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Subjects Archives: Global Economic Crisis

The Devaluation of the Yuan

The Chinese central bank’s decision last week to let the yuan depreciate, in three stages by almost 4 percent against the US dollar, was officially explained as a move towards greater market determination of its exchange rate.  Though this explanation pacified stock markets around the world, China’s devaluation of the currency portends a serious accentuation […]

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The Liberals and Inequality, Then and Now

Articles on income equality sometimes note that the U.S. economy hasn’t faced the current level of disparity since 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression.  There has been much less discussion of the responses to the issue back then, even though income inequality was a major concern for policymakers as the Depression deepened and […]

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Why Greece Doesn't Matter

Why Greece Doesn’t Matter

  We have to stop talking about Greece.  What must emerge from the calamity of SYRIZA-ANEL is a renewed call for democracy. There is a scene in the 1972 political satire The Candidate where Robert Redford looks at the camera and quietly says, “Politicians don’t talk, they make sounds.” For the past five years Greece […]

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The Spectre of the Thirties

The Reserve Bank of India, as is to be expected, has been denying that its governor Raghuram Rajan had ever suggested that the world was facing the possibility of a 1930s-type Great Depression.  Members of the “global financial community” are not supposed to say such things; so even if Dr Rajan did, a denial was […]

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The Political Economy of Austerity Now

Government austerity for the masses (raising taxes and cutting public services) is becoming the issue shaping politics in western Europe, north America, and Japan.  In the US, austerity turned millions away from the polls where before they supported an Obama who promised changes from such policies.  So Republicans will control Congress and conflicts over austerity […]

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The Future of Collective Bargaining: Challenging “Management Prerogatives” Again

Recent experiences suggest that the generations-old practice of collective bargaining as the normal, if not dominant, method of negotiating the terms of unionized employment is losing its legitimacy.  Notoriously, upon taking office in January 2010, Wisconsin’s Governor Walker introduced a bill to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights.  Despite a massive upheaval and […]

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Explaining Stagnation: Why It Matters

Larry Summers and Paul Krugman have recently identified the phenomenon of stagnation.  Given that they are giants in today’s economic policy conversation, their views have naturally received enormous attention.  That attention is very welcome because the issue is so important.  However, there is also a danger that their dominance risks crowding out other explanations of […]

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Jobs Versus the Environment

Is there a fundamental conflict between a healthy environment and a healthy economy? There has been a lot of concern lately about damage that we humans are inflicting on our small, beautiful Planet Earth.  Waste CO2 from our way of life has been dissolving in the oceans, increasing the acidity of the water and making […]

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Crises of Capitalism and Social Democracy

  John Bellamy Foster is best-known as author of Marx’s Ecology (2000; in which he corrects the popular misapprehension that Marx did not ‘get’ environmental limits), and as editor of Monthly Review (monthlyreview.org), the journal founded by Marxist economist Paul Sweezy in the late 1940s.  In his latest book, The Endless Crisis (2012; written with […]

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The Logic of Legalization

The political calculus behind immigration reform was supposed to have changed after the elections of 2012.  The outcome of the elections, along with some basic economics, was supposed to have made the logic of legalization all but inevitable, setting the stage for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform early this year. And yet, we remain […]

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Workers of the World

Labor historians Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh have vividly described how sailors and other maritime workers were in the vanguard of the creation of an international working class.  Unlike most people in the early modern period who largely stayed rooted to the soil of their birth or tied closely to their particular artisanal enterprises, Jack […]

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The Threat of Barbarism: US Imperialism Unleashed

With signs of a global economic downturn mounting, US aggression across the Middle East and North Africa ratchets up.  Once again, US imperialism stands poised to open the gates of Hell. According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report released last week, the “risks for a serious global slowdown are alarmingly high.”  The report projects […]

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Democracy Instead of the Fiscal Treaty!  We Need a Different Approach to Tackle the Crisis, and a Different Europe

  Spring 2012.  Merkel and Sarkozy rush from summit meeting to summit meeting, in order to save the euro.  The yellow press smears the people of Greece.  The struggle over a solution to the crisis is intensifying dramatically: by early 2013, an authoritarian-neoliberal alliance of business lobby groups, the financial industry, the EU Commission, the […]

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