Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Should I Be Delighted With More To Read?

I've started to look into just a few of the many articles now on-line from the Socialist Register (announced by Crooked Timber and The Virtual Stoa).

In a 1968 piece by Ralph Miliband, "Professor Galbraith and American Capitalism", Miliband criticizes The New Industrial State. Miliband thinks the owner of firms are still in the driver's seat. According to Miliband, Galbraith's thesis of the rising power of the technostructure is false. And it serves a function as apologetics for capitalism.

In my my earlier appreciation of John Kenneth Galbraith, I tried to mention aspects of Galbraith's thought that have stood the test of time. I took no position on the technostructure.

But consider. Piketty and Saez (2006), "The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective", show that composition of income in the top 0.01% in the U. S. is increasingly salaries, and a corresponding lower proportion is returns to capital. Is this not evidence suggesting that ownership of large corporations has become of lesser importance? To conclude that technical knowledge is a more important source of power than merely being a top-level manager would take some further evidence.

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