• China, Capitalist Accumulation, and Labor

    Most economists continue to celebrate China as one of the most successful developing countries in modern times. We, however, are highly critical of the Chinese growth experience. China’s growth has been driven by the intensified exploitation of the country’s farmers and workers, who have been systematically dispossessed through the break-up of the communes, the resultant collapse of health and education services, and massive state-enterprise layoffs, to name just the most important “reforms.” With resources increasingly being restructured in and by transnational corporations largely for the purpose of satisfying external market demands, China’s foreign-driven, export-led growth strategy has undermined the state’s capacity to plan and direct economic activity. Moreover, in a world of competitive struggle among countries for both foreign direct investment and export markets, China’s gains have been organically linked to development setbacks in other countries. Finally, China’s growth has become increasingly dependent not only on foreign capital but also on the unsustainable trade deficits of the United States. In short, the accumulation dynamics underlying China’s growth are generating serious national and international imbalances that are bound to require correction at considerable social cost for working people in China and the rest of the world

  • Another World Is Indeed Possible

    For some time, business and government leaders in the United States have aggressively promoted policies designed to expand opportunities for private profit making.  The result has been growing instabilities and inequalities.  Many opposed to this development have called for the imposition of controls on private production, investment, and price decisions.  However, those in power routinely […]

  • South Korea: The State of Political Struggle

    The post-crisis trajectory of the South Korean economy has been a disaster for working people there, and South Korean labor and left movements are engaged in a very difficult struggle to roll back the ongoing neoliberal restructuring.  In this essay I discuss some of the challenges these movements face.  I do so because workers and […]

  • South Korea: The Unraveling of an Economy

    South Korea, the poster country for the IMF in the post-East Asian crisis period, is in serious economic trouble.  That’s probably why you hear so little about what is happening there.  After a major economic collapse in 1998, the country recorded GDP growth rates of 10.9 percent and 9.3 percent in 1999 and 2000, respectively.  […]