Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States

By William Lazonick | Go to book overview

Preface

As I write this preface in March 2009, the United States is in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The Obama administration has established a massive stimulus package to get the economy back on track. As I show in this book, however, there are fundamental problems with the U.S. economy that predate the current crisis. Even in recovery, the U.S. economy will not generate stable and equitable growth—or what I call “sustainable prosperity”—unless these problems are fixed.

For the past three decades the distribution of income in the United States has become more unequal, with a hugely, and some might say grotesquely, disproportionate share of total national income now going to the very richest households. Over the same period, the U.S. economy has experienced an inexorable disappearance of “middle-class” jobs—stable employment opportunities that provide a decent standard of living. A key finding of this book is that even when economic conditions are generally prosperous, economic insecurity afflicts well-educated and highly experienced members of the U.S. labor force. Yet these are the people who should be best positioned to make a good living.

In this book, I analyze the ways in which the “New Economy business model” in the information and communications technology (ICT) industries has contributed to this instability and inequity. In the last decade, U.S.-based ICT companies have been replacing well-educated and highly experienced U.S. workers with qualified labor in lower-wage nations such as China and India. The contribution to the growth of these developing economies represents progress. The problem is that rather than use the profits from globalization to sustain and upgrade the employment of U.S. workers, companies like Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft have been using these profits to repurchase billions of dollars annually of their own outstanding shares in an effort to boost their stock prices.

Underlying this mode of corporate resource allocation is the corporate governance ideology that contends that to achieve superior economic performance companies should “maximize shareholder value.” In this book, I expose the fallacies of this argument, and I show how in practice shareholder-value ideology contributes to instability and inequity in the economy and tends to undermine the accumulation of innovative capability. This book provides an alternative perspective on how corporate resource allocation can contribute to the achievement of sustainable prosperity.

The research that underpins this book goes back some two decades, when I first started analyzing the financialization of the U.S. corporate economy and the consequent decline of what the eminent business historian Alfred Chan-

-xiii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - What Is New, and Permanent, about the "New Economy"? 1
  • 2 - The Rise of the New Economy Business Model 39
  • 3 - The Demise of the Old Economy Business Model 81
  • 4 - Pensions and Unions in the New Economy 115
  • 5 - Globalization of the High-Tech Labor Force 149
  • 6 - The Quest for Shareholder Value 197
  • 7 - Prospects for Sustainable Prosperity 249
  • References 281
  • The Author 331
  • Index 333
  • About the Institute 357
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 358

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.