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Tag Archives: capitalism

Guest Blog: Prof. Harry Glasbeek on Coronavirus and capitalism

The legendary Prof. Harry Glasbeek of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University has penned the following commentary on how the COVID-19 pandemic is revealing and reinforcing the deep flaws in our economic and social order. It ends on a hopeful note: the people will demand better, when the immediate health crisis has passed. Prof. Glasbeek is the author of Capitalism: A Crime Story. An edited version of this commentary was originally published by Canadian Dimension. Statements of...

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COVID-19: Winners and Losers

By James Kwak I think it’s highly likely that the dust will clear eventually and that our economy will come back to life at some point in the next two or three years. I know there are certain disaster scenarios that can’t be ruled out, but I think they are unlikely. I’m not going to guess when things will return to a semblance of normal. Really, no one knows. Photo by Free-Photos from PixabayThe question for now is: what will that economy look like? A few things, I think, are clear. The...

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COVID-19: The Butcher, the Brewer, and the Baker

By James Kwak “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” —Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations Image by Mandy Fontana from PixabayThis is the most famous line from the most famous justification of market capitalism. Smith’s point is that it is individual self-interest that drives the economy. In the next paragraph, he goes on to describe how gains from trade explain the division of labor in...

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COVID-19: Who Bears the Losses?

By James Kwak Our business and household sectors are losing lots of money every day, and will continue to lose money for the foreseeable future. People no longer spend money at restaurants. Restaurant owners can no longer pay the rent or pay back their business loans. Restaurants fire their workers, who lose their paychecks and can no longer pay their rent, or their credit card bills, or their student debt. In an economic crisis like this, the overriding question is: who ultimately bears...

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A “Wild and Dangerous” Scheme! — Sandwichman

I was hunting for the exact location of "Prince's Tavern" in Manchester in 1833 when I stumbled upon an Economist article from March 30, 1844 addressing the "practical consequences" of reducing the length of the factory working day from 12 hours to 10. I am always fascinating by the profound and enduring hostility of a faction of employers -- amplified by their mouthpieces in academia and the press -- to the reduction of working time. I'm amazed how often their bile and zeal leads them to...

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Michael Roberts — Marx’s law of profitability at SOAS

Last week I gave a lecture in the seminar series on Marxist political economy organised by the Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). The Marxist Political Economy series is a course mainly for post-graduates and has several lecturers on different aspects of Marxian economics. Course Handbook – Marxist Political Economy 2019-20 (8)Mine was on Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. Not surprisingly, the department team has...

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The new left economics: how a network of thinkers is transforming capitalism — Andy Beckett

After decades of rightwing dominance, a transatlantic movement of leftwing economists is building a practical alternative to neoliberalism.... The new leftwing economics wants to see the redistribution of economic power, so that it is held by everyone – just as political power is held by everyone in a healthy democracy… The new economists’ enormously ambitious project means transforming the relationship between capitalism and the state; between workers and employers; between the local and...

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Why There Is No “Crisis of Capitalism” — Branko Milanovic

Western dissatisfaction with globalization is wrongly diagnosed as dissatisfaction with capitalism, when in fact it is the product of the uneven distribution of the gains from globalization.... ProMarket — The blog of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Why There Is No “Crisis of Capitalism” Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic...

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Transcending capitalism: three different ways? — Branko Milanovic

After the crisis of 2007-8, capitalism has entered among some parts of the public opinion into an ideological crisis. (I have written elsewhere why I think that this is not a general crisis of capitalism but a limited response to the decline of western economic and political power.) However, the question of durability or of non-permanency of capitalism has, unlike in the years after the fall of communism, reentered the public discourse. In many ways, in the West, the situation is returning...

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