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March 27, 2013


Luis Enrique

Sam Bowles' textbook Microeconomics has some very good chapters on the technology of worker control and its implications.


Sam Bowles' textbook looks like a total abandonment of classical microeconomics, which has to be a good thing. Is this a fair impression?


Labour's treatment of the "squeezed middle" as a political rather than an industrial issue is the correlate of the lack of union militancy.

To shift the debate from the spectral form of rhetoric to the concrete realm of real jobs would risk either inflaming militancy and/or alienating some of the self-identifying squeezed middle.

Labour's problem isn't a conceptual failure to situate the middle, but a cynical attempt to construct a media trope.

Greg vP

Why is the middle squeezed? Most of the discussion about this issue ignores the role of demand. (Richard Florida is a rare exception with his recent piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Over the last several decades the demand for leisure and hospitality services and for healthcare, particularly low-paid healthcare such as care in the home, has increased steadily. The demand for manufactured goods has decreased in relative terms.

Given the increase in demand for low-productivity services and the corresponding decline in demand for high-productivity manufactured goods, it's hardly surprising that both productivity and wages are stagnating.

To be sure, employers in other industries are exploiting their market power. But the root of the problem is this change in demand. I recommend reading Florida's piece: http://chronicle.com/article/Robots-Arent-the-Problem-/138007/

Luis Enrique


yes and no. In chapter 1, available here


he discusses where his approach departs from what he calls the Walrasian paradigm, but also says he "retains many of [its] fundamental tenets"


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