Global warming: planning not pricing

Carbon pricing and carbon taxes are now proposed by international institutions and mainstream economics as the main solutions to ending global warming and destructive climate change.  For some time, the IMF has been pushing for carbon pricing as ‘a necessary if not sufficient’ part of a climate policy package that also includes investment in ‘greenContinue reading “Global warming: planning not pricing”

Capitalism: has the leopard changed its spots?

“Let me be clear: capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation.”, US President Biden tweeted when signing an executive order to expand competition across the economy and crack down on monopolistic practices, describing a misguided 40-year “experiment” in letting US corporations consolidate with little regulation that he said has hurt ordinary Americans.  “The heart ofContinue reading “Capitalism: has the leopard changed its spots?”

Chinese Communist Party: a party of workers or capitalists?

It’s 100 years today since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was first formed by just 50 members, mostly intellectuals, but including railway and mine workers.  100 years later to the day, the official membership figure is 95m and there are 4.8m party branches.  This is surely the largest political party the world has ever seen.Continue reading “Chinese Communist Party: a party of workers or capitalists?”

Inflation, interest rates and debt

Inflation of the prices of goods and services is good or bad news depending on your relation to the means of production.  For labour, with no ownership of the means of production and only making a living from selling its power to work, inflation is not good news, because it eats into real incomes byContinue reading “Inflation, interest rates and debt”

1% own 45% of the world’s personal wealth while nearly 3bn people have little or no wealth at all

Just 56m or 1% of adults out of 5.3bn globally are millionaires in net wealth terms.  And they own 45% of all global personal wealth.  The other 99% own the rest and there are nearly 3bn people in the world that have little or no wealth at all (after debts are deducted). Every year IContinue reading “1% own 45% of the world’s personal wealth while nearly 3bn people have little or no wealth at all”

Marx’s law of profitability after Capital

The Global Marxism series organized by SSK in Korea has delivered a number of important presentations and papers on aspects of Marxist economics. I participated in the second round with a paper on the Economics of Modern Imperialism. Recently Hideto Akashi of Komazawa University, Tokyo returned to the fray with a presentation on Marx’s law ofContinue reading “Marx’s law of profitability after Capital”

Profits call the tune

I have argued in many posts that ‘profits call the tune’ in capitalist accumulation.  What I mean by that is that any change in business profits (and profitability) will lead to changes in business investment – and not vice versa over time.  Profits are key to capitalist investment, not ‘effective demand’ as Keynesians argue, orContinue reading “Profits call the tune”

Imperialism meets in Cornwall

This weekend, the leaders of the ‘free world’ are flying (and helicoptering) into Cornwall, at the tiny end of England, for the first physical meeting of the G7 nations.  As they increase the carbon footprint sharply through extensive fossil fuel activity, the G7 agenda will include dealing with climate change, global ‘action’ on the COVIDContinue reading “Imperialism meets in Cornwall”

Peru: a crunch election

Today, 25m Peruvians vote in the second round of a crucial Presidential election.  The voters are being asked to choose between two candidates.  The first and leading in the polls is ‘self-confessed’ socialist Pedro Castillo, 51 years old, a schoolteacher, based Cajamarca, one of the poorest regions of Peru and home to South America’s largestContinue reading “Peru: a crunch election”