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This, to Marx, was one of the contradictions of capitalism: competition, instead of creating better products at lower prices for consumers, in the long run creates monopoly , which exploits workers and consumers alike. What happens to the former capitalists? They fall into the ranks of the proletariat, creating a greater supply of labor, a fall in wages, and what Marx called a growing reserve army of the unemployed.

Also, thought Marx, the anarchic, unplanned nature of a complex market economy is prone to economic crises as supplies and demands become mismatched, causing huge swings in business activity and, ultimately, severe economic depressions. The more advanced the capitalist economy becomes, Marx argued, the greater these contradictions and conflicts. The more capitalism creates wealth, the more it sows the seeds of its own destruction. Ultimately, the proletariat will realize that it has the collective power to overthrow the few remaining capitalists and, with them, the whole system.

The entire capitalist system—with its private property, money, market exchange, profit-and-loss accounting, labor markets, and so on—must be abolished, thought Marx, and replaced with a fully planned, self-managed economic system that brings a complete and utter end to exploitation and alienation. A socialist revolution, argued Marx, is inevitable. Marx was surely a profound thinker who won legions of supporters around the world. But his predictions have not withstood the test of time. Although capitalist markets have changed over the past years, competition has not devolved into monopoly. Real wages have risen and profit rates have not declined.


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Nor has a reserve army of the unemployed developed. We do have bouts with the business cycle, but more and more economists believe that significant recessions and depressions may be more the unintended result of state intervention through monetary policy carried out by central banks and government policies on taxation and spending than an inherent feature of markets as such. On the contrary, socialism was forced on poor, so-called Third World countries.

And those revolutions unwittingly condemned the masses to systemic poverty and political dictatorship. In practice, socialism absolutely failed to create the nonalienated, self-managed, and fully planned society. It failed to emancipate the masses and instead crushed them with statism, domination, and the terrifying abuse of state power. Free-market economies lift the masses from poverty and create the necessary institutional conditions for overall political freedom.

Nor did his followers. If the first three-quarters of the twentieth century provided a testing ground for that vision, the end of the century demonstrates its truly utopian nature and ultimate unworkability. Today there is a vibrant post-Marxism, associated with the efforts of those active in the scholarly journal Rethinking Marxism, for instance. In this new literature, friedrich hayek seems to be getting a more positive reception than Marx himself. Exactly what will come out of these developments is hard to predict, but it is unlikely to look like the Marxism of the past.


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  • Marxism By David Prychitko. About the Author David L. Prychitko is an economics professor at Northern Michigan University. Further Reading Boettke, Peter J. Boston: Kluwer, Karl Marx and the Close of His System. Federal government at the Division of War Research and as an adviser to the Treasury Department, where he recommended increasing taxes to suppress wartime inflation and devised the first system of income tax withholding.

    In , after graduating with a Ph. Friedman's first big breakthrough in the field of economics was his Theory of the Consumption Function in This theory championed the idea that a person's consumption and savings decisions are more greatly impacted by permanent changes to income rather than changes to income that are perceived as ephemeral. This theory produced the permanent income hypothesis , which explained why short-term tax increases actually decrease savings and keep consumption levels static, all else being equal. Friedman's seminal contribution to economics came through his analysis of prevailing macroeconomic theories.

    During his time as a professor, macroeconomics was dominated by Keynesian economic theory. This school of economic thought, pioneered by British economist John Maynard Keynes, emphasizes the usefulness of macroeconomic aggregate variables, holds that fiscal policy is more important than monetary policy, that government spending should be used to neutralize the volatility of the business cycle , and that prices are inherently sticky. Withing the general framework of Keynesian economics, Friedman developed his own economic theory with slightly different conclusions for economic policy.

    Through this theory, called Monetarism , Friedman expressed the importance of monetary policy and pointed out that changes in the money supply have real short-term and long-term effects. Specifically, the money supply affects price levels.

    Further, Friedman used monetarism to openly contradict the Keynesian principles of the Keynesian multiplier and the Phillips curve. Friedman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in for his research on income and consumption and for his developments in monetary theory.

    The Chicago School: A Liberal Critique of [email protected]@@Myths of the Chicago School of Sociology

    Over the course of his career, he published pioneering books on the modern economy, as well as numerous influential articles, changing the way economics is taught. John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman were two of the most influential economic and public policy thinkers of the 20th century. While Keynes is widely credited with creating the first systematic approach to macroeconomic government policy, Friedman rose to fame in part by criticizing Keynes' policy proposals and instead arguing for more emphasis on monetary policy.

