Unemployment and what MIM can do right now

The unemployment rate is twice what U.$. people would like it to be. Some Harvard Business School authors have already argued that government’s role is not associated with increased employment in the United $tates. Just calling for the government to fix unemployment might not work, and Marx provided reasons why that could be true in a situation like the U.$. one. By MIM’s calculations of surplus-value, there is not a straight-forward solution of the types being discussed in the media.

What I find more interesting in this question is the employment-population ratio. There is now a nifty little Internet tool for data available: http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet

I obtained data from 1948 to 2010. Employment of people 16 years and older never crossed 60% annually till 1985. True, it was not till January 2009 that that number fell below 60% again.

There is no doubt that the figure implied crushed dreams of prime working age men and some would say female employment is in a bad trend too. Yet, every generation has its unique aspects.

At 58.9% in June, 2010, the employment ratio is still higher than the 1950s numbers. Gender roles may have to change. Competent females may have pushed men aside or perhaps men are too pussy-whipped to push aside incompetent females. Given what happened in the 1950s and 1960s no one can say that there might not be a new pattern ahead for the 2010s.

The central Keynesian proposition is over-debated and confined to a national space. Increased GDP right now means more military activity, more climate degradation and delayed intellectual grappling with how the crisis came about — various forms of waste. Maybe there are some people who really could use a break from work too, if they thought about it. Questions of trade and immigration along with cultural trends are under-debated, not that we favor dumbocracy.

My civil rights should not depend on my stand on unemployment, taxes, Arizona’s new law or any other domestic issue. I don’t mind talking about foreign affairs seeing as the situation I am in requires allies from somewhere.

In any case, talking to MIM on a reformist basis points to geopolitics first. If it were up to us, there’d be no unemployment and Ayn Randians would be calling us slave-drivers, but socialism is not on the agenda here, despite the delusions of the 20%. Without the international proletariat in position to fix things the way we think they should be fixed, we go to where the gains can be had more in line with bourgeois internationalist thinking. How far in the reformist direction the international economic system can go by ganging up on the labor aristocracy and gender aristocracy is more along the lines of what we can think about for buying some time for the species to survive militarism and climate degradation.

It may be that global class struggle can be structured in a more orderly way after we seize the key link of geopolitics. Hence, in place of a domestic debate about unemployment, if MIM were forced to come up with something for right now it would be about reforming the entire global capitalist system and going from there. While some would see that as buying some time against militarism and climate change, others might see that as patching a system that might have collapsed sooner. On the whole, it’s an incalculable question, overly heavy in its implications; however, Niall Ferguson reminds us that young people make revolution. At the moment, we do not see class consciousness to allow the sooner collapse of the system with revolution right now. What we see is class consciousness developing and pushing the system down, so that more likely, developing country youth will break through more and more often.

MIM’s readers should appreciate that most of MIM’s writing is for the youth. It’s only in recent years that the imperialists give me a ring-side seat on questions of “national security,” thereby obliging me on questions of reform and short-run geopolitics.

MIM reminds the social-democrats that long before the current economic crisis, our position was that social-democrats stir up imperialist country fears of economic degradation, which fascism then harvests. The perverse effect of talking about unemployment all the time is sociological, not economic. The result will be guilt followed by anti-social activities ranging from alcoholism to murder to fascist movements.


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