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corporate dominance | legacies

Capitalism's Crisis and our Response: Walden Bello

Walden Bello, sociologist, author and leader of the Global South, delivered this speech at the Conference on the Global Crisis in Berlin, March 20-21, 2009.
"This period of high growth came to an end in the mid-1970s, when the center economies were seized by stagflation, meaning the coexistence of low growth with high inflation, which was not supposed to happen under neoclassical economics..

Neoliberal restructuring took the form of Reaganism and Thatcherism in the North and Structural Adjustment in the South. The aim was to invigorate capital accumulation, and this was to be done by 1) removing state constraints on the growth, use, and flow of capital and wealth; and 2) redistributing income from the poor and middle classes to the rich on the theory that the rich would then be motivated to invest and reignite economic growth.
The problem with this formula was that in redistributing income to the rich, you were gutting the incomes of the poor and middle classes, thus restricting demand, while not necessarily inducing the rich to invest more in production. In fact, it could be more profitable to invest in speculation. Moreover, this strategy, in the long run, aggravated the basic problem, in that investment in production would add to already installed productive capacity.

In fact, neoliberal restructuring, which was generalized in the North and south during the eighties and nineties, had a poor record in terms of growth: Global growth averaged 1.1 percent in the 1990s and 1.4 percent in the '80s, compared with 3.5 percent in the 1960s and 2.4 percent in the '70s, when state interventionist policies were dominant. Neoliberal restructuring could not shake off stagnation.."

to read Walden Bello's "Capitalism's Crisis and our Response," click on
 http://focusweb.org/capitalism-s-crisis-and-our-response.html?Itemid=1

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