Economía marxista para el Siglo XXI

Archivo para la Categoría "Economía heterodoxa"

A Marxist in Keynes’ Court

Maurice Dobb was one of John Maynard Keynes’ favorite students. He was also a committed Marxist and a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Illustration by "Kotryna Zukauskaite

Illustration by “Kotryna Zukauskaite

No economist — maybe no human — has ever been better at scorn than John Maynard Keynes. He was a masterful debater when he wanted to be. But, like the proper scion of Britain’s elite that he was, Keynes preferred to laugh at his enemies. In 1925, sympathizers with the Soviet Union were treated to a world-class exhibition of this disdain. Keynes had just returned from his first trip to the USSR, and he was ready to wax polemical.

“How can I accept a doctrine,” he asked, “which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete economic textbook which I know to be not only scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeois and intelligentsia who, with whatever faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human advancement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the Red bookshops.” “It is hard,” he concluded, “for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values.” (más…)

Real-world economics review issue 62

formerly the post-autistic economics review               ISSN 1755-9472


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In the current issue, no. 62 –  15  December 2012



A radical reformation of economics education                                            2

Jack Reardon


To observe or not to observe:                                                                    20

Complementary pluralism in physics and economics

Edward Fullbrook


¿Poskeynesianos a medio plazo, marxistas clásicos a largo plazo?

marx-y-keynes-300x265Gérard Duménil y Dominique Lévy

Fuera de la economía dominante, la noción de falta de demanda en el sentido amplio es ampliamente aceptada. Aunque la mayoría de los economistas heterodoxos comparten este punto de vista en lo que se refiere al corto plazo, las perspectivas difieren con respecto al largo plazo. En la perspectiva marxista-clásica, el argumento es que las economías capitalistas gravitan en torno a posiciones a largo plazo (también denominadas equilibrios a largo plazo, evoluciones a largo plazo, o situaciones de estabilidad), en las que el uso de la capacidad productiva puede ser descrito como “normal”, es decir, independiente de los niveles de demanda. La noción de niveles de demanda estructuralmente deficientes es, obviamente, contraria a este análisis marxista-clásico. En la perspectiva poskeynesiana, la economía también gravita en torno a posiciones a largo plazo, pero la tasa de utilización de la capacidad productiva depende siempre de los niveles de demanda. Hay también un amplio sector de lo que podría denominarse “keynesianismo marxista” para el que la falta de demanda no siempre
esta definida con precisión, ya sea a corto o largo plazo, a menudo en referencia a un sesgo en la distribución del ingreso a favor de los beneficios.


Los viajes de ida y vuelta del pensamiento crítico económico

Miren_EtxezarretaMiren Etxezarreta

Resumen: En este artículo se revisa brevemente la evolución del pensamiento económico desde la crisis de los setenta. Se presenta, primero, la evolución que causó el fin del keynesianismo y el resurgir de la economía neoclásica y las políticas económicas neoliberales, para pasar después a revisar los cambios experimentados por el pensamiento marxista . Y se hace una rápida incursión en la alteración que el pensamiento económico ha experimentado con la crisis actual.

Abstract: In this article the evolution of economic tough since the crisis of the seventies is briefly revised. First, the reasons for the decline of Keynesianism are presented together with the ones that led to the recovery of Neoclassical principles and neoliberal policies, and then the development of changes in Marxist economic though is reviewed. A very rapid revision of the changes in the economic though motivated by the present crisis is also intended. (más…)

La crítica “light” al capitalismo en The Guardian

Protesters march for jobs in London in 2011. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Protesters march for jobs in London in 2011. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Austerity? Call it class war – and heed this 1944 warning from a Polish economist

The Guardian, Monday 14 January 2013

The single best guide to what happened in Britain last week was published in 1944. Naturally, its author was a Polish economist. Even economics students may not have heard of Michał Kalecki – but it’s the discipline that got small, rather than his legacy. In his time, Kalecki was recognised as having anticipated some of Keynes’s most important ideas, years before the Master published his General Theory, and he exerted a big influence on such legendary Cambridge thinkers as Joan Robinson and Nicky Kaldor.

His article, Political Aspects of Full Employment, explains with an almost eery prescience why the coalition is attacking our wages, our working terms and conditions and our welfare state.

Michal Kalecki Economist Michał Kalecki.

The tone is exhilaratingly brisk. “A solid majority of economists” agree on how to solve a slump, Kalecki says. The government borrows more and invests the cash either in building schools and hospitals or in providing benefits and tax cuts; this boosts demand and generates employment. Ta-da! Two pages in, and he has both fixed the problem of recessions and despatched most of the arguments against public borrowing that we have heard with such tedious frequency in the past five years.

