Organically I am from the working class, thus I defend the interests of the working class. I am surprised how some members of the same class, become traitors not only to their class but to themselves. I am currently reading Steve Keen's book, Debunking Economics. After reading the chapter on how economists justify exploitation of labour through anti-minimum wage positions and anti-union positions. All of it is based on the notion of perfect competition, no such situation can theoretically exist and thus, has never existed. The economists make so many morbid and unrealistic assumptions about the functioning of the human being and the economy it makes you want to laugh if it weren't so influential.
For instance, economists would argue that as people make less money they work less. Which, to even the most reasonable of observers is a ludicrous assumption. People work more when they are making less money to survive, economists assume that there is an actual "indifference" between leisure and work, meaning that people choose the amount of time they work. In the real world, people want to work more because they do not make enough. Economists must assume as Keen points out that workers have alternative means of income, they simply do not. Work is not a choice, its a coercive act.
I am not going to explain the whole illogical assumptions and conclusions that Keen points out in his book. It pains me to understand and hold all of the information in my head, so I am not going to be so pretentious as to know exactly how to articulate the idea's presented in the book. You will have to trust that the notions of a downward sloping demand curve, and upward sloping supply curve is nonsense.
What about the traitors? They know no better, they are usually conservatives who in the grand tradition of conversatism, do not know terribly much. I have debated conservatives on the idea of unions for instance. They argue that, in their articulation, that "unions are greedy". Thus, that almost primal understanding of the economy determines the power of labour to demand fair wages and conditions at the ballot box. I do blame these individuals who went to university, for their ignorance. The argument in reality is that there is no perfectly competitive market, we have oligopolies and monopolies, but we do not have the equivalent in the labour market. Instead, we have a "competitive" labour market, where you have millions of people fighting hand over fist for positions, positions that increasingly pay less and offer less.
This asymmetry of power is not being corrected, in part thanks to the economics of false assumptions and ignorance of reality of the real world. We need to counteract the power of amalgamated capital-corporations-with amalgamated labour power. To go beyond the trade-union movement, to get workers to organize, even the unemployed, in the field in which they seek to find employment. LIke a medical association, or the bar association, and use that association of labour to find and demand fair wages and working conditions for labour. Its a working idea.
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