Introduction

  • Mark R. Reiff

Abstract

In Exploitation and Economic Justice in the Liberal Capitalist State I presented a new theory on how we should think about the problem of economic inequality, and suggested what we might do to reduce the astronomically high levels of economic inequality currently obtaining in the United States and other liberal capitalist societies.1 As I noted in that book, implementation of my theory would have various practical consequences, including raising the minimum wage to something close to double its current level, establishing a maximum wage that would eliminate some of the more outlandish cases of excessive compensation that we now see so frequently around us, requiring that we do something about climate change immediately regardless of what other nations do, prohibiting pure financial speculation and arbitrage and severely limiting the use of certain exotic financial instruments like credit default swaps, maintaining a reasonable estate and gift tax, and so on. While my theory was not directly aimed at reducing unemployment, I argued that one side-effect of my theory would be a reduction in unemployment, although the degree to which this would be the case is difficult to estimate.2 But some unemployment would almost certainly remain, and in any event it might take some time before the reduction in unemployment triggered by the implementation of my theory of exploitation and economic justice would come to pass, so with regard to unemployment, which has been at historically high levels for an almost unprec- edented amount of time and remains unacceptably high almost everywhere in the liberal capitalist world, although in some places it has finally started to come down, there is a lot more left to say and still more left to do.

Keywords

Depression Europe Income Trench Argentina 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Mark R. Reiff, Exploitation and Economic justice in the Liberal Capitalist State (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Heidi Shierholz, “Alt Underemployment,” Economic Policy Institute (October 24, 2013) (http://www.epi.org/blog/alt-underemployment/?utm_source=Economic+Po licy+Institute&utm_campaign= 52f31 ffdb3-EPI_News&utm_medium= email &utm _term=0_e7c5826c50-52f31ffdb3-55957733). And many others agree. See, e.g., Jesse Rothstein, “The Labor Market Four Years into the Crisis: Assessing Structural Explanations,” Industrial Labor Relations Review 65 (2012): 467–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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© Mark R. Reiff 2015

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