QUOTING JOAN ROBINSON OUT OF CONTEXT

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QUOTING JOAN ROBINSON OUT OF CONTEXT

Michael Meeropol
Is that quote from Joan Robinson out of context?

From a previous post:

"Right, like quoting Joan Robinson about not being exploited being worse
than being exploited under capitalism."

I have been in her presence when she said something like that -- Though my memory is a bit hazy and she did have an ironic smile on her face, she stated:

"The only thing worse than being exploited is NOT being exploited."

What she was referring to was the terrible situation that the extremely poor rural populations of third world countries experienced -- when they moved to the cities from subsistence agriculture and could not find work, they were MUCH WORSE OFF than those that moved to the cities and DID find work -- (and arguably than those who stayed in their rural areas and eked out a meager subsistence)

General point -- No matter how badly exploited you are as a worker under capitalism, it is better than having no income at all.

So I fail to see how that is out of context.

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Re: QUOTING JOAN ROBINSON OUT OF CONTEXT

Jim Devine
The quote has been applied to describe the situation in rich countries.

On Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 4:33 AM, Michael Meeropol <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Is that quote from Joan Robinson out of context?
>
> From a previous post:
>
> "Right, like quoting Joan Robinson about not being exploited being worse
> than being exploited under capitalism."
>
> I have been in her presence when she said something like that -- Though my
> memory is a bit hazy and she did have an ironic smile on her face, she
> stated:
>
> "The only thing worse than being exploited is NOT being exploited."
>
> What she was referring to was the terrible situation that the extremely poor
> rural populations of third world countries experienced -- when they moved to
> the cities from subsistence agriculture and could not find work, they were
> MUCH WORSE OFF than those that moved to the cities and DID find work -- (and
> arguably than those who stayed in their rural areas and eked out a meager
> subsistence)
>
> General point -- No matter how badly exploited you are as a worker under
> capitalism, it is better than having no income at all.
>
> So I fail to see how that is out of context.
>
> _______________________________________________
> pen-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.csuchico.edu/mailman/listinfo/pen-l
>



--
Jim Devine / "An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of
support." -- John Buchan
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Re: QUOTING JOAN ROBINSON OUT OF CONTEXT

michael perelman-3
I think that some of the long-term unemployed in the US might agree
with her.  Jim, your earlier note on disability insurance suggests, of
course, that unemployed people in the US have some modest supports.

On Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 8:08 AM, Jim Devine <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The quote has been applied to describe the situation in rich countries.
>

--
Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA
95929

530 898 5321
fax 530 898 5901
http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com
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Re: QUOTING JOAN ROBINSON OUT OF CONTEXT

Jim Devine
me:
>> The quote has been applied to describe the situation in rich countries.

michael perelman wrote:
> I think that some of the long-term unemployed in the US might agree
> with her.  Jim, your earlier note on disability insurance suggests, of
> course, that unemployed people in the US have some modest supports.

Having modest supports moderates the validity of her statement, but it
doesn't negate it. There are some young people who have no
responsibilities who can do better on unemployment insurance benefits
than they do in a paid job, but that's a small exception. (I know a
professional economist -- who shall remain nameless -- who was one of
these lucky people.)  The UI system has bureaucratic means to weed
them out, by the way.
--
Jim Devine / "An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of
support." -- John Buchan
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Re: QUOTING JOAN ROBINSON OUT OF CONTEXT

michael perelman-3
I did not mean that it invalidated her statement.

On Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 8:26 AM, Jim Devine <[hidden email]> wrote:

> me:
>>> The quote has been applied to describe the situation in rich countries.
>
> michael perelman wrote:
>> I think that some of the long-term unemployed in the US might agree
>> with her.  Jim, your earlier note on disability insurance suggests, of
>> course, that unemployed people in the US have some modest supports.
>
> Having modest supports moderates the validity of her statement, but it
> doesn't negate it. There are some young people who have no
> responsibilities who can do better on unemployment insurance benefits
> than they do in a paid job, but that's a small exception. (I know a
> professional economist -- who shall remain nameless -- who was one of
> these lucky people.)  The UI system has bureaucratic means to weed
> them out, by the way.
> --
> Jim Devine / "An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of
> support." -- John Buchan
> _______________________________________________
> pen-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.csuchico.edu/mailman/listinfo/pen-l



--
Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA
95929

530 898 5321
fax 530 898 5901
http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com
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