Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Disposable time as a common pool resource

Disposable time as a common pool resource IV — disposable time as a common pool resource In his Grundrisse, Marx identified surplus labour time as a form of disposable time. That is to say that, under capitalism, it is labour time at the disposal of capital. “The whole development of wealth,” Marx wrote, “rests on the […]

Construction Spending up .2% in October, Prior Months Revised Higher

Construction Spending Rose 0.2% in October after Prior Months Were Much Revised Higher, MarketWatch 666, RJS The Census Bureau’s report on construction spending for October (pdf) estimated that the month’s seasonally adjusted construction spending would work out to $1,598.0 billion annually if extrapolated over an entire year, which was 0.2 percent (+/-1.2 percent)* above the revised September […]

Labour is not a commodity

Disposable time as a common-pool resource II — Labour is not a commodity  Labour was conventionally regarded as a private good by both classical political economists and conservative thinkers such as Edmund Burke, who argued, “labour is a commodity like every other, and rises and falls according to the demand.” The counterpoint to that view, […]

Labour power as a common pool resource

Disposable time as a common-pool resource III — Labour power as a common pool resource  Human mental and physical capacities to work have elastic but definite natural limits. Those capacities must be continuously restored and enhanced through nourishment, rest and social interaction. Over the longer term that capacity for labour also has to be replenished […]

The only thing keeping the jobs market from completely recovering to pre-pandemic levels is the pandemic itself

November jobs report: the only thing keeping the jobs market completely recovering to pre-pandemic levels, is the pandemic itself One month ago, we got very large upward revisions to previous data. This month the big questions I had were whether that would continue and whether the bulge decrease in new jobless claims to a half-century […]

Manufacturing still red hot; construction still very cool

Manufacturing still red hot; construction still very cool Our first November data is out this morning with the forward-looking ISM manufacturing report for October, as well as construction spending for October. Let’s take the ISM report first, since it is an important short leading indicator for the production sector, and in particular its new orders […]

Disposable time as a common-pool resource I — Introduction

Disposable time as a common-pool resource I — Introduction About a decade ago, I wrote a short piece about “labour power as a common-pool resource” that got picked up by Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation and led to me being invited to a conference on the commons in Berlin put on by the Heinrich […]

Clear signs of *deceleration* in house price increases, but no sign of actual declines yet

Clear signs of *deceleration* in house price increases, but no sign of actual declines yet The veritable explosive increase in house prices has been one of the biggest economic stories of the past year. And because it feeds into “owner’s equivalent rent” with a lag, is likely to have a big effect on consumer inflation […]

The Return of FDI

by Joseph Joyce The Return of FDI Last year’s collapse in foreign direct investment was seen by many as the first stage of a period of retrenchment. Political pressure to “reshore” production, particularly of goods of national importance such as medical equipment, would cause multinational firms to rearrange their global supply chains to minimize foreign […]