On the persistence of labour market insecurity and slow growth in the US: Reckoning with the Waltonist growth regime

2017-11-27T09:35:39Z (GMT) by Matt Vidal
In this article I systematically incorporate empirical work on rising income inequality and wage stagnation into a regulation theoretic framework for analysing macroeconomic growth. The rise of job polarisation and income inequality coincides with a long period of macroeconomic stagnation, both continuing through to the present (with the exception of a brief period of strong growth and declining inequality in the second half of the 1990s). The corporate scramble to restore profit rates after the crisis of Fordism has transformed the institutional configuration of the political economy. In particular, institutions supporting upward mobility and middle-class incomes in the economy have been eroded by the twin forces of internationalisation (leading to the re-emergence of wage-based competition) and employment externalisation (outsourcing, downsizing, antiunionism, etc). The current growth regime, which may be characterised as Waltonist, based on the Wal-Mart model of buyer-driven global supply chains focused on cutthroat wage-based competition and deunionisation, is not transitional but rather embedded in apparently long-term institutional settlements that amount to a dysfunctional regime. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.