Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

3

[...] today’s working class differs not only in industrial composition and regional concentration from that of the 1960s and 1970s, but in ethnic and racial content as well. The terrain on which the working class and the oppressed fight necessarily changes as the structure and contours of global and domestic capitalism change. It will be argued here that the process of disintegration of the old industrial corridors and regions has been replaced by new and mostly different geographic patterns and structures of concentration with the potential for advances in working-class organization and rebellion.

The late 1970s would see the beginning of the neoliberal era after a decade or more of labor rebellion, low growth, and declining productivity combined with rising inflation—known as “stagflation.” Characterized by deregulation of industry, privatization of public services, cuts in the welfare state, tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, undermining of labor rights, and a general emphasis on “the market” as the salvation of the economy, neoliberalism emerged in the United States as the Democratic Carter administration and Congress defeated labor law reform and passed measures to deregulate truck and air transportation. It would accelerate under Reagan and again under Clinton to become the new norm of economic policy and business preference. Neoliberalism was, as David Harvey has argued, a project to restore class power to the economic elite.

In the period beginning in the 1980s, globalization accelerated, and outsourcing and various forms of workforce “flexibility” increased, along with internationalized production through global value chains (GVC). These developments appeared to fragment and dissolve the power of the traditional working class across much of the industrial North. Yet, under the very same pressures of global competition, just-in-time-driven logistics systems restructured and integrated the movement of materials within the United States (and around the world), and, beginning in the mid-1990s, the biggest wave of mergers and acquisitions in American history reshaped and consolidated capital as businesses sought to reassert their power in global markets and increase control over the workforce. As a consequence, it will be argued here, capitalism has entered a new phase in which the working class is both restructured and, along with capital itself, consolidated, that is, forced together in new ways.

potentially useful summary

—p.3 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] today’s working class differs not only in industrial composition and regional concentration from that of the 1960s and 1970s, but in ethnic and racial content as well. The terrain on which the working class and the oppressed fight necessarily changes as the structure and contours of global and domestic capitalism change. It will be argued here that the process of disintegration of the old industrial corridors and regions has been replaced by new and mostly different geographic patterns and structures of concentration with the potential for advances in working-class organization and rebellion.

The late 1970s would see the beginning of the neoliberal era after a decade or more of labor rebellion, low growth, and declining productivity combined with rising inflation—known as “stagflation.” Characterized by deregulation of industry, privatization of public services, cuts in the welfare state, tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, undermining of labor rights, and a general emphasis on “the market” as the salvation of the economy, neoliberalism emerged in the United States as the Democratic Carter administration and Congress defeated labor law reform and passed measures to deregulate truck and air transportation. It would accelerate under Reagan and again under Clinton to become the new norm of economic policy and business preference. Neoliberalism was, as David Harvey has argued, a project to restore class power to the economic elite.

In the period beginning in the 1980s, globalization accelerated, and outsourcing and various forms of workforce “flexibility” increased, along with internationalized production through global value chains (GVC). These developments appeared to fragment and dissolve the power of the traditional working class across much of the industrial North. Yet, under the very same pressures of global competition, just-in-time-driven logistics systems restructured and integrated the movement of materials within the United States (and around the world), and, beginning in the mid-1990s, the biggest wave of mergers and acquisitions in American history reshaped and consolidated capital as businesses sought to reassert their power in global markets and increase control over the workforce. As a consequence, it will be argued here, capitalism has entered a new phase in which the working class is both restructured and, along with capital itself, consolidated, that is, forced together in new ways.

potentially useful summary

—p.3 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago
18

Technology, including that in the actual production process, also plays a role in this beyond surveillance, but, as is almost always the case, not as a substitute for the burdens of labor but as the enabler and enforcer of its intensification. Given the limits on the length of the workday imposed by law, cus- tom, or union agreement, as Marx put it, “machinery becomes in the hands of capital the objective means, systematically employed, for squeezing out more labor in a given time.” Since Marx’s day, works by Nobel, Braverman, and others have shown that the design and use of technology is socially constructed to intensify management control, reduce worker skills, and increase efficiency and output. As Noble put it writing about post–World War II developments in automation, the concerns of those who designed and deployed the new technology were “reflected in a general devaluation of human skills and a distrust of human workers and in an ongoing effort to eliminate both” in the name of efficiency and, of course, reducing human toil.

