Friday, July 17, 2015

Are Workers People? (Views Differ)

"...our understanding of wage determination has been transformed by an intellectual revolution... workers are people" -- Paul Krugman
Memo to Karl Marx, suggested revision -- highlighted in yellow -- to the climax of your 1865 address to the First International (courtesy of  Paul Krugman):
"Instead of the conservative motto: 'A fair day's wage for a fair day's work!' they ought to inscribe on their banner the intellectual revolutionary watchword: 'Abolition of the wages system Workers are people!'"
Where to begin?

Even prior to Card and Krueger's pathbreaking research on the minimum wage there were widespread intimations that workers might indeed be people. Reputedly, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 -- which established a federal minimum wage in the U.S. -- was enacted into law more than a half century before the intellectual revolution that transformed our understanding of wage determination. How did that happen? It's like they must have had a time machine or something.

But are workers actually people? A balanced analysis would present both sides of the question objectively.

"That's you problem right there, ma'am. Your denominator is all
wore out and that's puttin' too much strain on your numerator."

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