Greenspan IQ query

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at Princeton.EDU
Thu Apr 6 14:45:44 PDT 2000

>CB: No , he cannot possibly be that stupid. He is dumb like a fox.

Yeah, let's give the dude his due. He can keep several indicators in his mind at once. And one that is bothering him is a shortage of exploitable labor, the very opposite of Malthus' fear of excessive workers who can't be sopped up a weak rate of accumulation. I truly don't think Greenspan, eyes on the numbers, is worried about wage led inflation--he himself does not hide from the fact that unit labor costs are stable. His dread is simply that of underpopulation!

So I was wrong that there is never any longer a tight labor market. Greenspan is rightly concerned that the reservoir of human labor is running dry.

Even if population increases through immigration, there is a danger of overaccumulation. Greenspan is clearly and correctly worried that the population is simply not big enough to valorize the swollen mass of capital that is being accumulated at a rapid clip. Why deny that he honestly recognizes that capital is now pushing to extreme boundaries of valorization and that population is coming to a form a limit to the accumulation of capital simply because the valorization base is too small. This has nothing to do with the consumption base being too narrows for capital. This is a problem of production, not demand; of valorization, not realization. (see Henryk Grossmann)

True, there are billions of proletarians waiting to be exploited, but they only count from the perspective of capital if they can be made available at an adequate rate of exploitation--that requires some training and education to operate modern machinery, infrastructure and stability.

A working population that is scarce in relation to the capital that is being accumulated will quickly become a working population which is surplus.

Perhaps it's this insatiable appetite for labor, this dread of underpopulation that explains the importance of the crusade to make available in China a labor force that will allow capital to celebrate ever more unbridled orgies of exploitation in enterprises that it can own and control. We do have to oppose the pro WTO bourgeoisie.

Yours, Rakesh

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