Reframing the Labor Question

Subtitle: On Marginal Productivity Theory and the Labor Theory of Property
This paper reframes the labor question according to the normal juridical principle of imputation whose application to property appropriation is the modern treatment of the old natural rights or labor theory of property.

Labor theory of property and predistribution

This is the online-first publication in Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs of an article on the labor theory of property showing the superficiality of the inequality-debate framing in terms of distribution (i.e., how much is distributed by a firm to labor versus capital) in favor of a framing in terms of what is now called “predistribution”–in this case the question of who is to be the firm in the first place, Capital or Labor.

Alexis de Tocqueville

Little-known proponents of workplace democracy:

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Review of Erik O. Wright’s Envisioning Real Utopias

I rarely review books and almost never books by Marxists. However, in order to comment on a presentation at a conference, I decided to write up my extensive comments in the form of a book review of Erik Olin Wright’s Envisioning Real Utopias.

Review of Dahl’s Preface to Economic Democracy

This is my review in Commonweal of Robert A. Dahl’s 1985 book Preface to Economic Democracy shortly after it was published.

Straddler interview and video

This is the text and edited video of an interview with The Straddler in January 2016 entitled: Against the Renting of Persons.

Reply to Commentators on Labor Theory of Property

My paper on marginal productivity theory and the labor theory of property in the on-line journal Economic Thought drew commentaries for Jamie Morgan and Ted Burczak. After some back and forth on the journal’s discussion forum, this Reply to Commentators paper was published as an article in the journal.

Labor theory of property and Marginal productivity theory

This is a reprint from the journal Economic Thought of a paper on the labor theory of property and the neoclassial theory of marginal productivity.

Does Classical Liberalism Imply Democracy?

This paper, written for a classical liberal audience, goes into the fault line running down the middle of the doctrine: does classical liberalism imply democracy? The libertarian wing, represented concretely today in the startup or charter cities initiatives, only requires consent (and exit) so the consent could be to a non-democratic pact of subjection. The democratic form of classical liberalism is represented by the mature James M. Buchanan who held that a liberal social order required people to be principals in their organizations who could only delegate but not alienate their rights of self-governance. That distinction is traced back to the Reformation inalienability of conscience that descends through the Enlightenment to modern times in the abolitionist and democratic movements.

PBS Making Sen$e blog: The case for employee-owned companies

This is the “justice in production” argument in a nutshell posted on the PBS Making Sen$e website.