typo: Nobel/Noble

—p.18 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Technology, including that in the actual production process, also plays a role in this beyond surveillance, but, as is almost always the case, not as a substitute for the burdens of labor but as the enabler and enforcer of its intensification. Given the limits on the length of the workday imposed by law, cus- tom, or union agreement, as Marx put it, “machinery becomes in the hands of capital the objective means, systematically employed, for squeezing out more labor in a given time.” Since Marx’s day, works by Nobel, Braverman, and others have shown that the design and use of technology is socially constructed to intensify management control, reduce worker skills, and increase efficiency and output. As Noble put it writing about post–World War II developments in automation, the concerns of those who designed and deployed the new technology were “reflected in a general devaluation of human skills and a distrust of human workers and in an ongoing effort to eliminate both” in the name of efficiency and, of course, reducing human toil.

typo: Nobel/Noble

—p.18 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago
41

The working class, as opposed simply to the workforce, of course, is composed not only of its employed members but of nonworking spouses, dependents, relatives, the unemployed, and all those who make up the reserve army of labor. If working-class people in employment make up just under two-thirds of the workforce, those in the class amount to at least three-quarters of the population—the overwhelming majority. As teachers, nurses, and other professionals are pushed down into the working class, the majority grows even larger. If the “99 percent” popularized by the Occupy movement is not quite accurate, there being too many middle-class people tied materially and mentally to the capitalist class, the percentage of those whose fundamental interests are opposed to capital nonetheless moves in that direction.

—p.41 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The working class, as opposed simply to the workforce, of course, is composed not only of its employed members but of nonworking spouses, dependents, relatives, the unemployed, and all those who make up the reserve army of labor. If working-class people in employment make up just under two-thirds of the workforce, those in the class amount to at least three-quarters of the population—the overwhelming majority. As teachers, nurses, and other professionals are pushed down into the working class, the majority grows even larger. If the “99 percent” popularized by the Occupy movement is not quite accurate, there being too many middle-class people tied materially and mentally to the capitalist class, the percentage of those whose fundamental interests are opposed to capital nonetheless moves in that direction.

—p.41 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago
45

The increase in both international and domestic competition, enabled and driven by deregulation and globalization, the repeat of decennial crises that encourage industry restructuring, and the rise of profit rates after the economic recovery began in 1982 that enabled reorganization have together brought about one of the most extraordinary waves of business consolidation via mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the history of US capitalism. M&A movements tend to come in waves. They are part of the ongoing reorganization of capital under the pressures of competition, their rhythms determined partly by falling and then rising rates of profit. In the United States there have been six major waves of mergers and acquisitions in which business has been reshaped: 1897–1904, 1916–29, 1965–69, 1984–89, 1992–2000, and 2003 to the present. Each of these merger movements attempted to resolve problems associated with falling rates of profits leading to recessions and to take advantage of the resumption of profitability to increase efficiency and market share through mergers.

In conventional terms merger waves are the product of economic expansion, on the one hand, and capital liquidity, on the other. From a Marxist perspective more particularly, they rise and fall with the rate of profit. Using the rate of profit-of-enterprise calculated by Anwar Shaikh and the empirical information on merger numbers and value provided by Gaughan and Pautler, the four post–World War II merger waves (1965–69, 1980–90, 1992–2000, and 2003–present) correspond to a remarkable degree with the rise and fall of profit-of-enterprise rates over this long period.

might be useful someday who knows

—p.45 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The increase in both international and domestic competition, enabled and driven by deregulation and globalization, the repeat of decennial crises that encourage industry restructuring, and the rise of profit rates after the economic recovery began in 1982 that enabled reorganization have together brought about one of the most extraordinary waves of business consolidation via mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the history of US capitalism. M&A movements tend to come in waves. They are part of the ongoing reorganization of capital under the pressures of competition, their rhythms determined partly by falling and then rising rates of profit. In the United States there have been six major waves of mergers and acquisitions in which business has been reshaped: 1897–1904, 1916–29, 1965–69, 1984–89, 1992–2000, and 2003 to the present. Each of these merger movements attempted to resolve problems associated with falling rates of profits leading to recessions and to take advantage of the resumption of profitability to increase efficiency and market share through mergers.

