The Decline of Capitalism: Can the Self-Regulated Profits System Survive?

Overview

Harry Shutt's The Trouble with Capitalism was one of the first books to challenge the prevailing economic euphoria of the 1990s and foreshadowed many of the subsequent financial upheavals. In this timely sequel he explains the ongoing disaster as the inevitable consequence of trying to sustain an outmoded and dysfunctional system. He also outlines an agenda for radical reform based on the premise that the primacy of private profit is no longer compatible with the priorities of ...
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Overview

Harry Shutt's The Trouble with Capitalism was one of the first books to challenge the prevailing economic euphoria of the 1990s and foreshadowed many of the subsequent financial upheavals. In this timely sequel he explains the ongoing disaster as the inevitable consequence of trying to sustain an outmoded and dysfunctional system. He also outlines an agenda for radical reform based on the premise that the primacy of private profit is no longer compatible with the priorities of modern democracies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842774007
  • Publisher: Zed Books
  • Publication date: 7/22/2005
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry Shutt was educated at Oxford and Warwick Universities and is the author of A New Democracy: Alternatives to a Bankrupt World Order (Zed Books, 2001).

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Table of Contents

Introduction : millennium meltdown 1
1 The long road to disaster 9
2 The deluge postponed 28
3 The surfeit of capital and its consequences 45
4 The dishonesty of desperation 63
5 A system past reforming 83
6 No end to denial 100
7 Beyond the cataclysm 121
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine attack on capitalism's failure

    American economist Harry Shutt has written a fine study of capitalism's absolute decline.

    Governments have licensed finance companies to create credit while pledging to underwrite their losses. Unsurprisingly then, a 'spirit of grasping criminality' pervades the ruling class.

    The state has increasingly subsidised private enterprise, through funding the military industries, privatisations, and bail-outs of banks and other finance companies. Governments encouraged companies to cut back the safer pay-as-you-go state pension schemes in favour of funded schemes (invested, or rather gambled away, in the stock market), which we subsidise through tax breaks (£14 billion a year) and bail-outs of failed schemes.

    The wave of mergers, worth $3 trillion in 2000, added little or no value to the real economy. It stripped assets and destroyed jobs, to the benefit of corporate executives (often primed by bribes, bonuses and share options) and those who plundered fees and commissions from all these dodgy deals. As management guru Peter Drucker commented mordantly, "Dealmaking beats working."

    Under capitalism, even rising productivity does not increase demand, because a smaller number of workers means a lower total income. Governments practise 'supply side economics' - all you have to do is remove controls on capital, money and credit, and cut taxes on business - and the economy will flourish. Worked well, hasn't it?

    Shutt points out that policies are "creating the condition for an unavoidable financial crisis - which is thus bound to be on a scale far greater than any previous one."

    What kind of economy do we want? All too often, people say there's no alternative. But there is and it's blindingly obvious - an economy not dependent on credit bubbles, an economy based on producing the goods we want, an economy with jobs for all who can work, an economy with decent, well-funded services, an economy where resources are invested not wasted, an economy where labour controls capital and industry controls finance, not vice versa, and an economy based on equity and cooperation not inequality and competition.

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