Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Work of Evsey Domar

Evsey Domar was a Russian economist who in about 1970 brought us the "Domar Serfdom Model".

Essentially this model explores why some societies traditionally adopted serfdom or slavery and others utilized a free labor market.

He presented the land-labor ratio as the crux of the matter. You see, if there's a lot of land relative to the labor, then landlords (and the industrialists who are their inheritants) must compete for the available labor. Wages go up, rents go down.

If there's a lot of labor but a shortage of land, then the reverse happens and industrialists are able to implement a serf model.

Consider this as an aspect of why so much of the American frontier has now been walled off and forbidden to us except for recreation. This is an artificial attempt to control the land-labor ratio in favor of the industrialists.

Q: Have they succeeded in creating a modern-day serfdom?


MiniMo said...

Check out this map:

It shows what percent of the individual State is Federally owned. Approximately 30% of the land is Federally controlled in the sense.

Bluesgal said...

While the map is interesting, it doesn't tell us how much of that "federal" land is held by tribes in reservations. Nor does it go into the viability of that land. For example, in AZ while only 25% of the land is "privately" held, a large portion of the rest is reservation land, or not really inhabitable (poor soil, no water, mountanous etc). Also, let's not forget the amount of land the State itself owns.

While Domar makes a point, I think it has to be a percentage of "usable" land.