In conventional terms merger waves are the product of economic expansion, on the one hand, and capital liquidity, on the other. From a Marxist perspective more particularly, they rise and fall with the rate of profit. Using the rate of profit-of-enterprise calculated by Anwar Shaikh and the empirical information on merger numbers and value provided by Gaughan and Pautler, the four post–World War II merger waves (1965–69, 1980–90, 1992–2000, and 2003–present) correspond to a remarkable degree with the rise and fall of profit-of-enterprise rates over this long period.

might be useful someday who knows

—p.45 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago
49

The direction of mergers is crucial because different configurations promote different balances of class power. In general, as Marxist political economist Howard Botwinick notes, “a number of writers have argued that the increasing conglomeration of U.S. corporations in the 1960s and 1970s played a major role in tipping the balance against labor in industries such as coal, meat-packing, printing, and steel.” 17 Conglomerates are better placed to resist strikes or even unionization in any one line of production because of their resources in other subsidiaries. Here is what labor economist Charles Craypo wrote about the advantages to management of conglomerates just as conglomeration reached its apex:

The conglomerate employer is, by definition, a multi-industry enterprise. This results in greater employer-operating mobility than that of a union whose bargaining structure and representation rights rarely cross indus- try lines, greater financial leverage than that of a union whose members depend on a single business operation for their livelihood, and greater ad- ministrative range than a union whose decision-making options are limited to a single plant or industry. These administrative, financial, and mobility advantages enable the conglomerate to frustrate the collective bargaining process and impair the bargaining strength of the unions.

this is ofc only one possibility - hettie's NFB piece on monopsony power hints at other possibilities

—p.49 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The direction of mergers is crucial because different configurations promote different balances of class power. In general, as Marxist political economist Howard Botwinick notes, “a number of writers have argued that the increasing conglomeration of U.S. corporations in the 1960s and 1970s played a major role in tipping the balance against labor in industries such as coal, meat-packing, printing, and steel.” 17 Conglomerates are better placed to resist strikes or even unionization in any one line of production because of their resources in other subsidiaries. Here is what labor economist Charles Craypo wrote about the advantages to management of conglomerates just as conglomeration reached its apex:

The conglomerate employer is, by definition, a multi-industry enterprise. This results in greater employer-operating mobility than that of a union whose bargaining structure and representation rights rarely cross indus- try lines, greater financial leverage than that of a union whose members depend on a single business operation for their livelihood, and greater ad- ministrative range than a union whose decision-making options are limited to a single plant or industry. These administrative, financial, and mobility advantages enable the conglomerate to frustrate the collective bargaining process and impair the bargaining strength of the unions.

this is ofc only one possibility - hettie's NFB piece on monopsony power hints at other possibilities

—p.49 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago
93

It should be fairly obvious that the rhythms of profitability, recurring crises, facility relocations, and subsequent decline in and restructuring of manufacturing would produce both an economic impact on the state and an accelerated political intervention from capital and its representatives in government. Yet the role of the state in capitalism is necessarily a contradictory one. For capital, it is, on the one hand, a necessity for social order, the protection of private property and accumulation, defense in a competitive and violent world, negotiator of the terms of globalization, instrument of imperial expansion, and subsidizer, and, on the other hand, it is ultimately a drain on surplus value via taxation even if much of this comes from the wages of workers. The whole program of neoliberalism, of course, is meant to resolve this seeming conflict by redistributing the costs of the state from capital to the middle and working classes by tax reductions on business and the wealthy, shifting the burden downward and increasing the flow of the nation’s surplus value to capital.

Things are rendered even more complicated by the multilayered nature of the American state, with its federal government, 50 states, 3,000 counties, nearly 20,000 municipalities, and 16,500 townships. 6 No level of government, however, has been exempt from the attack on the state as a cost to capital or perceived barrier to accumulation that has characterized the neoliberal era. In fact, this plethora of governments has become a source of massive tax relief and government subsidy for corporate America. As location, relocation, and outsourcing became means of escaping unions and lowering labor costs in the era of lean production, corporations played one city, county, or state against others in order to receive the tax breaks, subsidies, land deals, and other incentives that looted the public treasury in return for the promise, not always fulfilled, of jobs.

