|Here is Daniel A. Foss:
YET ANOTHER ARGUMENT applied specifically to the post-World-War II USA
hegemony in the world market: Until 1973, the USA made most of the world
output; likewise, it consumed most of the world output. Nothing the
mega-corporations and multinational conglomerates of the time did, however
wasteful, seemed, to P. Baran and P. Sweezy, authors of Monopoly Capital
(Monthly Review Press, 1964), to endanger this American dominance. They
accordingly posited that the contribution of office workers to the economy
was as "surplus absorbers." These were featherbedded employees who were
busily at work collectively consuming office buildings, metropolitan
infrastructure, office supplies, and appropriate attire, decor, and
educational backgrounds - the latter having been made the presumption,
presupposition, qualification, and socialization into the class atmospherics
of the positions wherefore they were hired: In order to supply the massive
numbers of nouveaux-genteel recently-upwardly-mobile armies of (mainly male)
corporate bureaucrats and their ubiquitous female office-servants/"Other
Women" - as portrayed on the series Mad Men - the society was at that time
impelled to build Clark Kerr's "Multiversity," and to clone it everywhere.
On top of all that, the "surplus absorbers" performed the bulk, or critical
portion, of private household consumption: they (a) Owned Their Own Homes.
(b) Owned The Family Car, and maybe a car or two besides, so that the main
"breadwinner," the husband/father/male spouse could drive from home to work
to home to work, &c. Which is called "functioning".