This is part 2 of a two part post.
To summarize the argument of Nobel Laureate and bourgeois ideologue Michael Spence from part one of this series: The goal of “economic restructuring” (or “rebalancing”) is for the advanced countries to export more of what they produce at the expense of their domestic consumption. The future expansion of socially necessary labor time (value production) and, therefore, the expansion of surplus value will depend on the growth of exports of the advanced countries into the world market. Spence proposes this can be accomplished (1) by depreciating the real purchasing power of money wages; (2) stagnant nominal wages, in turn, will reduce real wages and domestic consumption generally; and (3) the resulting “structural adjustment” will force constant and variable capital of the advanced countries to flow into sectors of production that can be exported.
It follows from this that state economic policy should be solely concerned with raising the profitability of capital by extending unpaid hours of labor in the export sector. According to Spence, if the advanced countries are to increase unpaid hours of labor, they must increase the relative size of the “tradable sector of the domestic economy”. Which is to say, in relative terms, the portion of the working day during which the working classes of the advanced countries produce its wages and state social expenditures must be reduced, while the portion of the working day that can be turned into exports must expand. The resulting “adjustment” will allow constant and variable capital of the country to flow into forms of commodity production that can be exported.
Thus the crisis can be resolved by turning the advanced national capitals into export platforms, much as has already been done with the less developed nations through IMF imposed restructuring.
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