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172

Microeconomics (really is) for Dummies

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Fleming, P. (2017). Microeconomics (really is) for Dummies. In Fleming, P. The Death of Homo Economicus: Work, Debt and the Myth of Endless Accumulation. Pluto Press, pp. 172-214

182

Friedman had found the ideological lure he was looking for because an individual’s human capital (including earnings and liabilities) can be owned by nobody else. More importantly, human capital theory provides the ultimate neoclassical retort to the Marxist slogan that workers should seize the means of production. If each person is already their own means of production, then the intractable conflict at the heart of the capitalist labour process must logically dissolve. As it turns out, according to Schultz, all workers are in fact consummate capitalists: ‘labourers have become capitalists not from the diffusion of the ownership of corporation stocks, as folk law would have it, but from the acquisition of knowledge and skill that have economic value’.

—p.182 by Peter Fleming 3 years, 3 months ago

Friedman had found the ideological lure he was looking for because an individual’s human capital (including earnings and liabilities) can be owned by nobody else. More importantly, human capital theory provides the ultimate neoclassical retort to the Marxist slogan that workers should seize the means of production. If each person is already their own means of production, then the intractable conflict at the heart of the capitalist labour process must logically dissolve. As it turns out, according to Schultz, all workers are in fact consummate capitalists: ‘labourers have become capitalists not from the diffusion of the ownership of corporation stocks, as folk law would have it, but from the acquisition of knowledge and skill that have economic value’.

—p.182 by Peter Fleming 3 years, 3 months ago
202

It was only inevitable that the so-called ‘sharing economy’ would develop out of these socio-economic conditions. Technology, desperation and the continuing individualisation of culture has seen this industry dramatically expand in the USA, UK and elsewhere. Governments now officially speak about its importance and contribution to a nation’s economic wellbeing. The sharing economy has a list of alternative titles that make it look as if we are entering into a new age of utopian collectivism where amateurish goodwill reigns supreme: the peer economy, networked economy, on-demand economy, collaborative economy, gig economy and so forth. But once again we see a typical feature of wreckage economics behind the trend. Business platforms such as Airbnb ride on the informal economy, opportunistically exploiting the insecurity that has become a norm under crisis capitalism. The once laudable commons-based system of peer production has been commercialised by big business using old school middle-man or rentier tactics, thereby generating profits without production. They say that it’s about saving ‘waste’ (idle cars could be taxies, empty bedrooms could be holiday accommodation, etc.). But it’s really a method of exploiting the societal devastation that has unfolded following the recession. [...]

[...]

[...] Uber, Deliveroo, TaskRabbit and similar firms function through a three-stage process: seek an impoverished sector of society, capture their time and resource (with minimal investment costs) and then present that resource to a customer for a surcharge. This is why some have suggested that the sharing economy is more about access.

I feel so validated

—p.202 by Peter Fleming 3 years, 3 months ago

It was only inevitable that the so-called ‘sharing economy’ would develop out of these socio-economic conditions. Technology, desperation and the continuing individualisation of culture has seen this industry dramatically expand in the USA, UK and elsewhere. Governments now officially speak about its importance and contribution to a nation’s economic wellbeing. The sharing economy has a list of alternative titles that make it look as if we are entering into a new age of utopian collectivism where amateurish goodwill reigns supreme: the peer economy, networked economy, on-demand economy, collaborative economy, gig economy and so forth. But once again we see a typical feature of wreckage economics behind the trend. Business platforms such as Airbnb ride on the informal economy, opportunistically exploiting the insecurity that has become a norm under crisis capitalism. The once laudable commons-based system of peer production has been commercialised by big business using old school middle-man or rentier tactics, thereby generating profits without production. They say that it’s about saving ‘waste’ (idle cars could be taxies, empty bedrooms could be holiday accommodation, etc.). But it’s really a method of exploiting the societal devastation that has unfolded following the recession. [...]

[...]

[...] Uber, Deliveroo, TaskRabbit and similar firms function through a three-stage process: seek an impoverished sector of society, capture their time and resource (with minimal investment costs) and then present that resource to a customer for a surcharge. This is why some have suggested that the sharing economy is more about access.

I feel so validated

—p.202 by Peter Fleming 3 years, 3 months ago