New Papers in The European Financial Review

26 10 2012

Nicholas Ashford, Robert Ashford, and I recently published two articles in the European Financial Review that extend some of the ideas we have discussed previously in our textbook and related papers.

Addressing the Crisis in Employment and Consumer Demand: Reconciliation with Environmental and Financial SustainabilityThe earning capacity of ordinary people can be enhanced by some combination of two contributions; wages earned through employment, and money earned through the ownership of productive capital. The latter includes ordinary investment from wage savings that people might make through the purchasing of stocks, bonds, and property; changes in ownership structures of businesses, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), and enabling people to acquire capital with the earnings of capital based on binary economics. This article focuses on employment and the restructuring of work to enhance the contributions and productiveness of labor – as opposed to increasing labor productivity by enhancing the productiveness of physical capital.

Broadening Capital Acquisition with the Earnings of Capital as a Means of Sustainable Growth and Environmental SustainabilityThis article expands on the first by taking an explicit look at increasing earning capacity through the ownership of productive capital. The article focuses on the binary economic approach and explains how this approach can enhance not only the capital earning capacity of poor and middle-class people, but also the demand for employment and the prospects for achieving environmental sustainability. The binary economic approach envisions an implementation of an ownership-broadening system of corporate finance that would require no taxes, redistribution, or government command. Corporations would be free to continue to meet their capital requirements as before, but they would have an additional, potentially more profitable, market means to do so.

During the Spring 2013 semester, Robert Ashford will join other scholars at Virginia Tech to take part in a seminar that will debate how a binary economics approach could lead to sustained and sustainable economic development.





New Paper in EIST

9 02 2012

The Crisis in Employment and Consumer Demand: Reconciliation with Environmental Sustainability

Nicholas A. Ashford, Ralph P. Hall, and Robert H. Ashford

Abstract: This paper argues that a sustainable industrial system depends not only on good environmental and public health outcomes, but also on adequate employment and earning capacity in a well-functioning and equitable economic system. These concerns are likely to dominate future national political debates, requiring responses that increase the earning capacity of individuals through changes in the nature of work and employment, and in the ownership of productive capital. Making the economy greener, while certainly necessary for long-term economic and societal survival, does not necessarily mean more and better paying jobs on a large enough scale to make serious progress to reducing unemployment and underemployment. At present, national and global reforms are focused on improving the financial system, which is not synonymous with reforming the economic system or improving the economic status of individual citizens. This paper discusses specific policies and initiatives that need to be considered to ensure sustainable employment and livelihoods.

Highlights:

  • Policies and initiatives to advance sustainable employment/livelihoods are discussed.
  • Sustainable industrial systems require adequate employment and earning capacity.
  • Green growth does not necessarily mean more and better-paying jobs.
  • Both labor productivity and GDP/GNP are flawed measures of economic progress.
  • Productivity and productiveness are not the same.