Subjects Archives: Global Economic Crisis

  • A New Type of Political Organization? The Greater Toronto Workers Assembly

    At the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Left around the world is undergoing reformation.  As the Great Recession has vividly demonstrated, more than three decades of neoliberal capitalism have eroded many of the significant gains won in the immediate decades following WWII.  From wage and benefit concessions to reductions in […]

  • The Structural Crisis of Capitalism

    There is a very pervasive view that the current capitalist crisis consists exclusively of the financial crisis and, in so far as the financial crisis is now over, the crisis as a whole is over.  This, I believe, is erroneous, and this is because, like Bob Brenner, I also believe that the current financial crisis […]

  • Capitalism as a Cultural System?

    Joyce Appleby.  The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism.  New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.  $29.95.  Pp. xii, 494. Joyce Appleby, who taught U.S. history for many years at UCLA, presided over both the Organization of American Historians and American Historical Association, and served her term as professor-in-exile among the Brits at Oxford, comes to the […]

  • Monopoly Capital Blocks Rational Policy of Wage-led Growth

      Paul Jay: So we’ve been talking about macroeconomic policy, the G-20, austerity.  And there was one little line in the G-20 document I thought was interesting, and it’s sort of buried in amongst everything.  It said countries could facilitate wages going up proportional to productivity, which is rather interesting, ’cause it’s the only time […]

  • Umberto Digital Haiku No. 2

      An interactive cinematic experiment that reinterprets a shot from the film Umberto D by Vittorio de Sica, manipulating it in response to the attention that the viewer devotes to it.  Umberto D depicts Italy in 1952 in the middle of a deep recession, a mirror of the current economic crisis. Fernando Nabais, Project Manager, […]

  • The Politics of the Gold Standard in France, 1914-1939

      Kenneth Mouré, The Gold Standard Illusion.  France, the Bank of France and the International Gold Standard, 1914-1939.  Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.  x + 297 pp.  Figures, tables, notes, bibliography, and index.  $72.00 (cl.) ISBN 019-924904-0. Kenneth Mouré’s new book extends and develops the analysis of his previous study of Bank […]

  • Socialism or Reformism?

    I We live at a time when resistance to the inequities that exist in this world and the struggle for a better world are almost totally detached from any striving for socialism.  Climate change, imperialist aggression, forcible dispossession of peasants in the name of “development”, oppression of the tribal population, gender discrimination, and ecological degradation […]

  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: A Review of Michael Lebowitz’s Socialist Alternative

      Michael Lebowitz.  The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010.  Pp 192; $15.95 Only about ten or fifteen years ago, leftist theory was in a sorry state.  It seemed as if socialism had ceased to be a viable project with the fall of the Soviet Union.  Instead of an alternative […]

  • The Publicist: Henry Luce, Time Inc., and “The American Century”

    A starlet in a strapless dress smiles on the cover of the February 17, 1941, issue of Life.  Then, there are ten pages of ads: Oldsmobile, Knox Gelatine, Bendix automatic home laundry, Birds Eye Frosted Foods.  Further in, between one photo essay on iceboating and another on a woman racecar driver, there is an editorial, […]

  • A Debtors Union: Main Street’s Solution to the Financial Crisis

      The economic crisis is in essence a debt crisis.  For all the economic complexity involved in the details it is basically easy to understand.  There are way too many pieces of paper that supposedly entitle their holders to social wealth and there is not enough of that wealth to meet all those claims.  Debt […]

  • The Dollar Question: Where Are We?

      The global crisis has led some to question the dollar’s place as the dominant currency.  This column discusses three camps in the literature: those advocating a new synthetic global currency, those arguing that a new reserve currency will emerge, and those suggesting a return to sharing the role.  It concludes that talk of the […]

  • G20: Where No Side Wins

    There is only one message that comes out of Toronto, where the G20 summit has come to an end.  The formation, ostensibly created to reflect changing power equations in the world economy, serves no purpose.  It has turned out to be one more talking shop in which agreement to disagree is presented as a consensus. […]

  • Capitalism’s Self-Destructive Spontaneity

    Under the Gold Standard the values of different currencies were fixed in terms of gold, which meant that the exchange rates between those currencies were fixed.  Exchange rate movements therefore could not be used to enlarge net exports and hence domestic employment.  At the same time governments were committed to the principle of “sound finance”, […]

  • You Can’t Care for Patients with Bayonets: Lessons from History

    As the contract impasse between the Twin Cities Hospitals (TCH) and the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) has heated up, journalists, commentators, and interested bystanders have looked increasingly to history for insights and lessons.  The participation of more than 12,000 nurses in the one-day strike of June 10 was widely described as the “largest” nurses’ strike […]

  • Unions Representing Workers in Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Explore Merger

    The merger would create an international union of one million metal workers and miners. The United Steelworkers (USW), which represents 850,000 workers in Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States, and the National Union of Miners and Metal Workers (SNTMMSRM), known as the Mineros, which represents 180,000 workers in Mexico, have announced plans to explore […]

  • The Federal Deficit: The Real Issues

    . . . But are the high interest rates that impose such a heavy burden on the budget inevitable?  What happened during the Second World War proves beyond a shadow of doubt that they are not.  In the war years from 1942 to 1945, the average annual deficit was 23 percent of Gross National Product, […]

  • Don’t Let Deficit Demagogues Scare You into Accepting Austerity

    The U.S. and European Union together make up about half of the global economy, and recovery is quite uncertain in both of these big economies.  Contrary to a lot of folk wisdom and political posturing, the problem is not irresponsible government spending in either case, but a lack of commitment by the authorities in both […]

  • Listen, Keynesians!

    There is a remarkable consensus among economists of all ideological and political persuasions — conservative, liberal, and radical — that capitalist economies must grow to be healthy, and that the key to growth lies in the capital accumulation or savings-and-investment process. Accepting this view, we have long been arguing in effect that capitalism, like living […]

  • About Keynes and Keynesians

      Did you ever accept Keynesian economics, or did you go beyond Keynesian economics and feel his approach had lost the essence of what the problem was? One thing you should understand is that Keynesian theory permits an enormous variation in political and ideological positions.  Later on what Joan Robinson came to call Bastard Keynesianism […]

  • Clearing Up Some Facts about the Depression of 1946

    The Cato Institute wishes to erase away an entire recession: “You never heard of it because it never happened.  However, the ‘Depression of 1946’ may be one of the most widely predicted events that never happened in American history.”  But the facts are simply not on their side. If true, this would have been a […]