    Keynes argued that an interventionist government could help smooth out recessions by using fiscal policy to prop up aggregate demand. Strategic government spending could spur consumption and investment, argued Keynes, and help alleviate unemployment. Keynes's theories gave rise to a new dominant paradigm in economic thought, which was subsequently dubbed Keynesian economics.

    While still popular, some have argued that Keynesian economics has provided a pseudo-scientific justification for short-sighted elected politicians to run fiscal deficits and accumulate massive levels of government debt. If Keynes was the most influential economic thinker of the first half of the 20th century, Friedman was the most influential economic thinker of the second half.

    As Friedman developed in his ideas about monetarism, he came to oppose many of the policy proposals espoused by the Keynesian economists in the post-War period. He argued for deregulation in most areas of the economy, calling for a return to the free market of classic economists, such as Adam Smith.


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    • He challenged contemporary notions of deficit spending and suggested that, in the long run, only disco-ordination results from expansionary fiscal policy. Friedman argued for free trade, smaller government and a slow, steady increase of the money supply in a growing economy. His emphasis on monetary policy and the quantity theory of money became known as monetarism. The popularity of Friedman attracted other free market thinkers to the University of Chicago, giving rise to a coalition referred to as the Chicago School of economics. When Friedman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in , it marked the turning of the tide in academic economic thought, away from Keynesianism and toward the burgeoning Chicago School.

      Friedman brought about a renewed emphasis on prices, inflation, and human incentives, a direct counter to Keynes' focus on employment, interest and public policy. To the extent that Keynes was seen as an enemy of laissez-faire, Friedman was the new public face of free markets. Friedman won a major intellectual victory after three decades of Keynesian policies ended in stagflation in the late s, something establishment Keynesians generally thought was impossible.

      How will this family wage system overcome the sexual division of labour of the Fordist family wage? Why not separate the question of public welfare and childcare from the workplace altogether so such services are no longer contingent on particular forms of employment? There is a marked difference between her early and latest work on this point. I am sure these arguments are strategic but surely they are way too open to recuperation by the right and far right, who have always been happy to see women in this light.

      KJ: You have a new piece out in Australian Feminist Studies that extends your work in Family Values to consider the governance of crime, punishment and debt, specifically concerning Indigenous communities in Australia. Could we think about how the union has particular impacts on Indigenous communities? When Gary Becker was writing about fines as a preferable form of sanction , he looked like a libertarian prison abolitionist.

      Australia has taken Chicago school ideas about the greater efficiency of monetary sanctions much more seriously than the US, and fines are much more frequent here as a stand-alone sanction, but the way this has played out is that Aboriginal people are both overrepresented in prisons and saddled with extraordinary levels of fine-based debt. However, they do discriminate on class grounds, so that the unwaged are punished in outrageously disproportionate ways by such a system.

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      The impact of such a system on Aboriginal people, with their high levels of unemployment or precarious employment, was entirely predictable, but presented as somehow incidental. At the same time, contra Becker, fines can obviously discriminate in the crudest of ways when they take the form of on-the-spot criminal sanctions — much more frequently issued to Aboriginal people for swearing, drinking in public, being on the street, all charges that are laden with historical racial prejudice.

      In fact, I have written a companion piece to the Australian Feminist Studies article which looks at the use of fines and user fees in cities such as Ferguson, St.

      It would depend what aspect of social policy you are looking at, whether you are looking at land title or land rights for example which are obviously particular to the experience of indigenous people, but I also see significant overlaps between the African American and Australian Aboriginal experience in terms of indentured servitude, workfare, imprisonment and debt. But see work in the Australian Indigenous Law Review However, the role played by the Cape York lawyer, Noel Pearson , in importing the new paternalist ideas of American scholar Lawrence Mead into indigenous social policy is one particularly salient example of the way in which conservative welfare models travel across borders.

      Pearson follows a very familiar neoliberal narrative when he blames unemployment, poverty and domestic violence in Aboriginal communities on a breakdown of personal and family responsibility.

      Marxism - Econlib

      I am working on two books at the moment. One looks at the neoliberal transformation of public finance, focusing on what I consider to be the two most important schools of thought in this area, Virginia school public choice theory and supply side economics. I am interested in the fact that these schools of thought had diametrically opposed views on the use of public debt and deficit spending, the one relentlessly austere, obsessed with concocting all kinds of constitutional limits to government spending, and the other exuberantly indifferent to the build-up of government debt from Reagan onwards.

      Yet they were absolutely symbiotic.