What the masses now ask for is not the mitigation of slumps but their total abolition. ....agree ?

By Owen Paine on Friday May 4, 2012 05:51 PM

"Should a progressive be satisfied with a regime of the political business cycle ...
I think she should oppose it on two grounds:

(i) that it does not assure lasting full employment;

(ii) that government intervention is tied to public investment and does not embrace subsidizing consumption."

" fuller utilization of resources should not be applied to unwanted public investment merely in order to provide work. "


' The rest of government spending necessary to maintain full employment
should be used to subsidize consumption .."

" Opponents of such government spending say that the government will then have nothing to show for their money. "

" The reply is that the counterpart of this spending will be the higher standard of living of the masses. Is not this the purpose of all economic activity?"


Comments (27)

"Is not this the purpose of all economic activity?"

Depends on who you ask. A fair number of Americans will say the purpose of economic activity is to make me rich and fuck all the rest of ya'll, get your own.

Seems to me culture defines the purpose of economic activity and we live in a pretty fucked up on.



close to your reply but how 'bout

capital accumulation and profit maximization [the contradiction is either ignored or unknown by most]

PS -I do not mean to imply monocausality [over-accumulation] in re. capitalist crisis.

"'Is not this the purpose of all economic activity?'

Depends on who you ask."

If one were to ask me (an opportunity that, of course, one may decline) I'd say that the purpose of all economic activity is to have something to do.

Here is the essential process: dig a hole, use the dirt to fill up another hole, and repeat.

Farming might be considered the exception to this general phenomenon, as farmers get to eat the stuff they pull out of the ground.


seems this site's biggest block of readers prefers cop hating and israel bashing
to discussions about
the road to full employment



my guess some pinkos of the anarcho cast
prefer a wage class on iron rations and
a middle class with poisoned dreams
to some broad popular front for perpetual
real full employment

others rather then
plentiful market generated jobs
want a super WPA
ie a humanist gulag

but who knows
the subject is too boring
and the largest share
of the readership too ...


"capital accumulation and profit maximization [the contradiction is either ignored or unknown by most] "

betrays cleverness and some investigation
of the sacred texts

but still it flies at ten thousand feet

i guess there's less turbulence up there
eh juan ?

but lets discuss this contradiction
it applies


why don't the stimulators talk about higher profits in a faster recovery
not jst higher employment ?


perfect example of a fatuous ding dong rant
and santa's list set of proposals


Full employment preserves the order you claim to detest, n'est-ce pas?


So long as we're speaking French, a fascinating little ballon d'essai sure to be appreciated by connoisseurs of conspiracy (though their paranoia is not entirely without basis in this case).



the call for a cataclysmic climax
or as of now

how romantic how byronic how shallow
more to the point how ignorant

the global system has stablized
into a two track dynamic structure

we are on the yellow flag track

this means high unemployment ( plus 7 %)
for a protracted interval

only a vigorous fiscal net injection
can end this slow misery for millions

and our boy-man here crow
would have us sit out the reform movements the progressive movements

other than the allegedly proto revoliutionary movement

and of course wait for the cataclysmic climax

Clio forbid
instead we suffer a pre emptive reform ...eh?

apparently 25% UE isn't enough by itself
so what greater misery and horror must emerge ?

what possible sequence of events
is sooty jack envisioning ?

for here in norte amigo

yes here where we all are

are there historical pre figurations ?
applicable to here and now ?

catalonia 1936 ?

paris 1871 ?

shanghai 1966 ?

seem decidely impossible to replicate even in essence
inside the planets hegemon

the british general strike of 26 ?

show me the valid applicable pre figurations
and the reason we might simply wait on the return of those conditions

give or take a few bold acts of
masked breaking and entering

you are surely a clever sort

but what a blow fish

of course please keep it up

i need your ever more predictable dark mush
to recharge me

yes i wish you had a more tasking line

but to simply damn all hierarchy
because hierarchy "fails" we weebles
and flails the goodness in us ....


strikes me as worthy of one trick pony act

a midget mind
that would be a titan

it reveals little more then a need to display
"you got the picture
and you ain't buying it "



conspiracy is something more specific
then just an undisclosed game strategy ..no ?

my topic where this thought knot
repeats itself like a bad taco

oligopoly pricing

spec levitated or gravitated asset markets

neither necessarily requires a conspiracy

not even undisclosed co ordinated activity

after enough reptitions the set of moves of the other players become clear to everyone

hence the emergence of a price leader system
without collaboration let alone covert enforcement

how this relates to the linked to art5icle
is way to clever for me to relish


on this finite Earth hurtling through the vacuum of space, and in light of the fundamental law of physical reality -- matter cannot be created or destroyed (see: the law of conservation of mass) -- there are no such things (by definition) as "growth" and "progress".

there is only the imperial delusion of both ("growth" and "progress") by the few who (by definition) take from the many who pay the price.

