Reading stuff like this:

NYU Professor Nouriel Roubini has moved beyond predicting catastrophic economic downturns. Now, he's saying that capitalism itself is threatened.

He also thinks the uprisings that have roiled countries from Asia to the Middle East to Europe will soon spread.


Roubini went on to say that capitalism is undergoing a crisis that Karl Marx predicted a century ago, driven by an ongoing transfer of wealth and power from labor to capital (in other words, from poor and middle-class people to rich people.)
Incendiary stuff, indeed. Unfortunately, this turns it into rather a kettle of cold cod:

So Karl Marx, it seems, was partly right in arguing that globalization, financial intermediation run amok, and redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct (though his view that socialism would be better has proven wrong). Firms are cutting jobs because there is not enough final demand. But cutting jobs reduces labor income, increases inequality and reduces final demand.

Recent popular demonstrations, from the Middle East to Israel to the UK, and rising popular anger in China – and soon enough in other advanced economies and emerging markets – are all driven by the same issues and tensions: growing inequality, poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness. Even the world’s middle classes are feeling the squeeze of falling incomes and opportunities.

To enable market-oriented economies to operate as they should and can, we need to return to the right balance between markets and provision of public goods. That means moving away from both the Anglo-Saxon model of laissez-faire and voodoo economics and the continental European model of deficit-driven welfare states. Both are broken.

The right balance today requires creating jobs partly through additional fiscal stimulus aimed at productive infrastructure investment. It also requires more progressive taxation; more short-term fiscal stimulus with medium- and long-term fiscal discipline; lender-of-last-resort support by monetary authorities to prevent ruinous runs on banks; reduction of the debt burden for insolvent households and other distressed economic agents; and stricter supervision and regulation of a financial system run amok; breaking up too-big-to-fail banks and oligopolistic trusts.
And even after the much more reasonable analysis pushes Cassandra from the stage, I'm still left thinking I'd love to change the world, but no one seems to know what to do. After all, those are hardly new solutions "Dr. Doom" proposes. So we keep doing this:

Because really, the first account doesn't represent correctly what the second said, but the second....doesn't really say anything. As they say in the military, hope is not a plan.

"Time it was and what a time it was, it was....Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you."

I dunno. Maybe we all talk too much. Maybe this internet thing is turning into too much of a good thing.

Or just too much of a thing. Period.

No comments:

Post a Comment