Capitalist Growth and Inequality

From "brian turner" <bkt90@hotmail.com>
Date Mon, 11 Oct 2004 01:34:14 +0000


[side note to Dr. Blecher:  sorry for sending the last message to both 
personal and list emails.  I forgot the reply goes to personal only]

Jonathan -- thanks for the articles on inequality

>Whether this profit, or China's growth in general, is 'sustainable'  or not 
>(capitalist growth can be sustainable? news to me) is another argument.

Not environmentally sustainable (unless highly regulated), but meaning 'can 
keep going', sure.   A book that's not very well written but has an 
interesting collection of facts and analysis is Ha Joon-Chang's _Kicking 
Away the Ladder_.  There, one can see that US growth, historically, would be 
considered mediocre.  About 4% or 1.5% per capita.  The reason the US is 
rich is this kept going and going and going for 200 years.

Likewise Japan has kept it going since the Meiji era, and some say before 
(even including the 1990s and 2000s at a US pace, contrary to overly 
pessemistic views).

Taiwan for nearly 60 years.

One caveat, my reading of history (like HJC's) is that long term growth 
requires a fairly competent dirigisme form of capitalism (easier said that 
done).  Marx was not necessarily wrong about crises, they might be 
inevitable in laissez-faire.  It's hard to say, so few people are foolish 
enough to try that that the sample is too small.  Marx just -- in what he 
got around to publishing -- ignored the role of the state in both economies 
of his time and failed to predict even more extensive roles in the future.  
I guess this is kinda what Baran/Sweezy said years ago but it is not a 
conclusion only Marxist economists like them could come to.

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