China’s growth challenge

This week the 5th plenum of the Chinese Communist Party central committee is taking place.  The plenum is to discuss the progress of the Chinese economy and to decide on real GDP growth and other targets for the new 2021-25 five-year economic plan for China.  The plenum will also discuss a broad plan for theContinue reading “China’s growth challenge”

A people’s guide to capitalism

It is not easy explaining relatively complex ideas in a simple and clear manner.  Ask any teacher.  It’s a skill lacking in many.  Hadas Thier has brilliantly succeeded in that challenge with her book introducing Marxist economics.  She has delivered a clear, straightforward and entertaining explanation of all Marx’s basic theoretical insights into the natureContinue reading “A people’s guide to capitalism”

Work or toil in the pandemic

The pandemic has opened up a Pandora’s box about the future of work.  The slump has caused a huge loss of jobs, hours and earnings, particularly for those who are in all sorts of service sectors, like retail, entertainment, leisure, events, food preparation etc and it is driving thousands of small businesses surviving on smallContinue reading “Work or toil in the pandemic”

Ending the pandemic slump – a return to Keynes?

The latest Trade and Development report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the economic research agency to help ‘developing countries’, is a must read.  Not only is it packed with data and statistics about trends and developments in global production, trade and investment, but this 2020 issue takes a very radicalContinue reading “Ending the pandemic slump – a return to Keynes?”

The US rate of profit before the COVID

Every year, I look at measuring the US rate of profit. Official US data are now available to update the measurement of the rate for 2019. There are many ways to measure the rate of profit (for the various ways, see  I have one way and you can check and replicate my results byContinue reading “The US rate of profit before the COVID”

Pandemics: prevention before cure

There is now firm evidence of a strong link between environmental destruction and the increased emergence of deadly new diseases such as Covid-19.  Indeed, increasing numbers of deadly new pandemics will afflict the planet if levels of deforestation and biodiversity loss continue at their current catastrophic rates.  That is the conclusion of scientists who willContinue reading “Pandemics: prevention before cure”

Abenomics: a review

Over the weekend, Abe Shinzo announced that he was resigning as Japan’s prime minister.  Last November, he became the country’s longest serving premier.  He resigns amid the worst economic slump in Japan’s post-war history, caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns.  His popularity had plummeted due to a series of bribery and corruption scandalsContinue reading “Abenomics: a review”