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Kenis, A., & Lievens, M. (2012). De mythe van de groene economie: Valstrik, verzet, alternatieven. Anvers & Utrecht: Uitgeverij EPO & Uitgeverij Jan Van Arkel.  
Added by: Dominique Meeùs 2013-06-13 13:57:59 Pop. 0%
      De transitie naar een groen kapitalisme botst niet enkel op het probleem van de groei, maar zet vooral ook grote druk op de sociale verhoudingen. Een van de cruciale vragen is welke impact een groen kapitalisme kan hebben op de inkomensverdeling en machtsverhouding tussen arbeid en kapitaal. Al dertig jaar lang daalt nagenoeg overal ter wereld het aandeel van de lonen in het nationaal inkomen, waardoor de sociale ongelijkheid toeneemt. Kan een groen kapitalisme die trend keren, of zal ze die eerder nog versterken? Verdedigers van de Green New Deal stellen dat werkende mensen bij zo’n deal veel te winnen hebben, vooral op het vlak van sociale voorzieningen en jobs. Ecologische investeringen zouden een groot aantal jobs kunnen creëren, zo hoor je vaak. In een duurzame maatschappij zouden we opnieuw voor meer arbeidsintensieve productieprocessen kiezen, in plaats van menselijke arbeid te vervangen door machines en fossiele brandstoffen. Om maar één voorbeeld te geven: biolandbouw is doorgaans arbeidsintensiever, aangezien kunstmest, pesticiden en allerlei industriële technieken er niet aan te pas komen.
     Maar is het wel zo simpel? De afgelopen eeuwen trachtte het kapitaal voortdurend goedkoper te produceren. Dat gebeurde onder andere door arbeid door machines te vervangen. De beschikbaarheid van fossiele brandstoffen was daarvoor cruciaal. Kan men die historische tendens zomaar keren zonder te raken aan de basisprincipes van het kapitalisme? Kapitalisten hebben wel degelijk een reden om zo efficiënt mogelijk te produceren met zo weinig mogelijk arbeiders: ze kunnen op die manier de loonkost drukken, en in vergelijking met hun concurrenten een surpluswinst binnenhalen.
     Als voorstanders van een groen kapitalisme de omgekeerde beweging willen doorvoeren, en kiezen voor meer arbeidsintensieve vormen van productie, riskeren ze in woelig vaarwater terecht te komen. Hoe gaat de verhouding tussen lonen en winsten eruitzien als we met meer mensen op een meer ecologische wijze producten voortbrengen die het kapitalisme zelf spontaan met meer machines en fossiele brandstoffen zou produceren? Dreigt een toenemende arbeidsintensiteit de winstvoeten niet onder druk te zetten? En zal dit niet leiden tot vergaande eisen van loonmatiging?
Levins, R. (2010). Why programs fail. Monthly Review, 61(10), 43–49.  
Added by: Dominique Meeùs 2011-04-19 15:11:24 Pop. 0%
      Political economy: In a capitalist economy, goods and services are commodities. Commodities are produced for sale, to make profit. The important thing about commodity production for us is that there is no necessary relation between the usefulness of something and its economic value or profitability.
     Agriculture is not about producing food but about profit. Food is a side effect. While the majority of the world’s farmers are subsistence farmers, the bulk of the world’s food is produced ax commodities by a small fraction of farm operators.
     Health service is a commodity, health a by-product.
     Development is about investment opportunities and markets, not correcting decades of plunder and exploitation.
Liberman, E. G. (1971). Economic methods and the effectiveness of production A. Schultz & L. J. Kirsch, Trans. White Plains (N. Y.): International Arts and Sciences Press, inc.  
Last edited by: Dominique Meeùs 2012-02-21 14:39:50 Pop. 0%
      As we know, the economic reform was elaborated in a rather extensive, specific form. First, there was a substantial reduction in the range of obligatory plan indices communicated to enterprises on a centralized basis, a number of indices were replaced, and the new profitability index was introduced.
     Plan targets for the volume of output to be sold are being established for enterprises instead of the gross output index. This substitution is very substantial : it places production under the economic control of purchasers and creates prerequisites for the establishment of organic unity between planning and cost-accounting. The basic product-mix [nomenklatura] is also confirmed from above.
     In addition to other indices, profit and profitability calculated as the ratio of profit to fixed productive capital and to normed working capital have been established as indices for evaluating the effectiveness of the work of enterprises. Thus, yardsticks of effectiveness which, although they have existed in our country for a long time, have not played a large part in planning, to say nothing of the evaluation of the work of enterprises, have been brought into economic circulation.
     In our opinion, the plan should confront production with ultimate goals but should not directly regulate the means of their attainment within the enterprise, which would deprive the enterprise of the necessary maneuverability in finding optimal solutions for the fulfillment of plan targets.
     Although they retain their importance as accounting indices within the branch, such indices as the number of personnel, the average wage, labor productivity, and enterprise cost of production are not included in the number of obligatory indices that are confirmed for each enterprise.
     Even now, certain economists cannot see how such a very important index as labor productivity can be left outside the realm of obligatory centralized planning. But the reform in no way denies the fact that labor productivity is a most important index to the effectiveness of production. The task consists in monitoring the correspondence between the growth of wages (including bonuses from profits) and increases in labor productivity.
