Returning to the long view

There is much talk in the financial press and among economists of the risk that the major capitalist economies could be slipping back into recession.  Economic data for the US and Europe are indicating a significant slowdown in economic growth and a weak recovery in employment and investment.  Is this just a temporary blip orContinue reading “Returning to the long view”

Profits lead the way

It’s been a long time since my last post.  I’ve been snowed under trying to get some papers and articles done.  But anyway, back to the moment! Are the mature capitalist economies on the road to sustained economic recovery?  It depends on what you mean by sustained and recovery, of course.  The major capitalist economiesContinue reading “Profits lead the way”

The crisis of neoliberalism and Gerard Dumenil

Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy have made important contributions to the understanding of Marxist economics over the years.  Now they have a new book out, called The crisis of neoliberalism (http://www.jourdan.ens.fr/~levy/dle2011a.htm).  Gerard Dumenil was in London this week to give a presentation on the main ideas in their book. Dumenil started by saying modern capitalism,Continue reading “The crisis of neoliberalism and Gerard Dumenil”

Taxing capitalists

The big talk in the UK this weekend (at least among those interested in such things) is the news that although Barclays Bank made £4.85bn (nearly $8bn) operating profit in 2009, it paid just £113m in taxes to the UK government, or an effective tax rate of 2.4%.  This is against the official corporate taxContinue reading “Taxing capitalists”

America: from progressive to rentier

US capitalism is no longer a progressive force in the development of productive forces.  What do I mean?  An economy is ‘progressive’ in the sense that it develops more and new things that people can use to improve their living standards and reduce their hours of toil.  Capitalism is a social mode of production thatContinue reading “America: from progressive to rentier”

Is America recovering?

The January employment figures in the US were totally confusing.  The increase in jobs in January was announced as just 36,000, way below most economists’ forecasts.  That suggested the US economy is stuttering and would not sustain an economic recovery.  On the other hand, the January unemployment rate fell from 9.4% to 9.0%, a hugeContinue reading “Is America recovering?”

Profits and investment in the economic recovery

There cannot be a closer connection in the capitalist system of production and exchange than that between profits and investment.  In various previous posts, I have argued that the key to any economic recovery under capitalism will be a recovery in private sector investment, not consumption as the Keynesians claim.  In an earlier post (seeContinue reading “Profits and investment in the economic recovery”