IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How Capitalists Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Crisis


  • 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?

Suggested Citation

  • Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2013. "How Capitalists Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Crisis," EconStor Preprints 157855, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:157855

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    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
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2017. "Growing through Sabotage: Energizing Hierarchical Power," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2017/02, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
    2. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2014. "The Enlightened Capitalist," EconStor Preprints 157839, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    3. repec:zbw:espost:157790 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:157855. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.