Subjects Archives: Global Economic Crisis

  • Recessions: Better for Right Than Left

    For a long time, I’ve been critical of the left-wing penchant for economic crisis.  Many radicals have fantasized that a serious recession — or depression — would lead to mass radicalization, as scales simultaneously fell from millions of pairs of eyes and the imperative of transcending capitalism became self-evidently obvious.  I’ve long thought that was […]

  • Interview with Gopalji, Spokesperson of the Special Area Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in a Forest in Jharkhand, Eastern India

    Communism in the rest of the world seems to have collapsed.  What hope do you have of achieving a socialist state in India? The claim that there is no hope for socialism and communism, that they are dead, is mere propaganda unleashed by the imperialists and the apologists of capitalism.  The 20th century saw the […]

  • Greece, Again: Demystifying “National Debt”

    Yet again, business leaders, politicians, academics, and media are blowing smoke around Greece’s efforts to cope with “national debt” problems.  Something far more important for the world than this small country’s financial travails is at stake.  Indeed, what is at stake affects us all.  What is happening in Greece parallels developments everywhere; only details and […]

  • The Spectre of Public Debt

    Pegging their arguments on the still ongoing drama relating to sovereign debt in Greece, conservative opinion is making a case for a reduction of the size of public debt in developed and developing countries across the world.  The latest signatory to the appeal is IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn who reportedly told an audience at the […]

  • Should Greece Follow Estonia’s Example?

      As the representatives from the European Union, the IMF, and the Greek government are trying to flesh out how Greece can use the EU’s and the IMF’s funding to remedy its fiscal position, the main question hovering above their negotiations is whether Greece can and should follow Estonia’s example in massively cutting public spending. […]

  • What “Populist Uprising?”Part 1: Facts and Reflections on Race, Class, and the Tea Party “Movement”

    The right-wing Tea Party “movement” has recently grabbed attention in the dominant media again.  On Tax Day last April, it garnered headlines by rolling out its standard high-decibel complaints against “big government,” deficits, taxes, and the supposed “radical” agenda of “Obama, Pelosi, and Reid” and the rest of the Democratic Party.  As usual, the Tea […]

  • Thailand: Economic Background to Political Crisis

    The ongoing political crisis in Thailand has been capturing headlines for some time now, and now even appears to be heading towards some kind of climax.  This political instability reflects more than the resistance of the existing establishment to the increasingly vociferous demands of those who have been marginalised from most of the benefits.  It […]

  • China Will Do Whatever It Wants to Do . . . about Its Currency and Iran

    The United States and China seem to have reached an agreement with regard to the exchange rate between their two currencies.  The agreement is that the U.S. government will stop yelling about it, and China will do whatever it wants to do, which will probably include some modest rise in the renminbi some time in […]

  • Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day

      Benjamin Kline Hunnicutt.  Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.  x + 261 pp.  $33.95 (paper), ISBN 978-1-56639-448-2; $69.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-56639-447-5. Between the Civil War and World War II the length of the American work week decreased dramatically.  Since the end of World War II, the rate of decline has become positively […]

  • Food Crisis before Financial Crisis

      What are the consequences of the implementation of neo-liberal economic philosophy for industrialization and development of poor countries?  The answer: de-industrialization of many low-income countries; destruction of their food production (influenced also by protectionist agricultural policies of developed countries), thus their heavy dependence on food imports.  The boom in commodity prices had improved the […]

  • PIIGS Countries, Being Led to the Slaughter, Should Rethink Euro

    As the EU summit meeting convenes, Greece is dominating the agenda much more than Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel had wanted.  This week she has thrown cold water on the idea that Germany and other EU countries would take responsibility for helping Greece to roll over some of its debt, handing that job off to the […]

  • The Theory of the Global “Savings Glut”

    For some time now, Mr. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, has been arguing that three observed phenomena in the world economy in the decade after 1996, viz. the substantial increase in the U.S. current account deficit, the swing from moderate deficits to large surpluses in “emerging-market countries”, and the significant decline in […]

  • The Price Is Right (On)

    At a Paul Winter concert (I think it was) one summer in the 1980s I somehow found myself backstage at Carnegie Hall beside a very tall man.  I looked up — as it turned out to be, both literally and figuratively — and was shocked to see who stood next to me.  “God bless you, […]

  • The Risks of 21st Century Stagflation

    Well before the global financial crisis finally broke in September 2008, most people in developing countries were already reeling under the effects of dramatic volatility in global food and fuel markets.  From late 2006, prices of most primary commodities first increased very rapidly, then collapsed even more sharply from their peaks in May-June 2008. This […]

  • The Global Organic Crisis: Paradoxes, Dangers, and Opportunities

    The capitalist world has experienced its deepest economic meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Paradoxically, whereas the earlier period saw the breakdown of liberal capitalism, the rise of fascism and Nazism, and the Soviet alternative to liberal capitalism, today neo-liberalism and capitalist globalization still remain powerful, and apparently supreme, on the stage of […]

  • Lessons of the Year: Tailing Democrats Equals Defeat, Only a Mass Movement Can Win

      The Democratic defeat in Massachusetts on the anniversary of the start of the Obama administration makes a fitting conclusion to the lessons that the last year should have taught everyone in this country.  The question is: will the lessons be learned, especially by left activists?  Let us try to see what these lessons are. […]

  • Latvia’s Recession: The Cost of Adjustment with an “Internal Devaluation”

    Executive Summary: The Latvian recession, which is now more than two years old, has seen a world-historical drop in GDP of more than 25 percent.  The IMF projects another 4 percent drop this year, and predicts that the total loss of output from peak to bottom will reach 30 percent.  This would make Latvia’s loss […]

  • After the Great Financial Crisis and the Great Recession, What Next?

    John Bellamy Foster is editor of Monthly Review and author of The Great Financial Crisis (2009, with Fred Magdoff) and The Ecological Revolution (2009) — both from Monthly Review Press.  This interview was conducted from Dhaka by Farooque Chowdhury (editor of Micro Credit: Myth Manufactured, 2007) for MRzine and Bangla Monthly Review.  It is part […]

  • Oregon Counters Massachusetts

    The stunning win of a Republican novice in the Massachusetts Senate race to replace Ted Kennedy is well known.  It is being interpreted as a sign of Obama’s fading popularity and also as a sign that the US electorate wants more right-of-center policy.  To show the flaw in thinking that right-wing answers to the economic […]

  • Can We Ever Get Equal Care for All?

    Can we ever get equal care for all?  We can’t — at least, not by going down dead-end roads. A year ago hope was alive for equal health care for all.  Bush was defeated, and the Democrats won control of both houses of Congress.  Throughout 2009, though, every week brought a slap across the face […]