Low-Wage Capitalism describes in sweeping detail the drastic effect on the
working class in the United States of new technology and the restructuring of global capitalism in the post-Soviet era. It uses Karl Marx's
law of wages and other findings to show that these developments are not only continuing to drive down wages but are creating the material basis for future social upheaval.
The analysis rests on three basic developments in the last three decades:
- The world's workforce available to exploitation by transnational capitalist corporations doubled in the wake of the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe.
- The technological revolutions of the digital age, in both production and communications, have allowed transnational corporations to destroy high-wage jobs and simultaneously
expand the global workforce to generate a worldwide wage competition.
- The decline in the economic condition of the workers, driven by the laws of capitalism and
the capitalist class, is leading to the end of working-class compromise and retreat and must end up in a profound revival of the struggle against capitalism.
Capitalism at a Dead End explains that the economic crisis, which began in August 2007, marked a turning point in the history of capitalism.
This is more than just another severe capitalist crisis. The author contends that the system will not bounce back; it will not return to the normal capitalist boom-and-bust cycle.
For decades the capitalist class has used the revolution in digital technology to increase productivity of labor at record rates. Fewer workers are needed to produce more goods and
services in less time at lower wages. This has led to a series of "jobless recoveries" which keep getting worse.
Goldstein uses Marx's laws of capitalist accumulation and the declining rate of profit to show why global capitalism has finally reached a tipping point. Employers have increased the
productivity of labor to such an extent that as soon as the system starts up in a growth curve, production rapidly outstrips demand in the market and overproduction kicks in to block further growth. Then come stagnation, economic contraction, and mass unemployment.