ASSA 2021: part two – the radical answers

At the annual conference of the American Economics Association (ASSA), there are sessions hosted by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) for Marxist and other heterodox economists to present papers. At this year’s ASSA 2021, many of the URPE sessions were concerned with the economic impact of COVID-19 and climate change, as did theContinue reading “ASSA 2021: part two – the radical answers”

Forecast for 2021

This time last year, I started my post on the forecast for 2020 by making a distinction between predictions and forecasts.  I argued that we can make predictions that can be tested, say about the climate and global warming.  Climate scientists predict that if carbon emissions keep rising, then global temperatures will keep rising and eventuallyContinue reading “Forecast for 2021”

Top ten posts of 2020

As usual at this time of the year, it’s the annual stock take for this blog.  This year there have been 670,000 hits on the blog to date.  That’s up 45% on 2019, another record!  That may not match the millions that hit the sites of mainstream economists but it’s not bad for a Marxist.Continue reading “Top ten posts of 2020”

Books in the year of the COVID

Every year, I do a post on books that I have reviewed during the last 12 months. What’s a bit surprising in this year of the COVID is that I did not review any books specifically on the pandemic. Even the excellent book by John Bellamy Foster, The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology, whichContinue reading “Books in the year of the COVID”

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”

Debt disaster with no escape

The IMF-World Bank semi-annual meeting starts this week.  Earlier the IMF kicked off the show with a warning that the poor countries of the world are heading for a catastrophe from the pandemic slump, leading to defaults on the debts that their governments and companies owe to investors and banks in the ‘global north’. AccordingContinue reading “Debt disaster with no escape”

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”

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 http://pinguet.free.fr/basu2012.pdf).  I have one way and you can check and replicate my results byContinue reading “The US rate of profit before the COVID”