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December 17, 2017



Ironically, it was Keynesian that saved 1930s' capitalism from itself.

Simon Arthur

My fundamental issue with the Labour Party is that while they want a fairer distribution of income, they still want in within the capitalist system. This is fine, but they are still dependent on capitalism to provide those funds and ignore all the socio-economic and especially ecological debates that come with it. Can you be both ecologically friendly and keep the mines open? Can you support jobs and vote to shut trident down? It seems to demand too many contradictory views to hold (which Corbyn seems to being forced to realise now) which Labour just aren't examining. They may jump start capitalism but i, personally, cant see it being in anything other than terminal decline. But im a pessismist....


I agree with your analysis of the problem with democracy. We are so close to the Times when the world’s problem have to be solved that it is unrealistic to think that our current form of democracy will give us the answer.
It is essential that we find a way to put the world on a war footing to resolve the multiple,icity of issues facing us. I recognise that this will take time but 5 years is about as much as we have got left to persuade by example and by argument the key nations in the world to join a New United Nations to implement a sustainable economy. There are adequate resources for the planet to provide a good life if we manage its resources sustainably.
Such a policy can only succeed if it is introduced slowly and extended as fast as its acceptance permits,but it is the direction that Labour is uniqu;year placed to embrace.


"weakening workers’ bargaining power."

Bargaining power can raise nominal wages but it can not raise real wages because when nominal wages rise, businesses pass along the costs as price increases, which leaves real wages unaffected.

Similarly, if nominal wages fall due to a lack of bargaining power, competition sees to it the excess profits of businesses are competed away. Prices fall with nominal wages. Real wages, in this case also, are unaffected.

No, the only way to get real wage increases is by increasing productivity.

Incidentally, during the Great Depression, while nominal wages fell, prices fell faster than wages, which meant that real wages were actually rising.

So much for businesses taking advantage of unemployed workers. (I think I just killed Marxism).

Luis Enrique

you sometimes ask what centrism is for, I think reading "saving capitalism from the capitalists" (pretty much the first economics book I ever read, on your recommendation, back in what 2003 or something) and building a policy platform partially based on that wouldn't be a bad answer.

Ralph Musgrave

"High rents and mortgages force people to work long hours...". The decline in interest over the last 30 years or so has mean that mortgage payments as a percent of income has remained unchanged, far as I can see.


«reading "saving capitalism from the capitalists" [ ... ] and building a policy platform partially based on that wouldn't be a bad answer.»

As usual our blogger and this comment, and they author of that book, confuse very, very different things by handwaving terminology: what socialdemocrats want to save is not "capitalism from capitalists" but "the industrial mode of production while avoiding being wiped out by capitalists".
The valuable bit is the industrial mode of production; what socialdemocrats think is that political dominance by late-capitalism can be moderated but not avoided, so what matters is minimizing the tendency of the capitalist political system to asset strip or over-exploit the industrial mode of production.


@TickyW there is zero irony in Keynes saving capitalism from
Itself in the 1930s - that was exactly Keynes’ intention.

Arthur Murray

The Tories have a problem. Up to the 12017 general electionLabour borrowing could always be criticised as being a Bad Thing because "there is no magic money tree".
And yet when the Tories needed £1 billion to give to the DUP to get their support for a minority government the magic money tree coughed up. Even the British public understood what was going on. So that approach to Labour borrowing is no longer possible; a new one is needed, something that economically-naive people can understand.
So the Tories settle on: "what about the interest that Labor would have to pay on their borrowing?" Although it's a rather more complicated concept than a "magic money tree" a lot of people understand that you have to pay interest on a loan. The good news for the Tories is that those same people do not understand Zero Lower Bound.

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