The world economy is changing—the people know, but their leaders don’t
The year 2020 marked parity between the total GDP of the G7 and the total GDP of the BRICS group. Since then, the BRICS economies grew faster than the G7 economies. Now a third of total world output comes from the BRICS countries while the G7 accounts for below 30 percent. The American people clearly sense what their leaders desperately deny. That difference haunts US politics.
Market fundamentalism is an obstacle to social progress
Markets do not reward what is most valuable and essential. They never did. They reward what is scarce relative to people’s ability to buy, no matter the social importance we give to the actual work and roles people play. Markets pander to where the money is. No wonder the rich subsidize market fundamentalism. The wonder is why the rest of society believes or tolerates it.
The economic realities we face at the end of 2022
Economies around the world were shocked and damaged over the course of 2022. Global capitalism had been brewing conflicts among the major powers for some time as their relative strengths and vulnerabilities shifted. US capitalism and its empire are widely perceived as waning. Europe’s role as a US ally and indeed its economic future became correspondingly riskier as a result.
BRICS: the powerful global alliance
Professor Richard Wolff discusses the powerful economic partnership of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). “They are the engine of the world economy in a way that was once said of Western Europe, North America and Japan. The engine, the powerhouse, the growth mobile, all of that. That’s moved, friends. And it’s moved in large part to the BRICS.”
A critique of obscene wealth
Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and other billionaires decide alone and unaccountably how to spend hundreds of billions. The decisions of a few hundred bring economic development to some regions, industries, and enterprises and lead to the economic decline of other regions. The many millions of people affected by those spending decisions are excluded from participating in making them.
Why the neoliberal agenda is a failure at fighting coronavirus
Why do governments compensate for private capitalism’s failures in the military but compensate so much less in the medical industries? And when governments do compensate in the latter, why so differently, varying from much in some countries to little to almost nothing in others? Neoliberalism’s ideological power, varying from country to country, provides an answer.
COVID-19 and the failures of capitalism
In short, capitalism had built up vulnerabilities to another crash that any number of possible triggers could unleash. The trigger this time was not the dot-com meltdown of 2000 or the sub-prime meltdown of 2008-9; it was a virus. And of course, mainstream ideology requires focusing on the trigger, not the vulnerability.