Lordy be Larry, you forget your Marx

Blue Planet 2 demonstrated the terrifyingly fragile state of nature’s ecosystem. One of the key messages from the BBC series was that a delicate balance exists in the oceans between predators and prey. If there are too many predators, the stocks of prey fall. The predators go hungry and their numbers dwindle, allowing the prey to recover. Balance is restored.

Humans have their equivalent of this predator-prey model. It is best demonstrated by the workings of the labour market, where there is a constant struggle between employers and employees over the proceeds of growth. Unlike the world of nature, though, there is no self-righting mechanism. One side can carry on devouring its prey until the system breaks down. Over the past 40 years, employers have been the predators, workers the prey.

Even sodding Ol’ Karl got this right. Full employment is the cure. Only if there is a reserve army of the unemployed can the capitalists not pay their workers more as productivity rises. Without the reserve army then rising productivity means the capitalists are in competition for each other for that labour – wages rise therefore.

Really, we know the mechanism here.

And this isn’t even true:

Seen in the simplest terms, the story of political economy over the past four decades is a class war between capital and labour, which capital has won hands down. The battlefield is littered with evidence of labour’s defeat: nugatory pay awards, precarious work, the collapse of collective bargaining, and cuts in public spending.

And to the victors have gone the spoils: higher profits and dividends; lower personal tax rates; a higher share of national income.

The capital share is about the long term average. Risen from the 70s, sure, but not out of line at all. Taxes upon consumption and subsidies to production have risen (VAT largely) and mixed income has risen. Thus the labour share has fallen, but not the capital share risen.

This is simply incorrect.

12 comments on “Lordy be Larry, you forget your Marx

  1. Complete bollocks.

    Nature’s ecosystem is a balance, sure, but it’s not delicate. It evolved from a hot desert rock, all by itself.

    It bounces back remarkably well, and adapts to changing conditions.

    At relatively recent times we have had ice ages, warm periods, CO2 levels have been up and down like the proverbial fiddlers elbow, and somehow, nature carries on.

    Sorry yes of course I forgot, mother nature hasn’t got a degree in grievance studies from shitville college. She’s got a masters from the school of hard knocks.

    What can we learn from this?

  2. You waste time Tim, trying to reason with evil scum.

    The liar who you are attempting to reason with probably couldn’t and most certainly wouldn’t be willing deal with reason. He is a propagandist for the type of evil he favours and cares nothing about truth or argument.

    They must be met and destroyed on their own level.

  3. the story of political economy over the past four decades is a class war between capital and labour, which the State and its parasitic class has won hands down.

    Probably more realistic.

  4. The capitalists have won. Children die down mines, nursing mothers starve in shop doorways and Bob Cratchet can’t spend Christmas with his family. How could we have gone so wrong?

  5. Well, Attenborough has cherry-picked stuff to push his agenda. As BII says, the Earth is remarkably resilient, coming back from vast volcanic eruptions and periodic large asteroid impacts with an even better mix of flora & fauna. If Attenborough though about it for a minute, he would realise that extinction events (and we’re not in one) give evolution great opportunities to repopulate with a lot of new stuff.

  6. @Andrew M, December 14, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    +1

    Left wants are mutually exclusive; as are feminazis also on the immigration issue.

  7. I was lucky enough to see this work out: Chicago in the mid 90s. There were help wanted signs EVERYWHERE, and the starting wage for high school kids at fast food restaurants was $11/hour. The Admin (administrative assistant, i.e., secretary) of the department I worked in was bemused that her daughter, still in high school, turned down a $12/hr job offer for an $11/hr offer that had guaranteed promotion to supervisor, with higher pay, in 6 months. Want $15/hour minimum wage? Burn regulations, lower taxes, and watch the jobs compete for the workers.
    “Full employment or open borders” – that they are mutually exclusive is a feature of leftist wants, the only reason we can’t have both (according to the statists) is due to the hoarders, wreckers, and haters in society so the statists will double down on their demands when utopia does not magically appear.

  8. Communists can’t comprehend that workers are a commodity, subject to the whims of the market.

    ‘It is best demonstrated by the workings of the labour market, where there is a constant struggle between employers and employees over the proceeds of growth.’

    Communist inferring a non existent relationship. There’s no struggle. Employees have no claims on growth, any more than they have liability for losses.

    Start your own business if you want claims on growth. Be prepared for liabilities.

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