      The system of economic incentives makes provision for the formation of a special source of incentive payments above and beyond centrally established wage rates. The profit created at an enterprise is this source. It has been recognized that the amount of deductions paid from profits into the incentive fund depends on the fulfillment of the plan for increased sales or profits and on the profitability level contemplated in the annual plan (provided that the prescribed mix of key products stipulated in the plan is observed). In those instances when an increase in sales volume is not advisable, the size of the material incentive fund is determined as a function of increased profit.
     Three economic incentive funds are formed on this basis : the production development fund, the material incentive fund, and the fund for sociocultural measures and housing construction.
     The production development fund serves as a supplement to centralized sources of capital investment. It is formed through deductions from profits as well as through the use of a certain amount of the amortization deductions earmarked for the total renovation of fixed capital.
     The material incentive fund is created solely from profit. The size of the deductions from profits paid into the material incentive fund is determined according to norms depending on the increase in the sales volume (or the amount of profit) and the profitability level stipulated in the annual plan. Norms are established as percentages of the wage fund: for every percentage point of increase in sales volume in comparable prices (or amount of profit) stipulated in the plan for a given year as compared with the previous year ; for each percentage point of profitability stipulated in the annual plan.
     Norms are envisaged as stable for a number of years and are differentiated by branch (and, where necessary, by groups of enterprises within a branch). Limits on deductions paid into the material incentive fund are not established.
     Payments of an established amount are made to the material incentive fund when the enterprise fulfills the profit and sales plan for the product-mix stipulated in the plan. When an enterprise overfulfills the profit and sales plan, additional payments are made to the material incentive fund. When an enterprise fails to fulfill the profit and sales plan for the established product-mix, payments are made to the material incentive fund at a lower rate. The product-mix is assigned to enterprises by higher-echelon organs in the process of confirming the indices of the yearly plan, and, if it is not fulfilled, payments to the material incentive fund are reduced. Other restrictions on deductions to the material incentive fund are not established.
     The formation of the incentive fund is connected with the quality of planning at the enterprise. In order to eliminate, or at least diminish, the striving to conceal reserves in the elaboration of plans at enterprises so as to make these plans easier to fulfill, resources are paid in full into the incentive fund only if the production growth plan is fulfilled. But in the event the plan is overfulfilled, the rates are reduced by approximately 30 % for that part of the increase in output which represents overfulfillment. The idea is to make the deliberate lowering of plans disadvantageous, since the enterprise will thereby lose one-third of the incentive it would otherwise receive for the increase in sales which is overfulfillment.
     On the other hand, the plan should not be unduly high. Therefore, if the plan is not fulfilled, the incentive payment is also reduced by the same amount compared with the established normative rates. The procedure for reducing rates of payment for the overfulfilled and unfulfilled part of the plan concerns not only the increase in sales (or profits) but also incentives for the profitability level, and such incentive is established without discounts for the level of profitability actually attained on the basis of normative rates solely within the framework of the plan.
     The same methods have also been adopted for the formation of the third incentive fund, which is earmarked for sociocultural measures and housing construction.
     Of basic importance is the fact that enterprises are not regulated by strictly centralized instructions in the matter of distributing the incentive fund among production participants. Enterprises may elaborate one or another provision on the procedure for awarding incentives on the basis of standard recommended methods in accordance with the specifics of their production. The only point that has been established is that bonuses to workers under presently existing statutes will be awarded from the wage funds in the future as well. But in addition to this, workers may also be paid bonuses from the material incentive fund formed from profit. Furthermore, these bonuses may be paid under special provisions, for example, for improving the quality of production, for economizing on materials, for mastering new products or processes, as well as on a one-time basis for individual attainments on the job.
     The awarding of bonuses to managerial, engineering, and technical personnel and employees is also regulated by special provisions. In addition, certain sums in the incentive fund are reserved for one-time assistance. An important feature is that part of the material incentive fund is earmarked for rewards to personnel based on their performance for the year, depending on their length of service at a given enterprise.
Meiksins Wood, E. (2002). The origin of capitalism: A longer view. Londres: Verso Books.  
Added by: Dominique Meeùs 2016-02-21 22:55:19 Pop. 0%
      Begging the question

Capitalism is a system in which goods and services, down to the most basic necessities of life, are produced for profitable exchange, where even human labour-power is a commodity for sale in the market, and where all economic actors are dependent on the market. This is true not only of workers, who must sell their labour-power for a wage, but also of capitalists, who depend on the market to buy their inputs, including labour-power, and to sell their output for profit. Capitalism differs from other social forms because producers depend on the market for access to the means of production (unlike, for instance, peasants, who remain in direct, non-market possession of land) ; while appropriators cannot rely on ‘extra-economic’ powers of appropriation by means of direct coercion —such as the military, political, and judicial powers that enable feudal lords to extract surplus labour from peasants— but must depend on the purely ‘economic’ mechanisms of the market. This distinct system of market dependence means that the requirements of competition and profit-maximization are the fundamental rules of life. Because of those rules, capitalism is a system uniquely driven to improve the productivity of labour by technical means. Above all, it is a system in which the bulk of society’s work is done by propertyless labourers who are obliged to sell their labour-power in exchange for a wage in order to gain access to the means of life and of labour itself. In the process of supplying the needs and wants of society, workers are at the same time and inseparably creating profits for those who buy their labour-power. In fact, the production of goods and services is subordinate to the production of capital and capitalist profit. The basic objective of the capitalist system, in other words, is the production and self-expansion of capital.


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