What if savers become wary of lending to the state? Then, Kalecki says, the Treasury pays higher interest rates – and, since most of its lenders are British (just like now), the money will still flow back into the economy. But he notes that Churchill’s war coalition has run “astronomical budget deficits”, while “the rate of interest has shown no rise since the beginning of 1940”. What if it becomes too costly to keep on top of the national debt? Then ministers should raise more funds, not by taxing ordinary pay or spending, which would slow the economy, but with a levy on idle wealth.

That proposal, by the way, is tossed out in a mere footnote on the second page; and, reader, if you can’t love a man who comes up with a novel way of soaking the rich in one short italicised paragraph, then I fear we’re never going to be friends.

Having rattled through the urgent problems, Kalecki points out that a booming economy and healthy profits would be good for the “leaders of industry”, but that they will never support such government intervention. And in a sentence that sums up post-crash Britain, he identifies one of the principal sources of resistance as “so-called ‘economic experts’ closely connected with banking and finance” along with “big business”.

The opposition posed by this coalition of bosses and financiers is motivated by three factors. First, they want as little government interference in the economy as possible; second, they don’t want the state expanding into new areas and so doing them out of business. But the thing that really keeps the capitalists awake at nights is the boost to workers’ confidence that will be provided by a heathy jobs market. They will demand more pay, better working conditions, perhaps even a say in how their companies are run. Fully employed, well-paid Britons will have more cash to buy things, so a healthy economy supported by the government is better for corporate profits than a sick one. “But ‘discipline in the factories’ and ‘political stability’ are more appreciated by the business leaders than profits”. Rather an insecure and cowed workforce than a confident and boisterous one.

But it’s Kalecki’s “political business cycle” that sums up the world we’re in now. Rather than opting for public investment and a healthy recovery, Britain is stuck in a slump that austerity and a blind trust in private-sector vigour is only deepening. But the parallels don’t stop there. Last week, the day after MPs voted through a bill for real-terms cuts year upon year in benefits for the jobless and the low-paid, newspapers led on government briefings that the butchering of the welfare state would not stop there. Next, the FT reported, winter fuel allowance would be for the chop.

Meanwhile, living standards for those in work are also under attack: through wages that are falling further and further behind inflation and government schemes to sacrifice workplace rights in return for share options. For those slow on the uptake, there is always William Hague, telling Britons to “work harder“.

The rhetoric is also echoed in our media. Last Friday, the Guardian’s librarians went through all the British tabloids and broadsheets since 2007. Up to 2010, they found that Fleet Street was quite restrained in its use of the term “scrounger”: a mere 46 mentions (when discussing benefits or welfare) for all of 2007. In 2010, though, that shot up to 219 mentions, and last year 240 mentions. As for shirkers v strivers, the false opposition du jour, newspapers did not use the phrase at all until 2010. Last year, the total was 10. In the first two weeks of 2013, the press had already racked up 30 mentions.

Whether from politicians or the press, these justifications for austerity are getting more strident even while evidence of austerity’s failure is stacking up. It may be that Britain goes into a third recession this year; it is certainly not going to enjoy a recovery. And what was always evident in the coalition’s spending plans issued back in 2010 – that our welfare state and public realm were going to get shredded – is slowly but surely materialising.

This assault on an entire social contract, says Malcolm Sawyer, a leading expert on Kalecki, is what his subject warned about. “The argument for dealing with budget deficits has provided cover for attacking wages and benefits.” And austerity is just code for the transfer of wealth and power into ever fewer hands.


“Economic Theory and the Current Crisis”: Anwar Shaikh

Anwar Shaikh at the Central Bank of Argentina Conference on Money and Banking, October 1, 2012 – (3 parts)

Part 1

Leer más… 2 more words, 2 more videos

The Economic Crisis: Notes from the Underground


by Thomas I. Palley, Createspace, 2012

This book provides a collection of short essays detailing the causes of the economic crisis and the failure of the economics profession to foresee and explain it. An old adage is “The winners get to write history” and that is proving true in the current moment. Open any major newspaper and the op-ed page contains articles by the same economists and policymakers as before the financial crash of 2008. One myth the winners are looking to promulgate is the crisis was not predicted and not predictable. This claim has a purpose as it excuses the economics profession from its catastrophic intellectual failure. The book challenges this “winners’ version of history” by showing the crisis was predictable and foreseen. The articles provide easy access to both theoretical and policy controversies that continue to be important, and they also show little has been done to fix the root problems. The academy is a club and it resists change because club members benefit from their intellectual monopoly. This monopoly means politicians are all fed roughly the same policy diet. Politicians are also subject to the pull of money and money likes the existing mainstream economic paradigm. Together, this constitutes a powerful sociological system that is hard to crack. Part of cracking it is exposing the failure of economists by showing the crisis was foretold and predicted.»


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