Writing on the Economics of Imperialism blog, Tony Norfield praises Andrew Kliman’s The Failure of Capitalist Production as “probably the most detailed, and effective, assessment of the economic statistics behind what happened [during the economic crisis] that is available”. Norfield writes:
The Failure of Capitalist Production has two main theses. Firstly, it argues that the major post-war crisis of the 1970s did not result in enough destruction of capital values to provide the basis for sustained accumulation thereafter. This meant that profitability showed little, if any, sign of recovery and economic growth remained weak. This, in turn, set the stage for credit-driven, speculative bubbles, not least the biggest and most recent one that has burst with such intractable consequences. Secondly, and following from this analysis, it argues that the common radical arguments about the nature of the crisis are myths. ‘Neoliberal’ economic policies did not cut real wages and did not divert resources into finance and away from production. A close look at the data for the US finds no evidence for these assertions. Instead, the slow growth of incomes and investment is shown to be a consequence of problems with capital accumulation, problems that resulted from inadequate profitability…
His case is well made, and is convincing. These are critical points for an attack on the notion that mistaken government policies – or a ‘neoliberal coup’, as some writers suggest – are the root cause of the crisis. Kliman shows that the deterioration in profitability, investment, growth, etc, began in the late 1960s or in the 1970s, prior to the beginnings of the ‘neoliberal’ era that is usually dated from 1979-81 with the Reagan (US) and Thatcher (UK) political regimes.
Visit Economics of Imperialism to read the blog post in full.
Underlying Causes of the Great Recession
Distinctive and detailed account of the current economic crisis, identifying it as a crisis of capitalism caused by long-term falling profit rates
“One of the very best of the rapidly growing series of works seeking to explain our economic crisis. … The scholarship is exemplary and the writing is crystal clear. Highly recommended! “ – Professor Bertell Ollman, New York University, author of Dance of the Dialectic
“Clear, rigorous and combative. Kliman demonstrates that the current economic crisis is a consequence of the fundamental dynamic of capitalism, unlike the vast bulk of superficial contemporary commentary that passes for economic analysis.” – Rick Kuhn, Deutscher Prize winner, Reader in Politics at the Australian National University