The Economy

New York: A Tale of Two Cities

15Renwick“New York City is a great monument to the power of money and greed . . . a race for rent.”—Frank Lloyd Wright

In 1857, Seneca Village and several other shantytowns and villages were razed to make way for the construction of Central Park. In total, 1,600 inhabitants—mostly freed slaves and Irish immigrants—were forcibly removed from their settlements. This was no mere side effect of the park’s construction—it was one of the main motivations behind it. In the preceding thirty years, New York City had nearly quadrupled in population, and as development pushed further and further North on Manhattan island, the propertied class increasingly felt a need to “tame the wilds.”

And tame the wilds they did—again and again. Like dozens of similar cities worldwide, New York is no stranger to inequality and the displacement of populations due to increasing costs of living. But the accelerated transformation of New York City in the past fifteen years has gone far beyond what anyone would have imagined possible, leaving many to wonder where “their” New York has gone.

Capitalism in Crisis: A Sinking Ship Without Any Lifeboats

dead endAs Adam Booth explains in this article, serious bourgeois economists can see a new world economic slump coming, which they have no way of averting, having already used all the traditional measures they would have adopted in the past, lowering interest rates, credit, etc. In these conditions any important event, such as a Greek default or a dramatic turn of events in the Middle East, can trigger an unraveling of all the pent up contradictions.

Capitalist Economy: Staggering From One Impasse to the Next

dollar comicOnce more, the world economy is dangling on the edge of a precipice. The crisis in Greece has again hit the headlines and threatens to drag Europe down with it. The days when capitalism could simply sail by without a care in the world have gone forever. As in the interwar period, the crisis of capitalism remains deep-seated and protracted.

The Organic Crisis of Capitalism

latuff-DasKapital“Where were the Marxists in 2008, when the demise of Lehman Brothers almost brought about the collapse of capitalism?” asks a puzzled Ralph Atkins, the capital markets editor of the Financial Times. Well, unlike Mr. Atkins and his coterie of free-marketeers, we were not in a state of total bewilderment. We had predicted such an eventuality. As capitalism plunged into a deep slump, we were explaining to an ever-widening audience that the crisis, which bourgeois economists denied could ever happen, was a stunning confirmation of the correctness of Marx’s ideas. These ideas, which had been repeatedly declared out-of-date by capitalist apologists, were shown to be shockingly relevant, in total contrast to bourgeois economic theory and especially the discredited efficiency markets hypothesis.

The Chinese Slowdown and the World Economy

china debt crisisNo market economy can avoid the laws of capitalism. As the growth in the US remains low and Europe is heading towards a slump, Chinese industry will lack markets for its goods. Productive capacity utilization in China is down to 70 percent overall compared with the also low level of 80 percent in the US. Combined with the immense mountain of debt which has been created by the government programs, the basis is set for destabilization of the economy.