Friday April 18th, 2014, 6:39 am (EDT)

Dear Reader,

We place these articles at no charge on our website to serve all the people who cannot afford Monthly Review, or who cannot get access to it where they live. Many of our most devoted readers are outside of the United States. If you read our articles online and you can afford a subscription to our print edition, we would very much appreciate it if you would consider purchasing one. Please visit the MR store for subscription options. Thank you very much. —Eds.

The “New” Economy and the Labor Movement

Michael D. Yates has been closely associated with Monthly Review for many years and is the author of Why Unions Matter (Monthly Review Press, 1998).

A New Economy? Today, we hear a lot of talk about the New Economy, much of it unsubstantiated and hyperbolically stated. In the United States, for example, consumers are supposedly concerned, as never before, with high-quality goods and services tailored specifically to their individual needs. Rapidly changing technology continually creates new, high-quality products, so consumer needs are perpetually changing as well. This rapid change places new demands on businesses. They must be maximally flexible, capable of changing product lines quickly, and able at all times to meet discerning and highly individualized consumer needs. Everything must be geared to customer satisfaction; a firm that does not quickly and consistently please its customers will lose business sooner than at any time in the past. The tremendous range of choices available means that customers will not be loyal to any company that cannot offer speedy gratification. Recently an Internet book company opened that promised same-day delivery!

What makes possible the new discernment of consumers is the new electronic technology. Programmable machines, robots, and high-speed computers make it possible for companies to produce profitably relatively small quantities of output and speedily to change this output, as well as more efficiently coordinate purchases, production, and sales. Firms stuck with the mass-production technology of old, with its enormous fixed capital and rigid assembly lines, are doomed to lose the competitive struggle. Firms have to be free, therefore, to innovate so that they can rapidly introduce new technology and products to satisfy swiftly changing consumer demands. As former secretary of labor Robert Reich, envisions it, cutting-edge firms will consist of a small core of highly skilled managers and very limited production facilities.1 They will maintain numerous, flexible relationships with the subcontractors supplying and hiring the workers who will do the work. These subcontractors may, in turn, contract out part of their work, and at the bottom of the chain of subcontracting will be millions of hyper-mobile and super-skilled independent contractors.

In the New Economy, unskilled workers need not apply. Flexible production using advanced electronic technology requires flexible, highly trained workers. Such workers will not only have a lot of education, but they will also be constantly retraining themselves to learn the nuances of ever-changing technology. Management guru Tom Peters said on a radio talk show recently that even in such heavy industries as steel, in which the product was once produced in hot, dirty, and noisy mills by workers with strong backs and weak minds, work is now done in clean, technologically advanced workplaces by highly skilled “brain” workers. Needless to say, what is now true for heavy industry, in this respect, is even more true for the service-producing industries now absorbing about four-fifths of our labor force. Here, there is, according to one writer, “a return to a contemporary version of a craft economy, where the most valued contribution is the skill of the worker. The new crafts workers are business managers, consultants, and marketing and financial experts as well as scientific and technical researchers and computer specialists.”2

The new skilled workforce must be treated with respect by the employer and made a full participant in the running of the enterprise. Modern management now focuses on the team nature of production, and workers, often called “associates,” are no longer treated as hands to be manipulated but as members of the corporate team. Indeed, employers now routinely concern themselves with the development of the whole person and urge workers to think of the company as a place where their social life and their work life merge into a creative whole. Stock options and profit sharing further merge the interests of associates and firm.

The New Economy is a global economy. Capital now moves around the globe in search of profits more rapidly than ever before. Both finance capital, which traverses the globe at warp speed, and physical capital, which moves more slowly but still fast enough, are no longer bound within the confines of any nation. Information technology allows business to move from high-cost to low-cost places and to integrate production into a worldwide input-output chain. An insurance company headquartered in the United States can have its clerical work done by home workers in western Ireland. Computer programmers in India can design programs for use anywhere in the world. Globalization also means that the nation-state is no longer capable of regulating capital. Just as soon as one nation tries to control capital, capital leaves that nation, forcing it to back down and eliminate the controls. Capital, in other words, is steadily transcending the nation-state.

Finally, the more frenzied champions of the New Economy believe that modern technology is beginning to raise productivity so substantially that we are now at the beginning of a long-term economic boom of unprecedented vitality. As the editors of Business Week put it, “Revolutionary technology and rapid globalization…will send productivity soaring, allowing faster growth with low inflation and modest unemployment. This dynamic could last for decades, bringing unimagined prosperity worldwide.”3 As the New Economy grows, millions of new stakeholders will be created, property owners either by way of stock holdings or pension accounts.

