In 2020, at the outbreak of the pandemic, four researchers, Omer Karin, Yael Korem, Boaz Dudovich and Uri Alon, came forward with a bold suggestion:
A weekly cycle of 2 work days and 5 lockdown days can provide a good tradeoff between minimising health impact and maximising economic activity. It can keep the infection load low while allowing a sustainable, albeit reduced, economy. It can eradicate the virus without reaching herd immunity, thus preventing a large number of deaths.
The researchers’ suggestion was ignored and we know how that turned out. In the United States alone, almost one million people are now dead.
In addition to solving the problem of climate change, reducing hours of labor seems to solve this never-ending pandemic as well.
Bloomberg is pretty giddy over the fantastic share of GDP falling to the coffers of the US national capital:
“U.S. corporations pulled in more profits in the three months ended in September than ever before. Not just in dollar terms—something that happens frequently—but as a share of the economy. According to initial estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, third-quarter after-tax corporate profits from current production amounted to 11% of gross domestic product. The previous record of 10.7% was set in the second quarter of this year; before that the all-time high was 10.6%, in the first quarter of 2012.”
I mean, just look at this chart porn:
By historical standards the rate of profit is … well, almost off the chart.
And the mass of profits — literally obscene:
You would think that with all of this surplus value streaming to the bottom line, it might be time for the fascists to ease up a bit on all the fiscal and monetary stimulus they have been pouring on the so-called economy.
We can only hope so. For decades now, retail has been the goto sector for quick and dirty expansion of wage slavery by the American fascists.
Now self-organized posses of youths have discovered that they can walk into the finest stores and walk out with the most expensive items for about the same homogenous abstract labor time as is contained in a bitcoin.
This sort of discovery, one observer noted today, has already forced San Farancisco brick and mortar retail to board up like they are expecting the west coast version of Hurricane Katrina.
This may be all to the advantage of online retail, with its reliance on relatively lower labor and fixed costs.
It may also be to the advantage of those who are against wage slavery, as well: it is far easier to disrupt wage slavery at an Amazon warehouse site than it is to shut it down at a retail mall.