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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Forum for Social Economics

For a Special Issue on
Unemployment In The High-Pressure Capitalism Of The 21st Century

Abstract deadline
03 March 2022

Manuscript deadline
09 September 2022

Cover image - Forum for Social Economics

Special Issue Editor(s)

John Komlos, Professor Emeritus, University of Munich
[email protected]

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Unemployment In The High-Pressure Capitalism Of The 21st Century

The 21st century revealed a series of historic blunders of mainstream economists. For instance, Marty Feldstein (may he rest in peace), vigorously supported the Reagan-era tax cuts based on the dubious trickle-down theory, that put millions of dollars into the pockets of the superrich which they used strategically to amass even more economic and political power. That brought inequality back to the 1929 level and the precariat (the 21st century proletariat) was unhappy enough to join the far-right populist movement. The lords of finance were also ardent supporters of deregulation that culminated in the Meltdown of 2008. So Reaganomics had devastating consequences.

Then conventional economists were also ardent supporters of globalization. For example, Gregory Mankiw, who earned $45 million from his textbook sales, was chairmen of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, when he remarkably justified outsourcing jobs, saying it is “probably a plus for the economy in the long run”. He was paying attention to the economy, while disregarding the people in it. The neoclassical economists forgot that globalization became a job-exporting engine and created a precariat of immense proportions for the U.S., with its endemic twin trade deficits. Consequently, many of the unemployed and underemployed turned for solace to the hypodermic needle, a trigger, or a bottle, and so deaths of despair skyrocketed. Alternatively, they turned to Donald Trump to save them or at least send a vengeful message to Washington. So, populism and Trumpism was solidified and culminated in the insurrection of January 6th.

Then the Ivy Leaguers, including Princeton superstar Ben Bernanke, were blind to the brewing financial crisis even when it was just around the corner. In sum, it became clear that the emperor had no clothes. The neoliberals struck out and the Washington consensus morphed into the Beijing consensus. As though these errors were not enough, they were followed by another low-probability high-impact event in the form of an invasion of viruses potent enough to send the global economy into a tailspin.

The economy is obviously inhabited not be economic agents but by flesh-and-blood human beings, the majority of whom are spinning from the shocks and dislocations of the 21st century. All this implies that a special issue devoted to the challenges, suffering, or exploitation of the underprivileged, the unemployed, and underemployed around the globe stratified by class, gender, skin-color, or any other attribute, is highly warranted. It is also urged to measure unemployment accurately, not necessarily accepting the official finagled version. After all, even Janet Yellen admitted in 2019 that “labour market slack is not appropriately measured by the civilian unemployment rate. Perhaps broader measures of slack including, for example, individuals involuntarily working part-time or some who are considered to be out of the labour force entirely are relevant to wage and price inflation”.

Submission Instructions

Send abstracts in WORD format to [email protected]

Expected publication in the Spring of 2023

Research that follow from the above considerations are welcome, For example:

  • What is the impact of the Covid pandemic on the precariat and what are likely to be its permanent consequences?
  • Research pertaining to all countries in a comparative framework are welcome. The critical issues are likely to vary by country.
  • True unemployment stratified by gender, race, social status, or income.
  • Social problems associated with precarious employment in a gig economy.
  • How to measure unemployment correctly in the 21st century?
  • How does the precarious labor market contribute to incarceration? Let’s keep in mind that George Floyd was murdered for $20. And that the first “I can’t breathe” guy, Eric Garner’s infraction was selling cigarettes for peanuts.
  • Surviving or not in a “high-pressure” gig economy.
  • Systemic racism of labor market institutions.
  • New research with improved measures of the unemployment rate.
  • The natural rate of unemployment is unnatural.
  • Relationship between ‘deaths of despair’ and unemployment.
  • Institutional changes necessary to create full employment.
  • What is a just labor market?

If you are unsure how to frame the issues, please contact the guest editor.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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