No Room for Unions

The New Economy is not hospitable to labor unions. Either they are no longer capable of protecting the interests of working people, or, if they are to have any role in this world of constant flux and change, they will have to reconstitute themselves thoroughly. Historically unions have been instruments of class struggle; their basis is the idea that the interests of workers and employers are irreconcilably opposed. Because capitalism renders them impotent, individual workers must join together in a common mass to confront their employers and secure from them through struggle improved wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment, as well as dignity and respect. But in the New Economy, all of this is changed.

A strong case can be made, with respect to each of the aspects of newness discussed above, that labor unions are anachronisms. In the New Economy, we are told, people identify themselves primarily as consumers, ever on the lookout for new and better products to enhance their lives. Each person is a unique individual trying to develop his or her full potential as an individual human being, mainly through consumption. Notions such as solidarity and common rule, the bedrock of union consciousness, are alien to the singular consumer. Unions imply the loss of the individuality so prized in the New Economy. To the extent that people have any group identity at all, it is as members of generic interest groups. People are supportive of a clean environment, in the sense that they will take it upon themselves as individuals to be less wasteful, to recycle, to join wilderness clubs, to erect gardens, and so forth. Or they are in favor of good schools, mainly so that their children can grow up to be winners in the New Economy. Or they are physical fitness buffs, eating healthy foods and exercising, so that they can be consumers for a long time. Unions are not necessary for people to do any of these things, and they may appear detrimental to a clean environment (as when the miners’ union opposes a judge’s ruling against the corporate destruction of an Appalachian mountaintop) or to good schools (as when the teachers’ union opposes the regular testing of public school teachers).

As workers, people will find themselves in one of two circumstances in the New Economy. They may be independent contractors, busy investing in their “human capital” as they make themselves consistently employable. These folks will consider themselves to be more akin to sole proprietors than to workers. They may network with similarly situated persons, but they will not show solidarity with them. In fact, to do so would be dangerous, as each mini-entrepreneur is in competition with every other one. Individual independent contractors moving from one job and one place to another and thinking of their pay not as a wage but as a price for their services will be inhospitable to the idea of a labor union.

If, on the other hand, people find themselves in an actual workplace, they will find that in the new workplace employers have created such a worker-friendly environment that most employees will find unions unnecessary. Firms today have flatter hierarchies than in the past, and this means that the distance between employer and employee is not nearly as great as it used to be. Employers now see themselves as providing a workplace in which “associates” can achieve personal growth both inside and outside the workplace. As one scholar put it, the supervisor is no longer a boss but “a meaningful matrix for interpersonal communication.” Employers encourage associates to identify with the company by providing them with a panoply of benefits, such as on-the-job training, stock options, profit sharing, and pay for on-line and in-class education. They also furnish amenities such as recreational facilities, social events, and various types of counseling. Why join a union and pay dues to obtain what the employer is already providing? Not long ago, I visited a glass factory in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to help some of the workers form a union. It was interesting to see that the youngest workers, those who grew up in the New Economy, liked being called “associates” and clearly identified with the company and not the union. To them the union was the enemy of their plant, and workers in other companies, even workers in other plants of their company, were their enemies.

Even those workers who do not buy into the concept of company loyalty may still sympathize with the employer. They may hop from employer to employer seeking ever-increasing wages and benefits, and in the back of their minds will be the goal of becoming entrepreneurs themselves in the near future. Such workers are not likely to form unions. They certainly will not want to be stifled by union seniority and work rules; they will want to be judged on their individual merits, and they will want to be free to try their hand at any job available.

The global nature of the New Economy is hostile to unionization. Mobile capital will simply run away from unions or create conditions in which they cannot survive. Manufacturing plants in the United States will move to Mexico or some other low-wage haven whenever their labor costs increase too much. If U.S. computer programmers form a union their work can be contracted out to programmers in India or China at a fraction of the cost. As I have already noted, all sorts of clerical work can be shipped overseas or to women working at home here. And if a government should enact legislation that protects workers or makes it easier for them to organize, capital in both its financial and physical forms will leave the country, compelling the government either to accept a faltering economy or rescind the legislation. International labor organizations might seem to be a solution to these problems, but the barriers in terms of language, culture, and distance make this an unlikely prospect.

