Yunker, James A.
YUNKER, James A.
PERSONAL: Male. Education: Fordham University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1965; University of California, Berkeley, M.A. (economics), 1966; North-western University, Ph.D. (economics), 1971.
ADDRESSES: Office—Western Illinois University, College of Business and Technology, Stipes Hall 442, Macomb, IL 61455. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Author, economist, and educator. Western Illinois University, Macomb, assistant professor, 1968–74, associate professor, 1974–78, professor of economics, 1978–.
Socialism in the Free Market, Nellen Publishing Company (New York, NY), 1979.
Integrating Acquisitions: Making Corporate Marriages Work, Praeger (New York, NY), 1983.
Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism, Praeger (New York, NY), 1992.
World Union on the Horizon: The Case for Supernational Federation, University Press of America (Lanham, MD), 1993.
Capitalism versus Pragmatic Market Socialism: A General Equilibrium Evaluation, Kluwer Academic Publishers (Boston, MA), 1993.
Economic Justice: The Market Socialist Vision, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (Lanham, MD), 1997.
Toward Genuine Global Governance: Critical Reactions to "Our Global Neighborhood," Praeger (Westport, CT), 1999.
Common Progress: The Case for a World Economic Equalization Program, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2000.
On the Political Economy of Market Socialism: Essays and Analyses, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2001.
Capital Management Effort: Theory and Applications, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2004.
Contributor to scholarly journals and publications, including Eastern Economic Journal, Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Public Finance Review, Journal of Economic Education, Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Developing Areas, Review of Business and Economic Research, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economy, Library Acquisitions: Practice and Theory, Nebraska Journal of Economics and Business, and Comparative Economic Studies.
SIDELIGHTS: A prolific author and economist, James A. Yunker is the author of numerous books and dozens of magazine and journal articles on economic topics and related subjects. Yunker's work focuses on market socialism, world government, and capital wealth. In a statement posted on the Western Illinois University Web site, Yunker commented that "one of the nice things about economics is that its concepts and methods can be sensibly applied to a tremendous range of interesting problems and issues."
Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism collects twenty-five papers published by Yunker in a variety of publications since 1973. Yunker offers a radical—at least to capitalists—idea for switching the current American economic system into one based on pragmatic market socialism, a system "designed to ameliorate great inequality in the distribution of unearned property returns while preserving the efficiency of the contemporary capitalist system," according to Gladys Parker Foster in the Journal of Economic Issues.
In modern developed nations, particularly the United States, "the question is how to reconcile the rising output potential provided by technological progress with the efficient reductions in input use, especially labor use, that currently create substantial unemployment in market economies," stated Holland Hunter in Comparative Economic Studies. Technology continues to fulfill its promise by reducing the need for human labor, but workers whose jobs and incomes are displaced by technology struggle to retain reasonable employment, livable wages, and appreciable economic purchasing power.
Yunker suggests a major shift to the tenets of pragmatic market socialism. In the current system, business corporations reap all the benefits of the capitalist system, retaining huge wealth and generating tremendous profits that enrich only the corporation and its shareholders. Under pragmatic market socialism, all large, established corporations would be owned by the public rather than by stockholders. Foster explained that "the proposal envisions publicly owned business enterprises as operating independently, autonomously, and for profit as they do now, with all profit paid to a national government agency (the BPO). The BPO would distribute all but five percent retained for expenses and for incentives to the public in the form of a social dividend that is proportional to personally earned labor income or pension income." Yunker argues that private entrepreneurship should be excluded from the plan, allowing risk-taking entrepreneurs and small-business owners to retain ownership of their companies and company assets.
Socialism Revisited and Modernized "provides a lucid, cohesive, and in its own terms plausible explication of the argument that a 'pragmatic market socialist' economy would be morally superior to contemporary actually existing capitalist societies," commented John E. Elliott in the Review of Social Economy. "Yunker's presentation is spirited but moderate, and his critique of 'capitalist apologetics' is irreverent but fair-minded." Holland called the book "an intriguing and potentially very important book" that "seeks to answer a basic economic question."
Economic Justice: The Market Socialist Vision also focuses on Yunker's theories of pragmatic market socialism. The book argues "persuasively against all of our objections and fears" regarding an untried and unfamiliar market system, remarked Doug Brown in Journal of Economic Issues. Yunker revisits his argument for public ownership of Fortune 500 companies that do not have entrepreneurial owners. Current stockholders would be compensated when their companies reverted to public ownership; boards of directors would still exist; and private individuals who are not entrepreneurs would be excluded from capital markets. Brown noted that the book also "covers a lot of twentieth-century socialist history and some economic theory and engages the student in the debate about whether or not socialism is dead in either theory or practice." Although Brown remarked that Yunker does not adequately cover how such a system could come into existence, he still called the book "very readable."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Comparative Economic Studies, spring, 1993, Holland Hunter, review of Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism, p. 121.
Journal of Economic Issues, December, 1988, Doug Brown, review of Economic Justice: The Market Socialist Vision, p. 1189; September, 1993, Gladys Parker Foster, review of Socialism Revised and Modernized, p. 964.
Review of Social Economy, summer, 1993, John E. Elliott, review of Socialism Revised and Modernized, p. 241.
Western Illinois University Web site, http://www.wiu.edu/ (July 27, 2005), "James A. Yunker."