ECONOMIC NOTES

The Logic of Neo-Liberal Capitalism

CAPITALISM is a “spontaneous” system in the sense that its dynamic is characterised by the unfolding of certain immanent tendencies, such as the commoditisation of every object, the destruction of pre-capitalist production, and the process of centralisation of capital. The question arises: what is the role of the State in this spontaneous dynamic of capitalism? In general the State in a capitalist society aids this dynamic, removing hurdles to, and accelerating the operation of, its immanent tendencies.

Brexit: A Revolt against the Hegemony of Globalised Finance

ALMOST all commentators on the British electorate’s vote to leave the European Union, whether from the Right or the Left, have missed the main point of it, namely that it is a massive revolt against the hegemony of globalised finance. Indeed, the fact that they have missed this point is itself indicative of the ubiquity of this hegemony among the literati, from which the British electorate, interestingly, appears substantially to have freed itself.

Rajan’s Exit

AN absurd debate has been going on for some time in India. On the one side are those who blame Raghuram Rajan, the governor of the Reserve Bank who has just decided not to seek an extension of his term, for keeping interest rates high and thereby pushing the economy into stagnation (and they embellish their argument by invoking images of the sufferings of the unemployed); on the other side are those who applaud his courage for keeping interest rates high and thereby keeping at bay the scourge of inflation in the country.

 

ABSURD

The Goods and Services Tax

FOR pushing through the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the NDA government is resorting to an enormous amount of untruth. The most blatant of these is the utterly bogus claim that the GST would increase India’s GDP growth rate by 2 percent per year. If the GST had such a miraculous effect, then the world capitalist crisis would have vanished long ago, since the US, which does not have a GST, would simply have moved to a GST regime, adding to its GDP growth rate and that of the world economy as a whole.

Modi’s Two Years

NEO-LIBERALISM is usually portrayed in terms of a “State versus Market” dichotomy, as entailing greater recourse to the market in lieu of State regulation, and hence constituting a “retreat of the State”.

A Right-Wing Coup in Brazil

NOAM Chomsky has called it a “soft coup”, presumably because no guns or tanks have been involved as yet; but the forced resignation of Dilma Rousseff, the democratically elected  president of Brazil belonging to the Left-wing Workers’ Party, and her replacement by a Right-wing politician Michel Temer, who has lost no time in constituting an all white and all male conservative cabinet, is nothing short of a coup.

World Poverty

THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) brings out every year a publication called World Employment and Social Outlook. The current year’s report, released on May 18, is sub-titled “Transforming Jobs to End Poverty”. It provides estimates of the level of world poverty and of the amount of income transfers to the poor required for ending world poverty.

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