—p.93 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

It should be fairly obvious that the rhythms of profitability, recurring crises, facility relocations, and subsequent decline in and restructuring of manufacturing would produce both an economic impact on the state and an accelerated political intervention from capital and its representatives in government. Yet the role of the state in capitalism is necessarily a contradictory one. For capital, it is, on the one hand, a necessity for social order, the protection of private property and accumulation, defense in a competitive and violent world, negotiator of the terms of globalization, instrument of imperial expansion, and subsidizer, and, on the other hand, it is ultimately a drain on surplus value via taxation even if much of this comes from the wages of workers. The whole program of neoliberalism, of course, is meant to resolve this seeming conflict by redistributing the costs of the state from capital to the middle and working classes by tax reductions on business and the wealthy, shifting the burden downward and increasing the flow of the nation’s surplus value to capital.

Things are rendered even more complicated by the multilayered nature of the American state, with its federal government, 50 states, 3,000 counties, nearly 20,000 municipalities, and 16,500 townships. 6 No level of government, however, has been exempt from the attack on the state as a cost to capital or perceived barrier to accumulation that has characterized the neoliberal era. In fact, this plethora of governments has become a source of massive tax relief and government subsidy for corporate America. As location, relocation, and outsourcing became means of escaping unions and lowering labor costs in the era of lean production, corporations played one city, county, or state against others in order to receive the tax breaks, subsidies, land deals, and other incentives that looted the public treasury in return for the promise, not always fulfilled, of jobs.

—p.93 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago
97

Those who have paid the price for all this corporate largess are, of course, the public employees and the working-class people who depend on public services. The federal government cut 285,124 jobs between 1990 and 2010, 173,466 or 60 percent from the US Postal Service, which also faces the threat of privatization. This hit workers of color, who compose over half the mail sorting and processing staff, the hardest. From 2009 through late 2015, state governments lost 68,000 jobs, while local governments cut 418,000. 22 Particularly hard hit were teachers, as states cut school aid to cities, which on average accounts for about 46 percent of local school budgets. While between 2008 and 2015 the number of students rose by 804,000, the number of teachers fell by 297,000—with women accounting for the majority of these workers. 23 Up to 2009, state and local employment provided over half the country’s union members, but by 2015 they had fallen behind private-sector members. From 2009 through 2015, the number of local government union members dropped by 684,000. This was, of course, a consequence of the political attack on these workers and their unions that accelerated after the 2010 elections.

Emboldened by their successes in state antilabor legislation, Republicans in state after state have proposed “right-to-work” laws, which passed in three traditional strongholds of industrial unionism: Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 25 Through this intervention at the state level, capital acting through right-wing Republican politicians, sometimes with support from Democrats, has in effect further altered national labor policy in a pro-business direction. To many people, state governments appear at best as the training ground and launching pad for career politicians with higher ambitions or as seats of petty claims and corruption with little relevance to major policy formation in comparison to the federal government. As it turns out, corporate America had a more nuanced understanding of the altered role of the states in the US political system, and increasingly the states have become major levers of neoliberal governmental restructuring and corporate power.

useful background context

—p.97 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Those who have paid the price for all this corporate largess are, of course, the public employees and the working-class people who depend on public services. The federal government cut 285,124 jobs between 1990 and 2010, 173,466 or 60 percent from the US Postal Service, which also faces the threat of privatization. This hit workers of color, who compose over half the mail sorting and processing staff, the hardest. From 2009 through late 2015, state governments lost 68,000 jobs, while local governments cut 418,000. 22 Particularly hard hit were teachers, as states cut school aid to cities, which on average accounts for about 46 percent of local school budgets. While between 2008 and 2015 the number of students rose by 804,000, the number of teachers fell by 297,000—with women accounting for the majority of these workers. 23 Up to 2009, state and local employment provided over half the country’s union members, but by 2015 they had fallen behind private-sector members. From 2009 through 2015, the number of local government union members dropped by 684,000. This was, of course, a consequence of the political attack on these workers and their unions that accelerated after the 2010 elections.

