordinary decline of stock prices and land
prices that resulted a particular economic crisis in 1992.

in solidarity,

Iwao Kitamura