Finally, if we are in the midst of an unparalleled burst of productivity growth propelling the economy into a future of unprecedented prosperity, there is no need for workers to form unions. As people make investment in their “human capital” by going to school, make themselves computer literate, and take advantage of corporate training programs, their wages will automatically rise and they will eventually be able to cash in their stock options. It is axiomatic in neoclassical economics (the economic theory of the New Economy) that as worker productivity rises, wages rise too. This is because in a period of strong economic growth employers will be forced to bid for these highly skilled workers, and market forces will naturally bid up wages. In such an environment class struggle is a waste of time and effort. All workers have to do is become more productive and ride the economic gravy train.

The Social Democratic Objection

The notion that unions are unnecessary in the New Economy does not sit well with a certain type of liberal, or social democrat, as such a person is called outside of the United States. Among these liberals are not only politicians but also thousands of scholars in the field of industrial relations. While firm believers in and proponents of the New Economy, social democrats still argue that unions can and should be an important component of it. Unions can overcome certain inefficiencies inherent in the marketplace and actually make the New Economy grow even faster, while at the same time helping individual workers to fulfill their goals more easily and at less personal cost. However, to do these things unions will have to be completely transformed. New unions will be needed in the New Economy.

Liberals and social democrats argue that unions will have to cooperate with employers, preferably under the aegis of the state, to create an economy that can win the competitive struggle for markets. That is, unions must help employers to shape a competitive advantage in global markets. By doing this, unions can actually enhance the ability of individual workers to help themselves. The advantage of having unions involved in the New Economy is that they keep employers on their toes and prevent them from taking the “low road” to profitability: low-wage workers producing poor or average quality goods (profitable in the short run perhaps but not over the long haul). In a recent book, three industrial relations experts from universities in London summarize this position nicely:

Kochan and Piore [names mentioned in this paragraph are those of industrial relations scholars] suggest that union leaders will have to be more active in joint efforts with employers, to bring individual employees more directly into the process of decision making on shop-floor issues that affect their jobs, and to adapt current rules to the demands for more flexible and productive work systems. In addition, union leaders will need to continue to press for more access to, and participation in, high-level management planning and decision making, before decisions are made. Stanley Crouch suggests that if employers seek to construct a new company-level personnel policy, the challenge for the unions is whether they can make themselves useful to workers by being involved in the new channels of participation being constructed. If the union response is the negative one that such channels fail to give workers real power, it is quite likely that workers themselves will find the personal level of involvement useful and in some respects preferable to the more bureaucratic form of standard union representation. Wiser than outright opposition to such participation would be a union strategy for providing services to enable workers to make the best use of it. The extreme case of a more integrative model of union-employer relations would be a productivity coalition with the emphasis on union-management cooperation to improve company performance.4

The focus, then, for the new unions must be on individual workers and individual company performance. Specifically, unions can help to negotiate and to finance contract provisions that provide skill training for workers, and unions can begin to provide an array of personal services to members. These latter might range from legal, health, and travel services to personal counseling, credit cards, and credit unions. Unions must win a seat at the table of corporate decision making by gaining membership on corporate boards and other high-level committees, so that they can play a role in corporate policy as it is made and not after the fact.

Unions can help employers attain greater flexibility in many ways. They can agree to eliminate job descriptions and allow employers to assign workers to a variety of jobs. New employers have been promoting multi-skilling for workers, and unions can support this. Unions can encourage employers in their efforts to achieve greater time flexibility through the implementation of longer work shifts and more elastic shift scheduling, and they can agree to allow the employer to schedule mandatory overtime, albeit at premium pay. Unions can accommodate more numerical flexibility by lessening their opposition to contracting out and employer use of part-time and temporary workers. In terms of the explicit productivity agreements described at the end of the above quotation, United Auto Workers consultant and scholar Barry Bluestone once recommended that the UAW guarantee contractually a six percent annual increase in labor productivity!

If unions do all of these things, they will help their national capitals compete globally and thereby insure that their members will not be displaced by international competition. In addition, if unions forge a tripartite alliance with national capital and the nation-state, they can promote the establishment of global labor standards, taking labor out of competition to a certain extent by not allowing corporations to take the “low road.” For example, a labor-capital-state alliance in the United States can fight for at least minimum labor standards in trade agreements (NAFTA, etc.) and in the operations of international trade organizations such as the IMF, World Bank, and the WTO. Where nations form common markets (as in the European Union), a similar alliance can help to establish labor standards (à la the Social Charter) across national boundaries.

