[p2p-research] Is the "lump of labor fallacy" itself a fallacy?

Ryan Lanham rlanham1963 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 28 18:09:56 CET 2009

On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 11:02 AM, Paul D. Fernhout <
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:

> But, the difference is presumably the claim that industrial productivity
> has increased. I don't know that figure. Here it says 2.1% increanes in
> output per person hour from 1937 to 1952:
>  http://www.jstor.org/pss/2550357
> Taking that from 1938 to now (just assuming it as a constant for 70 years,
> compounded) that is about a factor of four. So, that would suggest that in
> today's dollars, a minimum wage should be 4 * US$3.64 or US$14.56.
Sadly, in industrialized societies, especially post-industrial societies,
most productivity gain occurs at the top...not at the bottom of wages.  Part
of the problem with capitalism is that most people are nearly worthless in
capital production terms.  Skills increase scarcity dramatically and are
typically channeled into high profit/high wage functions.  Rare is simply
better in most cases in market systems.

That is of course what makes abundance theory so interesting.

Highly skilled and esoteric workers are not hurting for wages or work.  The
people hurting for work are those with modest skills and who do things most
people can do.

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