chapter  4
Jobs and Joblessness
WithDouglas Dowd
Pages 13

Karl Marx argued that the jobless serve as “the reserve army of the unemployed,” keeping wages down and workers weak. Others, more supportive of business means and ends, agree with Marx in principle if not with his stand when they view recessions as having a salutary effect on the “labor market". Those strictures apply with particular force to the complicated and dynamic world of jobs and joblessness—an area of life demeaned in its very characterization by the economists as “the labor market". Unemployment was high, wages stagnant, important elements of the economy were in trouble, but the stock market was soaring and the rich were becoming very much richer. The government interventionism of those policies was seen as required because an advanced industrial capitalist economy left to itself can so easily go berserk—into depression or into a dangerous inflationary process.