Vandana Shiva speaks to this blatantly obvious truth when she shrewdly observes:

"The poor are not those who have been 'left behind'; they are the ones who have been robbed."
- http://odewire.com/60038/two-myths-that-keep-the-world-poor.html

in the shadow of this inconvenient truth lies the fact that "full employment" -- in capitalist, imperial, amerikan terms -- is counterproductive and unrealistic.

all attempts to sustain the unsustainable, all attempts to realize the fake amerikan dream, will only hasten and always deepen the real nightmare.

the human primate
is the only life form on Earth
that has created a culture
which forces life
to "need" money to live

i'm with Morris Berman:

"The crux of the problem remains the American Dream: even 'progressives' see it as the solution -- including, I have the impression, the Wall Street protesters -- when it’s actually the problem."

personally, i'm hoping for an early, self-delivered exit from the amerikan "lucky to have a crappy, soul-crushing job" living-death gulag.

the masses, even if they rise up (and i'm quite sure they never will), will only sleep walk toward the nightmare instead of waking up from the dream.



kalecki here is assuming the surrounding culture that the present set of institutional arrangements given time and opportunity
will habituate into the decider units

rational independent re evaluation and innovation obviously changes the game

securitization of debt was such a game changing innovation of hi fi
in our time

now its understood completely by key players

we can look forward
to a period of comparative hi fi tranquility

the big squeeze in the euro zone
is well understood even if it is not without
major uncertainties
there is a low probability
the club med masses somewhere might revolt
break out ..over throw
not just
desperately burn their beds
and rattle their cages

i suspet the ECB will blink long b4 that happens

and disappoint our dear virtual molotov hurling jack crow-cow-sky


the orwell man
winnie smith
arrives to second the darkling denizen
brillo pad jack

to suggest his sequence has holes in it
is to comment on the all too obvious

but it certainly becomes a convenient alibi
for passivity

the ox that sez he'd be a bull
and a real bad ass bull
if the stakes were high enough

u are a self administered political eunich

but god's speed

i love you just as you are

the great drama requires many parts

there is a part for all of us

Brer Fox invited you into the tar pit, and you just couldn't avoid the leap, couldja, Owen?

At no point did I make a moral prescription, a declaration of future intent or a value judgment about what the best course forward ought to be...

..and yet, you couldn't wouldn't didn't resist the M-L urge to read "anarchist" and assume "bomb-thrower."

Fucking predictable.

Anyway - back to my question, which was only question, and came loaded with no, none, zero, zip, zilch intimations of the future: wouldn't full employment actually preserve the capitalist order?

I mean- we've been damn close to it once already, with the boomer years that produced the likes of you. And what happened, exactly? How did your failed goddess Clio manifest, again?

With reaction. The de-fanging of unions. The greatest orgy of self-congratulatory accumulation in the entire capitalist period. And the strengthening, preservation and extension of the capitalist order.



ther5e is a lovely if frigid metaphor
inside the greenwald stiglitz theorem

levelarchy leaves opportunity for what's called pareto improvement

that is a kind of improvement
by re arrangement thru force
that leaves the losers no worse off then b4 the rearangement
and yet a net gain possibly captured by the hierarchs for themselves

contrary to win win's
"there is only the imperial delusion of both ("growth" and "progress") by the few who (by definition) take from the many who pay the price."

this is the non zero sum game
Clio always poses tougher conditions
for progress then that

capitalism and its advocates contend
non zero sum
lies at the vital center
of their chosen system of exploitation
of one class by another

is a system of production based on wage labor that can reward labor with a higher standard of living then labor could have without capitalism

finite resource greenism with their
pagan praying for a peak or two
miss this essential fact

capitalism has and still can
increase the productivity of a finite or non renewable resource
it can substitute to a vanishing resource
it can survive atmospheric horrors
it can utilize the human animals marvelous powers of adaptation
even as the earth browns itself into aq new aweful earth

there used to be a "deviation" called economism
this is the deviation we migt call

one think is crtain unchallenged and unchecked
capitalisam will drive this planet to the end of our world
and well into a far worse world
step by step
with wagelings learning to adapt at each stages ..okay after a bit of fuss and futile fury

nope the system has to be actively over trown

place by place time after time
till it can't devour our future anymore



you recite trite facts
with a coloration that suggests Clio gives a shit what we think
she does as she does
reference the hebrew understanding of their national god

this Goddess of class struggle
plays no favorites
what must be will be
the last century gave our class a few shots at sublation
we were not able to pull it off
this is Clio's fault ?

our failure inded led to a corporate counter offensive
surprising ?

read the kalecki argument
and tell me what he sez
maybe you didn't get it quite as well as you might

the capitalists can't sustain full employment
they must recreate the excess surplus job force
the reserve army of the unemployed

or impose forceful wage class repressions
ie a "labor front "

full employment may save corporate capitalism
but it also prepares the ground for another crisis
unless the kalecki partial
sublation of a peoples government
produces a new battle ground for the on going class struggle

that new battle ground is possible
even if the culture of exploitation uber alles
wants to sing "impossible "
in your ear


and stop flattering yourself jack
its not what you take away fom this debate that matters its what others take away
and i'm not refering to your dwindling cheering section here


try to address these issues without
using your nuclear option this time


'higher profits [rate?? mass?? both?] in a faster econ......./

just rickrollin along, those 'higher profits' might require higher productivity which might interfere w greater employment - that 'reserve army' becomes too big, rolls into the cities

fire and stakes take down mounted police in the fullness of barrells glow

yes the hoofs strike yes the leather slashes through street vendors clothes and flesh

but this is all they have they fight like furies who have no option but to save their self-exploitation

u want faster econ but u don't want to recognize transcyclic over-investment and real valorization problems? how can the greater mass of capital of higher composition remain as capital without the labor power it both demands and denies.

thunderstorms exceed 10,000 ft, an altitude at which u can usually fly around them but infrequently not, then the fun begins...


