A Theory of Full Employment

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Transaction Publishers, 1996 - 243 стор.

In A Theory of Full Employment, Y.S. Brenner reviews the current drift toward a society he finds neither economically expedient nor morally attractive, and N. Brenner-Golomb discusses the risks involved for science and society in the newfangled sophism hiding behind post-modern ideas and "political correctness." Both authors emphasize the need to revive the public's political engagement and revise economic theory to restore to society the humane perspective that inspired the welfare state. They contend that if people will abandon outworn habits of thought, consider alternatives, and renew their political engagement, they may find useful employment for all who are able and willing to work and end the fear of destitution. Although scientists' philosophical backgrounds seldom influence their answers, they do determine their questions, and the final outcome can depend on this. Neoclassical economists are ill equipped to ask questions about the long-term dynamic processes of our complex economic reality. They leave out of their models variables not easily quantified and prefer mathematical precision to the study of the intricacy of life. Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow, and others have tried to overcome this by grouping self-adjusting elements into "proxy" variables, thus synthesizing neoclassical and Keynesian ideas. But most of today's critics of the ruling dogma go largely unheard. This volume is intended to convince professional economists who study the economic system as a whole to reexamine some of the assumptions behind reigning economic theories. A second objective is to explain to the general public why currently fashionable policies cannot solve massive long-term unemployment. Finally, it shows that if political engagement is revived, we may escape the economic morass and moral wasteland into which, the fashionable policies have been leading us since the 1970s. This book will appeal to economists, politicians, sociologists, and a wider public concerned about today's economic malaise. Y.S. Brenner was until his retirement in 1996 professor of economics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He is chairman of the International Center for Social Economics, and editor of the Journal of Income Distribution. Among his major works are Theories of Economic Development and Growth, A Short History of Economic Progress, and The Rise and Fall of Capitalism. N. Brenner-Golomb taught statistics at various universities until she turned to philosophy. She has published on R.A. Fisher's philosophical approach to inductive inference; on the devaluation of the concept of truth; and a comparison of Wittgenstein's idea of language games with the behaviorist interpretation of verbal behavior.

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The New Feudalism Managerial Oligarchy
The New Market Structure Globalization
The New Significance of Services
The Failure of the Neoclassical Synthesis
The Distribution of National Income between Investment and Consumption
Overproduction Underconsumption and the Business Cycle
Distribution Some Methodological Observations
The Disintegration of Western Civilized Society
Truth and Expediency Some Introductory Philosophical Observations
Truth and Expediency Some Philosophical Observations Concerning Science
Truth and Expediency Philosophical Observations Concerning the Humanities
The Political Dimension
Glossary of Terms
Literature Cited

Distribution of National Income between Strata of Society
Distribution between the Private and the Public Sector
The Problem of the Social Welfare Function

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Сторінка 213 - natural rate of unemployment," in other words, is the level that would be ground out by the Walrasian system of general equilibrium equations, provided there is imbedded in them the actual structural characteristics of the labor and commodity markets, including market imperfections, stochastic variability in demands and supplies, the cost of gathering information about job vacancies and labor availabilities, the costs of mobility, and so on...
Сторінка 45 - ... active element. Public life gradually falls asleep, a few dozen party leaders of inexhaustible energy and boundless experience direct and rule. Among them, in reality only a dozen outstanding heads do the leading and an elite of the working class is invited from time to time to meetings where they are to applaud the speeches of the leaders, and to approve proposed resolutions unanimously — at bottom, then, a clique affair — a dictatorship, to be sure, not the dictatorship of the proletariat,...
Сторінка 91 - Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
Сторінка 41 - The consequence of a rise of food will be a rise of wages, and every rise of wages will have a tendency to determine the saved capital in a greater proportion than before to the employment of machinerv.
Сторінка 40 - Notwithstanding the tendency of wages to conform to their natural rate, their market rate may, in an improving society, for an indefinite period, be constantly above it ; for no sooner may the impulse, which an increased capital gives to a new demand for labour, be obeyed, than another increase of capital may produce the same effect ; and thus, if the increase of capital be gradual and constant, the demand for labour may give a continued stimulus to an increase of people.
Сторінка 49 - The fundamental psychological law, upon which we are entitled to depend with great confidence both a priori from our knowledge of human nature and from the detailed facts of experience, is that men are disposed, as a rule and on the average, to increase their consumption as their income increases, but not by as much as the increase in their income.
Сторінка 40 - I am right, that the same cause which may increase the net revenue of the country, may at the same time render the population redundant, and deteriorate the condition of the labourer.
Сторінка 61 - They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life which would have been made had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants ; and thus, without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society and afford means to the multiplication of the species.
Сторінка 45 - Without general elections, without unrestricted freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution, becomes a mere semblance of life, in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.
Сторінка 61 - That the principal and most permanent cause of poverty has little or no direct relation to forms of government or the unequal division of property; and that as the rich do not in reality possess the power of finding employment and maintenance for the poor...

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