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How Capitalists Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Crisis

Listed author(s):
  • Bichler, Shimshon
  • Nitzan, Jonathan

Do capitalists really want a recovery? Can they afford it? On the face of it, the question sounds silly: of course capitalists want a recovery; how else can they prosper? According to the textbooks, both mainstream and heterodox, capital accumulation and economic growth are two sides of the same process. Accumulation generates growth and growth fuels accumulation, so it seems bootless to ask whether capitalists want growth. Growth is their lifeline, and the more of it, the better it is. Or is it? In the United States, rising unemployment – which hammers the well-being of workers, unincorporated businesses and the unemployed – serves not to undermine but to boost the overall income share of capitalists. And as employment growth decelerates, the income share of the Top 1% – which includes the capitalists as well as their protective power belt – soars. Under these circumstances, what reason do capitalists have to ‘get the economy going’? Why worry about rising unemployment and zero job growth when these very processes serve to boost their income-share-read-power?

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File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/157788/1/bna-390_20140100_bn_how_capitalists_learned_to_stop_worrying_rwer.pdf
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Article provided by ZBW - German National Library of Economics in its journal EconStor Open Access Articles.

Volume (Year): (2014)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 65-73

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Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:157788
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  1. van Treeck, Till. & Sturn, Simon., 2012. "Income inequality as a cause of the Great Recession? : A survey of current debates," ILO Working Papers 994709343402676, International Labour Organization.
  2. repec:zbw:espost:157783 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Lavoie, Marc. & Stockhammer, Engelbert., 2012. "Wage-led growth : concepts, theories and policies," ILO Working Papers 994709363402676, International Labour Organization.
  4. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2013. "Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Economic Policy When Capital is Power," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2013/01, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
  5. Jon Bakija & Adam Cole & Bradley Heim, 2008. "Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-22, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jan 2012.
  6. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2010. "Systemic Fear, Modern Finance and the Future of Capitalism," EconStor Preprints 157830, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  7. Nicola GIAMMARIOLI & Julian MESSINA & Thomas STEINBERGER & Chiara STROZZI, 2002. "European Labor Share Dynamics: An Institutional Perspective," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/13, European University Institute.
  8. Dorothee Schneider, 2011. "The Labor Share: A Review of Theory and Evidence," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-069, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  9. repec:zbw:espost:157781 is not listed on IDEAS
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