Emboldened by their successes in state antilabor legislation, Republicans in state after state have proposed “right-to-work” laws, which passed in three traditional strongholds of industrial unionism: Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 25 Through this intervention at the state level, capital acting through right-wing Republican politicians, sometimes with support from Democrats, has in effect further altered national labor policy in a pro-business direction. To many people, state governments appear at best as the training ground and launching pad for career politicians with higher ambitions or as seats of petty claims and corruption with little relevance to major policy formation in comparison to the federal government. As it turns out, corporate America had a more nuanced understanding of the altered role of the states in the US political system, and increasingly the states have become major levers of neoliberal governmental restructuring and corporate power.

useful background context

—p.97 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago
114

Carter also attempted to break one of the last mass strikes of the 1970s, that by the United Mine Workers, by invoking the Taft-Hartley Act. The striking miners ignored the president and adopted the slogan “Taft can mine it, Hartley can haul it, and Carter can shove it.” 25 The neoliberal agenda, however, rolled on as the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, with a Democratic majority and the endorsement of the liberal’s liberal Ted Kennedy, reported in 1979 “that the major challenges today and for the foresee- able future are on the supply-side of the economy.” 26 For the Democrats, the Keynesian foundation of post–World War II liberalism was a thing of the past. As Paul Heideman put it in his analysis of the realignment strategy in Jacobin, “The window for realignment had closed.” 27 As loyal Democrats, however, Harrington and the realigners went on to support Carter in 1980 once Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge was defeated, and Walter Mondale in 1984 as the party moved to the right.

dying @ this slogan

—p.114 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Carter also attempted to break one of the last mass strikes of the 1970s, that by the United Mine Workers, by invoking the Taft-Hartley Act. The striking miners ignored the president and adopted the slogan “Taft can mine it, Hartley can haul it, and Carter can shove it.” 25 The neoliberal agenda, however, rolled on as the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, with a Democratic majority and the endorsement of the liberal’s liberal Ted Kennedy, reported in 1979 “that the major challenges today and for the foresee- able future are on the supply-side of the economy.” 26 For the Democrats, the Keynesian foundation of post–World War II liberalism was a thing of the past. As Paul Heideman put it in his analysis of the realignment strategy in Jacobin, “The window for realignment had closed.” 27 As loyal Democrats, however, Harrington and the realigners went on to support Carter in 1980 once Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge was defeated, and Walter Mondale in 1984 as the party moved to the right.

dying @ this slogan

—p.114 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago
115

As Thomas Byrne Edsall described this turn, “During the 1970s, business refined its ability to act as a class, submerging competitive instincts in favour of joint, cooperative action in the legislative arena.” 29 The leader of this crusade was the Business Roundtable, founded in 1973 and representing most of the major industrial, commercial, and financial corporations in the United States, and whose connections with the Carter administration were direct. The roundtable developed the roster of deregulation, tax reductions, welfare cuts, privatization, and so on that have been the neoliberal agenda up to this day. It was soon followed in its activist course by the broader US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. The Trilateral Commission, also founded in 1973 by top business leaders, refined the international free trade dimension of the developing neoliberal agenda—with connections to the Carter White House and other Democrats. At the same time, post-Watergate reforms opened the door to corporate PACs, which proliferated from 89 in 1974 to 784 in 1978 and 1,467 in 1982. Corporate and trade association PAC campaign contributions rose from a mere $8 million in 1972 to $84.9 million in 1982, much of it going to the new generation of Democrats mentioned above as well as to Democratic incumbents. 30

—p.115 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago

As Thomas Byrne Edsall described this turn, “During the 1970s, business refined its ability to act as a class, submerging competitive instincts in favour of joint, cooperative action in the legislative arena.” 29 The leader of this crusade was the Business Roundtable, founded in 1973 and representing most of the major industrial, commercial, and financial corporations in the United States, and whose connections with the Carter administration were direct. The roundtable developed the roster of deregulation, tax reductions, welfare cuts, privatization, and so on that have been the neoliberal agenda up to this day. It was soon followed in its activist course by the broader US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. The Trilateral Commission, also founded in 1973 by top business leaders, refined the international free trade dimension of the developing neoliberal agenda—with connections to the Carter White House and other Democrats. At the same time, post-Watergate reforms opened the door to corporate PACs, which proliferated from 89 in 1974 to 784 in 1978 and 1,467 in 1982. Corporate and trade association PAC campaign contributions rose from a mere $8 million in 1972 to $84.9 million in 1982, much of it going to the new generation of Democrats mentioned above as well as to Democratic incumbents. 30

—p.115 by Kim Moody 11 months, 3 weeks ago