Labor Market Institutions and the Minimum Wage By Ben Bollinger

Article I wrote

Berning Media Network

Hello all! I’m Ben (@lefteconomics) the new economic analyst at Berning Media Network and I wanted my first post to be regarding two main topics which I believe are somewhat small, but have very large implications on a macroeconomic scale, and those are: the minimum wage and in general labor market restrictions.

Now, starting with the minimum wage, it is a very controversial topic in both political and economic spheres given how radically different, people think about the topic. However, the second you step out of academic circles and start asking ordinary people what their thoughts are, it becomes clear that the minimum wage is a very popular idea:

minPoll

Source: (Edwards-Levy, 2016)

So if the majority of Americans not only support a minimum wage, but also a significant number of them support an increase in the minimum wage as well, why is nothing being done about this? Why…

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New Socialism and Democracy

Following the collapse of the USSR and the complete restoration of capitalism, was complete economic degeneration. The net effect of 13 years of capitalism was to leave Russia with half the industrial capacity that could have been expected even from the poorest performing years of the socialist economy. The main cause of this was because of the political structure of the former USSR, and the affect bringing about liberal democracy had on it. All the industries in the countries were designed to work together collectively, and when the union was dismantled and the enterprises and industries no longer received orders from the state but were left to their own on the market, they didn’t have nearly the output capacity or efficiency they once had under the guidance of a central plan. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Ideologies – Response to Esoteric Entity

Our good old AnCap friend Esoteric Entity is back at it again! This time he has made a response video to DemocraticSocialist01’s response to AcedemicAgent’s video on whether or not socialism is a form of fascism or vise versa. Naturally I will try to remain respectful throughout this article, and apologize in advance if I at any point come off as rude or insensitive. Anyways, let’s get into the video! Continue reading

Real problems of socialism and some answers

Paul Cockshott's Blog

In the post Soviet Period the left lost confidence in socialism. This was partly a response to the immediate situation, but partly a realisation that socialist economies had real problems. Since socialists themselves had not come up with any real answers to these problems, and Western socialists never went beyond platitudes here, the arguments of Friedman and Hayek seemed to gain credibility. I will look at some of these real problems and what the potential solutions are.

 Coordination

The main criticism levelled at the socialist economies was that a planned economy was inherently less efficient than a market one, due to the sheer scale of the bureaucratic task involved with planning a major economy. If there are hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions, of distinct products, no central planning authority could hope to keep track of them all. Instead they were forced to set gross targets for the outputs of…

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Karl Marx’s invisible hand

from here to there

I was recently invited to give a talk by the Communist Corresponding Society, in Oxford, on the labour theory of value. Much academic discussion of the labour theory of value is unfortunately cast entirely in terms of equilibrium models. Yet Marx’s theory of value concerned with identifying causal laws, and therefore is irreducibly dynamic. So I decided to talk about the dynamics of the labour theory of value, especially the relationship between out-of-equilibrium market adjustment and the allocation of the total labour of society. I also wanted to emphasise the intimate relation between Marx’s economic theories and the theoretical contributions of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, since this connection isn’t fully appreciated by all Marxists.

Here is the transcript of the talk.

Introduction: prices are, and are not, related to labour time

In 1868 Marx wrote a short letter to his friend Ludwig Kugelmann which contains some of the…

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