The Economic Crisis & Crisis Theory II

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This panel explored causes of the Great Recession and the continuing economic sluggishness since the recession’s ended, as well as how the left can respond to this situation. In keeping with the conference theme, panelists addressed what different analyses and theories imply about the kind of socioeconomic change that is called for. Alan Freeman spoke on “Consumption, Profit and Finance: why can’t the left get it right?” He will explore why so many academic left thinkers persistently avoid normal methods of enquiry after truth. Focusing on Marx’s theory of crisis, the share of wages in US income, and the relation between finance and profitability as examples, he will discuss how prejudice and the desire to find “evidence” to support a political line take first place over the use of logic and ...

Left Forum: Austerity Isnt Working

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I am speaking in two panels at the Left Forum - I hope you can join us. Austerity isn't Working, Can Keynesian Reforms Save the System?
 Saturday, 8th of June 10:00am-11:50am Pace University, New York City
 Room: W613 Abstract: Three contributions on the question, Is a Reformist Solution Possible? Hillel Ticktin looks at the conflict between the Keynesians and those who favor a return to 19th Century capitalism; Michael Hudson asks whether Austerity is simply a European mis-step or is the Class War Back in Business, and Robert Brenner analyzes the roots of the crisis looking at Finance and the Real Economy. Suzi Weissman chairs/moderates. Chair, Speakers: Suzi Weissman -- Saint Mary's College of CA and KPFK Los Angeles, Hillel Ticktin -- Editor, Critique Journal, Michael Hudson -- University of Missouri, Kansas City, Robert Brenner ...

Government Debt and Deficits Are Not the Problem. Private Debt Is.

There are two quite different perspectives in the set of speeches at this conference. Many on our morning panels – Steve Keen, William Greider, and earlier Yves Smith and Robert Kuttner – have warned about the economy being strapped by debt. The debt we are talking about is private-sector debt. But most officials this afternoon focus on government debt and budget deficits as the problem – especially social spending such as Social Security, not bailouts to the banks and Federal Reserve credit to re-inflate prices for real estate, stocks and bonds. To us this morning, government deficit spending into the economy is the solution. The problem is private debt. And in contrast to Federal Reserve and Treasury bailout policy, we view the problem not as real estate prices too low to ...