New Issue!

1117cover--for-blog--504x648

Our November/December 2017 issue is out!  You can find the table of contents of the issue here, and I just posted John Miller’s “Up Against the Wall Street Journal” column here.  And here is the p. 2 editorial note, including news that signals the end of an era: our long-time co-editor, Alejandro Reuss, is leaving D&S. He will be greatly missed!

Contradictions of Capitalist Development

In their renowned book, The Deindstrialization of America (1984), Barry Bluestone and Bennet Harrison describe what deindustrialization has wrought for workers in the manufacturing “core” of the Northeast United States: “Their very jobs are being pulled out from under them. And instead of providing new employment opportunities, a higher standard of living, and enhanced security, the decisions of corporate managers are doing just the opposite.”
In her cover story for this issue, Marie Duggan gives us a fine-grained and deeply human story of the decline and fall of the machine-tool industry in Keene, N.H. Above all, Duggan’s message is that deindustrialization is not something that “just happened,” but the result of human decisions—from the level of firm managers and owners to the heights of national economic policymaking and back. Likewise for the consequences, which ruptured what can only be described an intimate relationship between the owners, managers, and workers in the industry. A traditional “welfare capitalism,” where owners and managers cared for “their men,” with a mixture of real feeling, paternalism, and hostility to labor organization, gave way to a form where the workers got the shite end of the stick, the relationship exploded into open conflict, and the industry was ultimately left as a looted shell.
Patricia Rodriguez takes us to a different part of the world, to the port city of Buenaventura, Colombia, and a different—equally searing—account of capitalist development. Here, the rise of the modern port industry is bringing “environmental destruction and the forced, violent displacement of Afro-descendant and indigenous communities in the area.” Rodriguez, too, gives us a human story of the dispossessions and violence suffered by the poor and marginalized, but also the inspiring story of their resistance to these assaults and their determination is devising and fighting for alternatives.
Finally, among our features, an interview with economist William Tabb takes us around the globe—from the high-income countries that were the epicenter of the global crisis to developing countries that face the harrowing prospect of dealing with globally mobile capital. In the former, workers face a power structure committed to wage repression and financialization; in the latter, they face elites that have abandoned national autonomous development in favor of neoliberalism and integration with global capital. Yet, Tabb, too, gives reason for hope rather than despair—that, in response to a system that is neither socially nor ecologically sustainable, we will see the growth of anti-capitalist resistance.
Also in this issue: Gerald Friedman on Medicare for All, John Miller on the Trump tax giveaway to (you guessed it!) corporations and the very rich, Arthur MacEwan on the labor share of total income in the USA and other high-income countries.

“To New Battlefields …”

This is the final issue for Alejandro Reuss as co-editor of Dollars & Sense. He first became involved with D&S, as an intern, in 1996. Since then, he has been a collective member, an Associate (when he was at UMass-Amherst for graduate school), and co-editor (in two separate stints, 2000–2002 and 2013–2017). All told, he has been on the D&S staff for seven years and on the collective for sixteen, and has had an immeasurable impact on the organization and its publications. He will no longer be on the D&S staff, board, or collective, or in any other formal leadership position in the organization. “The only ties will be of another nature—the kind that cannot be broken.”