Friday, December 02, 2005


There are a number of things regarding globalization that I've been waiting to hear someone say in this Leiter Reports post and the referenced PDF by Richard Freeman.

"This is almost certainly the largest and fastest growth in labor supply in all of human history. It is actually a remarkable testimony to the durability of our mixed capitalist system that it has not been more disruptive than it has been (at least so far). One can view this change as throwing us back into a situation that is *conceptually* (though not practically, things are too different) similar to the situation Marx was theorizing about in the mid 19th century, when the rural population was a huge "reserve army" whose availability helped to blunt wage growth. Capital owners have a huge pool of underemployed and underpaid labor to draw on, and this increases their power very significantly compared to labor. So what we are looking at is a huge shift in the relative bargaining power of capital vs. labor."



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