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Comment count is 14
Shanghai Tippytap - 2010-08-31

are marxist frameworks the only real critiques of capitalism?

positively - 2010-08-31

I'd like to see a feudalist alternative to the current system.

Goofy Gorilla - 2010-08-31

All contemporary economic ideas are essentially critiques of capitalism, as capitalism is the dominant extant economic system throughout the world. It's easy to imagine a system where one cannot own or extract rents though capital, but very difficult to find large civilizations where this is not the case.

TheQuakeSoldier - 2010-08-31

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tendency_of_the_rate_of_profit_to_fal l

So if we didn't have to deal with pesky competition, and no reinvestment was necessary, 'c' wouldn't be part of the equation and society could enjoy the excess 's' and a good rate of profit unhindered ?

In other words, most "growth" done in the name of competition is a waste of profit because multiple companies are duplicating efforts and overreaching the needs of the populace? Economic crisis then removes all this excess and sets us back closer to producing for our needs, and profits return?

Hey that sounds great, but without the spirit of competition, why should anyone put out any effort? Because it's the right thing to do and we all love our neighbors?

Don't think that works either.

cognitivedissonance - 2010-09-01

One assumes that, given enough time and general willingness of the population for this plan to succeed (unlikely here in the First World, at least), the Communist civilization reaches a point of technological stasis where necessity outweighs ornament.

Let's face it, 99% of technological development is ornament.

kingarthur - 2010-09-01

Except air conditioning. And a good number of medical treatments. And food and water sanitation.

Old_Zircon - 2010-09-01

Air conditioning is ornament, you sissy.

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2010-09-01

Why is Glenn Beck talking with an English accent?

kingarthur - 2010-09-01

It's the anti-Glenn Beck! Freak out!

Old_Zircon - 2010-09-01

Wouldn't that be a FRENCH accent?

pentheus - 2010-09-01

his model falls apart when he tries to link it to the current crisis.

the decline rate of profit would in no way be masked by increasing leverage or extending credit, as no rational financial institution would extend credit to a company based off of a declining rate of profit. The problem in the crisis being, of course, that financial institutions became a bit irrational and made bad loans, not that credit expansion masked profit contractions.

Of course, the biggest, simplest flaw is assuming that C remains fixed. GAAP allows PP&E to be depreciated during the useful life of the asset (moreover, this just makes sense). So, improvements to C does absolutely change over time, and the S required by the providers of capital already always entails the repayment and reasonable return on of the initial capital.

kingarthur - 2010-09-01

Except that that surplus value is properly a universal phenomenon in mixed economies as it happens for both the worker and the owner of capital. You can only decrease the surplus value power of the worker for so long without it cascading through the economy.

godot - 2010-09-01

Yep, I didn't see much relevance.

This wasn't a crisis of collapsing industrial profits, which were pretty high thanks to the global unskilled labor surplus, but of malinvestment.

The Austrians have a more pertinent critique what actually transpired focusing on central banks/governments lowering the cost of capital to below market rates, making malinvestment more likely. Greenspan created the 98-2000 tech bubble, then fulminated another in mortgage debt with below market rates.

Even this doesn't fully address what was happening in this case, which was credit securitization gone haywire: loan originators had no stake in debtor quality, creditors had no idea what underlying collateral was like, and rating agencies facilitated the obfuscation by slapping a coat of paint on untested academic valuation metrics. Addressing that sort of problem with be a topic for behavioral economists studying how much we like to lie to ourselves.

We'd have been much better off in the aggregate had we borrowed from the Chinese to make capital investments rather than paving over fertile farmland to build shoddy residences for speculators. And even now, the recession stimulus plan of (mostly) extended unemployment benefits is showing its faults compared to a the Chinese Keynesian stimulus of building 1000s of miles of efficient high speed rail.

Potrod - 2010-09-01

Surely simplifying things and ignoring a million other factors will result in a clear demonstration of his theory.

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