On globalization, competition, and economic justice in cities
In this chapter I discuss the issue of economic justice in cities, and do so in ways that attempt to refocus our attention away from economic globalization and towards forms of employment that are rooted in place. Focusing on the most exploitative and unjust jobs that currently exist in American cities, the chapter documents the ways in which these hyper-exploitative jobs are organized, and who the workers are that are employed in them. It emphasizes that the vast majority of these jobs are in sectors that are localized in their products, markets, and competition. Thus the economic injustices in cities are more often the result of class-based competition within cities than they are functions of any extra-local competition. Unfortunately, by emphasizing the wrong forms of competition some urban scholarship has enabled the state and capital to undermine not just efforts for social redistribution, but also the regulation of the social relations in work. It has therefore facilitated the growth of economic injustice in American cities. Fortunately, efforts for economic justice that take employment relations within cities as focal points of their work have been and are being organized as part of the struggle to realize more just cities. I conclude this chapter by discussing some of these efforts.