Unions can be of obvious importance during the coming economic boom. Social democrats are not as optimistic as the neoclassical economists that rising productivity will automatically raise wages. Collective bargaining, in a climate of labor-management cooperation, can ensure that the gains of productivity are fairly shared between capital and labor. And a tripartite alliance of capital, labor, and state can assure that economic growth will enhance the ability of the government to provide adequate social programs.

Debunking the New Economy

Of course, there is some truth in the argument that we live in a New Economy. Computers have changed things, making possible, for example, the almost instant transmission of powerful advertising messages to the far corners of the earth. Certainly, computers have at least laid the groundwork for large future reductions in certain costs of production. And the work reorganization taking place in the New Economy has altered the labor-management relationship for some workers. However, to a significant extent, the New Economy argument is very much exaggerated. Consider for a third time the aspects of the New Economy described above.

The idea that business firms must become super-flexible and rely upon highly skilled workers because consumers have become ultra-discriminating seems preposterous on its face. No doubt, many, even most, people in a capitalist society identify happiness with consumption, but this is something to combat not something to which we should accommodate ourselves. As for discriminating consumers ready to jump ship at the slightest inconvenience, what are we to make of the ubiquitous fast-food shops and convenience stores, all of which sell the most standardized products imaginable? How do we explain the thousands of Gaps, Banana Republics, and Old Navys, just to name a few of the multitude of purveyors of standardized products of every type? Yes, we can buy a “customized” computer, but this is hardly the same thing as a custom-made suit made by a skilled tailor. What is usually meant by customer-tailored goods is a mixing and matching of already standardized parts. And yes, we have a choice among sometimes hundreds of kinds of soap, or deodorant, or CD players, or cars, but these are ordinarily made by a relatively small number of companies and differ more or less incrementally (or in terms of branding, packaging, etc.) and not qualitatively. Before the First World War, there were several hundred daily and weekly newspapers available to consumers in Berlin. Where can this be said to be true today?

The prototypical business of the future envisioned by Reich is surely a product of his fevered fancy. Technology has allowed some businesses to become smaller, to change product lines rapidly, and to utilize various types of “contingent” workers. But employers still universally apply the principles of mass production, relatively large runs, and Taylorist management, and they will continue to do so into the distant future. Assembly lines are not going to disappear any time soon, whether it be in the production of cars, computer chips, motors, VCRs, smoked herring, or chicken. A minority of the workforce is comprised of part-timers, temps, independent contractors, and workers laboring in their homes.5

As Kim Moody and others have argued, what is happening in workplaces worldwide is the steady introduction of “lean production,” a managerial control system pioneered by Japanese automobile companies.6 The New Economy adherents have a completely incorrect understanding of this phenomenon. To them, new management has abandoned Taylorism and substituted more humane and worker-centered factories and offices. The truth of lean production, however, is quite different. A flattening of certain internal corporate hierarchies does not mean that the overall distance seperating workers and employers has been lessened.

Rather, lean production means that the much-praised work teams are now responsible for solving every imaginable workplace problem. The lean workplace is one in which constant stress is placed upon the teams (or individual workers) through speeding up assembly lines, reducing the number of workers, and taking away materials. Then the workers are expected to keep up production. After they figure out how to do this (and as management through quality circles or team leaders discovers how the workers do this and incorporates this knowledge into the work routine), the production system is stressed again, and then again, and again, in a never-ending cycle of small improvements (this is called “kaizen” in Japanese). As much work as possible is subjected to a rigorous Taylorization before production begins, and this rationalization and routinization continues afterwards as workers time-study each other’s jobs. Workers learn as many of these routine jobs as possible, so that management does not have to maintain a full complement of workers in the event that some team members are absent from work. Inventories are kept to a minimum through the technique of just-in-time inventories, further stressing workers who can no longer rely upon stocks of spare parts to keep production up when problems occur. As much indirect labor (building component parts, janitorial work, etc.) as possible is contracted out.

