Saito: the metabolic rift and de-growth communism

Kohei Saito is an associate professor at Tokyo University and an erudite Marxist scholar.  Not a candidate for a best-seller in the non-fiction book world, you might think.  But you would be wrong in this case.  Saito’s new book (currently in Japanese), which analyses the relationship between capitalism and the planet, has been a smashContinue reading “Saito: the metabolic rift and de-growth communism”

The wage price spiral refuted

Do ‘excessive’ wage rises lead to rising inflation and thus drive economies into a wage-price spiral?  Back in 1865, at the International Working Men’s Association, Marx debated with IWMA Council member Thomas Weston.  Weston, a leader of the carpenter’s union, argued that asking for increased wages was futile because all that would happen would beContinue reading The wage price spiral refuted

Historical Materialism Conference – monopoly, imperialism, inflation and Ukraine

As usual it won’t be possible to report on all the many sessions at this year’s London Historical Materialism conference that took place last weekend.  I could only attend a few sessions and concentrated, naturally, on ones to do with Marxist economics.  Also, I was participating in two sessions myself that clashed with others thatContinue reading “Historical Materialism Conference – monopoly, imperialism, inflation and Ukraine”

US mid-term elections: it’s the economy, stupid!

Americans go to the polls today to vote in the so-called mid-term elections for the US Congress.  All the seats in the lower House of Representatives are up for grabs, while a portion of the upper house, the Senate, is being voted on.  Currently, the Democrats hold a majority of just eight in the lowerContinue reading “US mid-term elections: it’s the economy, stupid!”

Another cop out?

COP 27 started over the weekend.  COP stands for the conference of the parties under the UNFCCC.  Under the 1992 UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), every country is treaty-bound to “avoid dangerous climate change” and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally in an equitable way.  At the 2015 COP in Paris,Continue reading “Another cop out?”

Denmark: the happy social democrat model?

Danish Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen achieved a successful result in yesterday’s general election.  The SD polled 27.5% of the vote (the turnout was down but still over 80%) and increased its seats in parliament to 50.  Frederiksen was forced into an early election with the withdrawal of one of the centre parties in herContinue reading “Denmark: the happy social democrat model?”

Brazil’s economic and political rollercoaster

The latest polls put Workers Party leader Lula de Silva ahead in the two-horse race with incumbent right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro in today’s final round of the presidential election in Brazil.  If Lula wins, it will be a dramatic comeback for the former president after having been jailed for alleged corruption under the previous right-wingContinue reading “Brazil’s economic and political rollercoaster”

The inflation conundrum

In many previous posts, I have argued the current sharp rise in inflation rates in all the major economies does not derive from so-called ‘excessive demand’; or from excessive money supply growth; or wage demands forcing companies to raise prices. It primarily relies on the failure of supply to match demand.  Supply was drastically squeezedContinue reading “The inflation conundrum”

Slouching towards utopia; or hurtling towards disaster?

Bradford DeLong is one of the world’s most prominent Keynesian economists and  economic historian who is a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. DeLong served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration under Lawrence Summers.  He is a architype liberal Democrat in US politics and a classical Keynesian in economics. He hasContinue reading “Slouching towards utopia; or hurtling towards disaster?”

China: Xi’s third term – part 3: chips, dual circulation and imperialism

Even as Xi Jinping was promising China’s Communist Party’s national congress that China would “resolutely win the battle” in key areas of technology, employees of technology companies in China and elsewhere were being told to down tools. Dozens of the hundreds of executives and engineers with US citizenship or green cards who work in or withContinue reading “China: Xi’s third term – part 3: chips, dual circulation and imperialism”