Batra (Economics/Southern Methodist Univ.; The New Golden Age: A Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos, 2009, etc.) offers far-reaching proposals to end joblessness quickly.
Taking a broader overview of unemployment than the narrow definition employed to boost claims for the strength of economic recovery, the author offers a macroeconomic look at the causes of joblessness and income inequality. “The ultimate source of joblessness,” he writes, “is monopoly capitalism, which enables industrial giants…to charge exorbitant prices while restraining wages and extracting huge productivity from employees. This creates overproduction, hence layoffs.” Batra disagrees with those who believe that domination by virtual monopoly corporations is part of the proper functioning of a free market. He advocates for the use of the executive branch to adopt and enforce regulations to launch a shift away from corporate domination and toward truly freer markets. Interestingly, he recommends as a model the approach adopted by American occupation authorities in Japan and Germany after World War II. Japanese industries were configured as vertical monopolies and called Zaibatsu, which “earned high profits by keeping wages low.” The U.S. military dissolved them and the owners were removed from their positions. The conglomerates were then broken up into the smaller, more agile and creative pieces, which helped Japan recover from the war with free market methods. The U.S. military did the same to Germany's war economy, breaking up IG Farben, which provided the gas for many concentration camps. Batra believes “the president has to take charge and deliver the poor and middle class from the damning status quo.” The author argues that the president should break up the corporate monopolies of the finance and retail sectors, along with oil and pharmaceutical industries, by administrative fiat. A similar approach, he argues, could be adopted to reregulate foreign trade.
An innovative approach that will appeal to those who question current claims of economic recovery.