Lean production aims at the maximum extraction of labor from human labor power, that is, at compelling workers to work with peak intensity for as many hours as possible. In automobile plants, for example, employees often work fifty-seven seconds out of each minute. It has nothing to do with empowering workers or making them more skilled, much less allowing them to make basic managerial decisions. The high-skill, high-wage workplace of the future is a pipe dream. Consider that six out of the ten occupations estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to have the largest job growth between 1998 and 2008 are retail salespersons, cashiers, light and heavy truck drivers, general office clerks, personal care and home health aides, and teacher assistants. Among the other four are registered nurses and computer support specialists, both jobs susceptible to, and in the case of nurses, currently subject to, Taylorization and its guaranteed de-skilling. In fact, almost no jobs are immune to some form of lean production, so it is hard to see how even the highly skilled technical jobs associated with the electronic revolution will not ultimately show an erosion of skill. E-commerce is all the rage today, but by its very nature, most of the skilled work involved in it will eventually be embedded in software or carried out by unskilled clerical workers laboring in tiny cubicles in windowless buildings around the globe or in their own apartments and homes.

On closer examination, globalization turns out to be something less than the “end of history.” While I would not go so far as to say that the entire globalization thesis is a hoax based on faulty data, I do think that it overemphasizes the power of capital, and the weakness of labor and the state. For example, in certain ways capital is no more global now that it was before the First World War. Technological revolutions at least as important as the computer sped up trade then too, and finance capital moved around the globe with great speed. Further, much of the increased mobility of capital is the consequence not of unstoppable technical change but of conscious political decisions. Governments everywhere have been busy deregulating capital (and at the same time policing workers, so that they cannot easily revolt against the consequences of capital deregulation) through trade agreements and domestic legislation. In principle, what has been deregulated can be re-regulated through various forms of capital controls and legislation. Without such deregulation on both sides of the border, the maquiladoras would not be possible.

Not all capital is especially mobile. In manufacturing, fixed capital investments are often quite large, and employers will normally choose to depreciate this capital fully before considering a move. So, for some period of time the capital is not mobile, and therefore not immune to efforts by workers to improve their circumstances. Such capital might also choose to locate close to consumer markets, the largest of which are in the advanced capitalist countries and not in the poor nations to which it is assumed that capital is increasingly tending to migrate. Much service and government production is similarly not very mobile. Office buildings, fast-food restaurants, roads, bridges, and schools are pretty much stuck in place. A fast-food hamburger consumed in Pittsburgh cannot be made in Mexico.

Even where capital is moving, it is not moving effortlessly around the globe. Instead, production is clustered in what Kim Moody calls “triads,” three distinct geographical areas dominated by the United States, the European Union, and Japan, respectively. That is, capital invested in poor countries by U.S. corporations tends to go disporportionately to countries not that far away from the United States mainland. This means that it is conceivable that workers in the United States might find it feasible to engage in acts of solidarity with workers in the poorer nations. Increasingly, workers in different nations within the triads face the same employers, so it is possible that they will be able to coordinate their actions against them.

The belief that the New Economy is in a period of unprecedented productivity growth, fueling an endless prosperity that cannot be sustained by the evidence. No capitalist economy has ever expanded without periodic crises. What evidence is there that this boom will be any different? Here every aspect of the New Economy argument can and has been challenged. Not all economists are convinced that there is, in fact, abnormally high productivity growth. Not all economists think that the computer revolution has generated or can generate such growth. Not all economists agree that the current boom is anything special at all; in terms of standard measures such as per capita income growth and capital investment, it is weaker than many past expansions, and there are ominous signs of overextended consumer and corporate debt and an unhealthy balance of payments deficit. As I write, the economy is verging on a recession, and high-tech companies are tanking every day. The NASDAQ index has dropped by 50 percent, and those vaunted stock options are now worthless. And, finally, if productivity is increasing, history gives us no indication that wages will rise proportionately. Real wages fell from the early 1970s through the mid-1990s, yet productivity continued to rise. It is wishful thinking to say that a growing economy raises all incomes or that all will share equally in the growth.

Unions Are Needed Now More than Ever

If the New Economy is not so new after all, then arguments that unions are no longer necessary or that unions must reinvent themselves to fit the New Economy lose their cogency. How are workers to protect themselves from the negative effects of lean production? How are workers to combat the corporate-state alliance that has wreaked havoc on their living standards, through trade agreements, anti-labor legislation, refusal to enforce labor laws, the destruction of the welfare state, and the privatization of public services? How are workers, including especially those who are contingent, going to make themselves more secure, guarantee safe workplaces, and ensure their futures?

