Bill Clinton came to the presidency seeking to reinvent the New Deal for an era of deindustralization. Instead he consolidated the defeat of organized labor and hollowed out the welfare state.
Jason Resnikoff is the author of Labor’s End: How the Promise of Automation Degraded Work. Formerly an organizer with the UAW, he is now assistant professor of contemporary history at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands.
In Welfare for Markets, Anton Jäger and Daniel Zamora show that cash transfers emerged as an alternative to the welfare state favored by a left that had abandoned hope in socialism and a right hostile to democratic management of the economy.
Anxiety that automation is coming for workers’ jobs has reached a fever pitch. But talk of robots replacing humans often conceals a less complicated reality: management uses technology to undemocratically reorganize and intensify labor.