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

The labor market closes out 2021 on the best note yet

The labor market closes out 2021 on the best note yet The final economic data in 2021 was this morning’s report on initial and continued jobless claims. And the good news for workers continued. New claims declined back under 200,000 to 198,000, the best pandemic showing except for November 20’s 194,000, and December 4’s 188,000. […]

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 […]

Socially Ambivalent Labour Time VII: Capital volume 1, chapters one and three

EconoSpeak: Socially Ambivalent Labour Time VII: Capital volume 1, chapters one and three. Sandwichman, July 30, 2021 Afterword to the Second German Edition [of Das Kapital, Buch 1] (1873): I must start by informing the readers of the first edition about the alterations made in the second edition. One is struck at once by the clearer […]

Four measures of labor market losses in the pandemic

Four measures of labor market losses in the pandemic Below is a graph of 4 ways of measuring the downturn in the labor market due to the pandemic: 1. Payrolls (blue) – this is the headline jobs number from the establishment survey2. Civilian employment (green) – this is the equivalent number from the household survey.3. […]

Is the “Invisible Hand” a lump of labor?

The first premise of Adam Smith’s famous metaphor about an “invisible hand” leading individuals to promote the public interest, although they intend only private gain, was that there is only so much work to go ’round. That is, Smith assumed there was a certain quantity of work to be done — a “lump of labor.” […]

Not With a Bang, but a Whimper… Democratic Party Edition. An Op Ed.

A presidential candidate like Donald Trump should not be viable. Candidates he supports should not be viable. The existence of Donald Trump should be a boon for the Democrats. And, in fact, it has been. But it hasn’t been enough. Perhaps four (or eight?) years worth of results will tip the balance for Democrats, but […]

"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?”

by run 75441 “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens “That’s Baloney” stated Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, Alabama; the immigration bill cosponsor, told the Huntsville Times. “It’s clear the study over estimates the negative and under estimates the positive to skew the result toward an agenda,” […]