The truth is that in the most fundamental sense, i.e., social relations, there is nothing new at all about today’s economy. Capitalists are busy accumulating capital in a context of intense competition. This capital accumulation is made possible by the extraction of surplus labor time from workers. When capital accumulation slowed down markedly in the early 1970s, capital went on the attack, scrapping any “accords” it had with organized labor and intensifying its pressure on the state to clear the way for more rapid and profitable accumulation. Rapid technological change is a hallmark of capitalism as is the use of technology to promote, first and foremost, the maximum accumulation of capital. Sometimes, new techniques generate new skilled occupations, but the logic of the system, the need for capital to control the labor process so that the surplus labor time can be extracted, dictates that capital will always seek to find ways to reduce its dependence on skilled labor. For every new craft, there is an old one undergoing rationalization.

Ellen Wood argues that capitalism is all about market dependence; we are all dependent on the market not just for the necessities of life but for our livelihoods.7 Today, capital accumulation and its market dependence are reaching into the far corners of the earth and into the most personal parts of our lives. This, if anything, is what is most new about the New Economy. With this universalization of market dependence comes the monetization and depersonalization of daily life, alienation at work, the production of debased products, unemployment, and the objectification and destruction of the environment. Labor unions and labor movements have historically been important vehicles for ordinary people to fight against these inevitable consequences of market dependence, and this is as true today as at any time in the past. An unimpeded capitalism must surely be a nightmare to any sane person.

But if unions are badly needed human defense mechanisms, what sort of unions should they be? There is much room for improvement in the house of labor, but surely the social democratic vision for unions is a recipe for disaster. The U.S. labor movement fell on hard times when it abandoned the class-conscious unionism of the 1930s and early 1940s and embraced labor-management cooperation, and while it has returned to a more militant stance recently, it is still locked into the twin ideologies of cooperation and alliance with the Democratic Party. If it embraces the position of the New Economy gurus, it will simply espouse the stance of labor’s class enemy. It will concede that which has to be contested, namely universal capital accumulation and all that this implies.

A new labor movement must be one that recognizes and takes as its basic position that nothing is inevitable. Capitalism and market dependence were themselves not inevitable. And neither is rampant and destructive capital mobility, nor trade agreements, nor lean production, nor unemployment, nor any of capital accumulation’s many other evils. These are all products of human agency, and as such can be fought against and conquered. To do this, however, a labor movement must know what it is fighting; in the words of Gerald McEntee, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, in Seattle at the WTO protests, it must “Name the system.” And once it does this, it must struggle toward an alternative to this system. It must, in a nutshell, construct an anti-capitalist and pro-worker ideology and organize around it.

I envision a new labor movement as one that embraces a struggle for at least the following: (1) employment as a right; (2) meaningful work with maximum integration in every job, of our uniquely human capability to conceptualize and carry out work tasks, and a sharing of society’s more onerous tasks; (3) a good deal of consumption fully socialized, including education at all levels, health care, care for the aged, child care, transportation, and recreation; (4) maximum democratic control of production, whether by workers or communities or both; (5) hours of work as low as possible; (6) work as nondestructive of nature as possible; (7) no discrimination of any kind; and (8) equality (not just some sham equality of opportunity) seen as a good in itself.

To begin such a movement and to propel it forward it will indeed be necessary, as the social democrats urge, for unions to be more responsive to their members. But this means far more than the weak social democrat (or liberal) prescription. It means a thorough shake-up of business as usual. It means nothing less than the complete democratization of the labor movement, and the spreading of this democratic impulse to encompass the workplace, the nation-state, and the world.

Notes

  1. Robert Reich, The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1991).
  2. Jeff Madrick, “Is the New Economy New?,” WorkingUSA, vol. 3, no. 4 (Nov.-Dec. 1999), pp. 43-44.
  3. Keith Hammond, “The Optimists Had It Right,” Business Week, August 31, 1998, p. 146.
  4. Mike Rigby, “Approaches to the Contemporary Role of Trade Unions,” in Mike Rigby, Roger Smith, and Teresa Lawlor, editors, European Trade Unions: Change and Response (London: Routledge, 1999).
  5. Sharon R. Cohany, “Workers in Alternative Work Arrangements,” Monthly Labor Review, vol.119, no. 10 (Oct. 1996), pp. 31-45.
  6. Kim Moody, Workers in a Lean World (New York: Verso, 1997).
  7. Ellen Wood, The Origin of Capitalism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1999).