The Timesizing® Wire
©1998-1999 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 622, Cambridge MA 02140 USA (617) 623-8080
First, the general task (click here).
Then, some individual areas.
For more details, see our laypersons' guide Timesizing, Not Downsizing, which is available online from *Amazon.com and at bookstores in Harvard and Porter Squares, Cambridge, Mass.
- How do we quantify and econometricize worktime economics? There has to be a smattering of overlooked economists and articles who've made a contribution to this question since Sismondi and his New Principles (1819), and Dahlberg and his Jobs, Machines and Capitalism (1932).
Who and what are they?
Arthur Donner, Canada, definitely qualifies.
[Check out Ben Hunnicutt's friend, John Owen (Wayne State U, Detroit).]
- There has to be a scattering of overlooked economists and articles that apply marginalism to the concentration of work or income. Who and what are they?
Let's put the question: Where is the point of diminishing returns in the marginal efficiency of capital or wealth? Where in the concentration of employment? Where in merging of corporations?
- There has to be a scattering of overlooked management theorists and books who make an immediate connection between the size of the workforce and the size of consumer markets. Who and what are they?
- What's our best on-line news source to scan for worktime stories and working models?
- How do we develop more complete working models; for example, that get into the crucial automatic reinvestment functions?
- We need webpages that collect original documents, such as -
- U.S. Rep. John Conyers' proposed shorter-worktime law(s) and other legislation
- Sen. Eugene McCarthy's presidential platform plank of 1988 re creating 30,000(?) jobs out of federal government overtime
- the portion of Walter Reuther's speech to the UAW Convention in Atlantic City in 1964 where he advocates "flexible adjustment of the workweek" - to vary inversely with unemployment
- the Robien Law of France enacted in August 1996
- the French law to cut the workweek from 39 to 35 hours in 2000 (meanwhile, scan glimmers of timesizing for breaking news on the path-breaking French experiment)
- excerpts from Arthur Dahlberg's first book, a small private edition (Utopia Through Capitalism, 1927) - does anyone have a copy? [Rec'd full xerox from Dahlberg's son, Eric, in Y2000.]
- How do we develop a more complete set of data from the 1920s and get it aligned with as nearly comparable data from the 1980s and 90s, as the "me" decade (80s) spilled over and skewed the following decade.
- Was Dahlberg a technocrat or was he trying to disassociate himself from them? He cites Stuart Chase once or twice but never Howard Scott or even Veblen. He traces his inspiration not to them but to Stephen Leacock (yea Canada!) and David Friday. Yet he does mention engineering standards for the economy (Jobs, Machines and Capitalism, 1932, p. 23) and decries inefficiency and waste, and spends considerable time developing his plumbing diagrams of the economy later called Visual Economics, as in the Visual Economics Lab he set up at Columbia. Why the heck he didn't get a Nobel for his input-output thinking is beyond us. It seems that even though his Columbia colleague and rival Rexford Tugwell got labelled a socialist and scapegoated for the failures of the New Deal, Tugwell at least got large and continuing public notice, while Dahlberg's fame, like that of the technocrats, flared brightly in 1932-33 and gradually faded. Yet he talked sense while Tugwell's position is a tangle of self-contradictions veneered with soundbites (The Industrial Discipline, 1933).
- Was Bucky Fuller influenced by the technocrats? e.g., his view that the real history of humanity is the history of technology, his view that you could take all the politicians in the world and rocket them into the center of the Sun and it would, if anything, improve the world, but try that with all the engineers and everything would collapse.
- What were Arthur Olaus Dahlberg's dates? [1898?-1989.] Where was he born? Is he dead yet? [Alas yes, 1989.] Did he have children? [Son & daughter.] Where are they? [Son is in Philadelphia.] He is simultaneously the most important and most unknown person in American economic history, apparently completely without a biography. Can Columbia University shed any light on this? Phil has phoned every "Arthur Dahlberg" turned up in a search of the Internet and none of them know him or are related. [Finally found reference to 10/02/89 NYT obit from helpful U.Wisc. librarian.]
- Where is the locus classicus of the Lump of Employment Theory usually misnamed the "Lump of Labor Fallacy" (which, happily, is unknown except in the mouths of its critics)? *Tom Walker of Vancouver is doing some good work on this question.
- In view of the Littleton highschool killings, and the ones in Arkansas before that, and the tripling of the murder rate among American teenagers between 1984 and 1994 (according to WBUR's The Connection on 4/22/99, and (same program) the statement by one socially low-caste man that he never got so much respect as when he was holding a gun and pointing it at someone, and speaking of respect, look at how we are lionizing these two boys and their families and their communities and their highschool with photos and videocams and interviews and commentators - mygod, we're ENJOYING this, this is a Roman circus on a nationwide scale! - this is reinforcement, maybe negative reinforcement but, reinforcement is reinforcement!... and in view of the statement by the British chap who wrote The Pity of War (WW1) the previous day who said it was almost as if many of the fighting men wanted violence in 1914 - they were ready for it - our research question for historical sociologists - is there a long social-mood cycle that parallels the long Kondratieff economic wave, that sees a rise of violence and blood lust, a self-disrespect that says, hell, I just want to die and take as many others with me as possible? Is this always preceded by a "me" decade like the 1980s? Is it characterized by an unwillingness to share, a non-understanding of sharing, statements like, "I want my share no matter how much" - "I want my share no matter who it hurts"? Is it characterized by a decline in creativity and a rise in copycat-ism? Look at the number of remake movies lately starting with The Mummy....
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