"u don't want to recognize transcyclic over-investment and real valorization problems?"

read the link
it covers this nicely

here's old vick on the same

"There is, indeed, a tendency to overstate the long-run effect of interest rate changes on rates of investment as a result of observing the short-to-medium-run responses of investment flows to changes in interest rates."

clear enough ? here comes the return of the crisis of realization
and with it valuation of existing real capital

" Once installed stocks of capital have reached a level corresponding to the lower interest rate, further investment will fall to near its former rate "


by a quacker socialist
jargon free

"how can the greater mass of capital of higher composition remain as capital without the labor power it both demands and denies"

you are repeating in ever more jargonated form
the same point
only florishing more feathers

often a fatal arrogance of raw marxoids
you strike me as well past that point


the iconic early kalecki model ...model

suggests higher profits follow from higher spending

this is a paradox no ?

if corporations driven to seek higher profits
refuse to assimilate the keynes kalecki
"discoveries" of the 30's

the linked to
article by kalecki above
attempts to explain this
on general exploiter class intuitional lines

if full employment all the time
is good for the wage class
then surely it must be bad for our class

at an rate
why don't fiscal injection advocates
from the "class neutral" academy
claim higher profits
for their interventionist policy

why at the decision fork
at the end of a crisis contraction
are corporates usually arrayed against a big fiscal injection

why would deaf ears on wall street
be so deaf
if higher profits are dangled
b4 their eyes ?

are wall street purblind
greed heads
in hightened moments
suddenly class statesmen
able to recognize
the long run consequences to their class
of a fast expansion followe by perpetual full employment there on in ?

the interesting point to me

i doubt the keynesians even think about corporate profits

for white hat keynesians
like krugman and company
because of their neo-hicksian
liquidity trap paradigm
its all about keynes's "y "
to them y is not
either wages or profits
but simply y ...net national income

to be spent by households and firms

they'll either spend enough or not

so this possible higher profits ignored
is a paradox to marxians
but not obviously
to them

as kalecki writes somewhere

capitalists can't control their profits
they can only control their spending

and if as a class as oppose to as individual capitalists
spending more out of profits
increases system wide profits

hence the paradox:

if so
why not use the state to induce
this greater spending ?

Al Schumann:

Make up your goddamn mind, Owen. You can be a porpoise-fucking Stalinist lackey or you can be shambling creature from the progressive accommodationist lagoon, but you can't be both! Or was it a progressive-fucking porpoise from the Stalinist lagoon... Shit. I can't remember. But that hardly matters. What does matter is the gross hypocrisy. Your contradictions, sir, have done you in!


why not use the state to induce this greater spending?

The whole point of the capitalist state is the prevention of just that eventuality, no?


that friendly octopussy
has it right
my casuistry has tied my ideological torso in knots

but not satisfied with that observation
he adds as taunt
this terrible truth :

the bourgeois state may seem to contain
" the makings " of a peoples government
but its fooling such a government will be rejected
like an enemy heart
even though on occasion
like 1942 the people's policy seems to emerge in outline
then many progressives may find themselves
fooling themselves

comrade browder's tehran line
comes to mind as a stinging

the corporate kongs won't allow it
here at hegemony street

that at least is my stalinist manatee take

kalecki was perhaps cleverly posing the impossible possible
as a ...sly irony eh ?

Al Schumann:

I've read the section on confidence many times. It has the pure bell tone of quintessence. Once all the models are parsed and all the systemically possible remedies are exhausted, confidence is still staring at reformers. It's literally unthinkable for the mandarins and their puppeteers to go against it. They'll put troops in the streets if it comes down to that.


that is indeed the core insight

the capitalist still control the game
if their voluntary co operation is required

add the only recently Clio bushwacked
consensus macronautic Rx
the cyclopian notion
an indy fed
asll by itself
can give us
all the price and employment stability
we need

the fed indeed does require not only the voluntary co operation of the great banks
but of the corporate "community" in general

this little piece by special K
is a true lode stone


"People in my camp have repeated until we’re blue in the face that the case for fiscal expansion is very specific to circumstance — it’s desirable when you’re in a liquidity trap, and only when you’re in a liquidity trap"
that's pk
falling into the confidence fairy trap

how ?

by advocation the FED as macronaut unless
the fed is rendered impotent by the zero rate bound
where holding cash
or very short "policy" T-notes
about the same thing

yes we're there now
but the last time as ....1938

all the rest of the cycles get
only fed policy green lights

of course there's forex policy
but pk isn't thinking wide screen enough here to mention that huge caveat

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