A Lost Decade for Jobs in the US, Unless . . .

This paper examines the magnitude of the unemployment problem in the U.S. It argues that, under current policies, the U.S. economy will suffer from very high, double-digit rates of unemployment for years to come, and likely for the next decade. That will be the objective conditions in which we engage in political activity.

The paper discusses two main ways to try to avoid this awful fate: a federal government commitment to full employment under capitalism, or a socialist revolution. It argues that, at this point in time and in the U.S., socialists should advocate for the first alternative, as the best way to mobilize popular opposition to capitalism, all the while expressing doubt that such a full-employment commitment is possible in capitalism, and arguing that socialism is the only way to guarantee a decent standard of living for all.

Fred Moseley is a Professor of Economics at Mount Holyoke College and the author of several books and numerous articles on Marx’s theory and the U.S. economy, including “The U.S. Economic Crisis: Causes and Solution” (International Socialist Review, 2009).

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October 19, 2010