Tuesday, January 23, 2018

COTW: Boom & Bust

Recently US Person posted about the contradictions inherent in finance capitalism. {15.01.18} One profound effect of capitalism's late development is the decline of manufacturing. Look at this chart:

What has replaced what used to be the bedrock of the nation's economy?  A boom or bust cycle featuring bubbles in stock markets, speculation in commodities (including real estate), and ineffective attempts to control the increasing large swings in economic activity by the central bank:

When "stagflation" occurred in the 70's, ordinary Keynesian economic stimulation did not effect a cure.  Carter's federal reserve chairman and Wall Street banker, Paul Volker hiked interests rates into the stratosphere, approaching 20%.  The policy, a form of austerity, eliminated inflation, but it also crushed the buying power of the middle class.  The economic miracle credited to Reagan is largely explained by the easing of interest rates that choked economic expansion.