Must read: Kapitalistični valovi in valovi neenakosti

Dve novi knjigi, ki vsaka s svoje plati ilustrirata valovanje (dinamiko) kapitalističnega gospodarstva. Prva je knjiga Ernesta MandelaLong Waves of Capitalist Development: A Marxist Interpretation“, ki – če lahko za hip zanemarite dejstvo, da gre za hard core maksista – ilustrira, kako kapitalistično gospodarstvo niha v dolgih valovih, dolžine 20 do 25 let. Pri tem, v skladu z markistično tradicijo, Mandel ugotavlja, da na preobrat kapitalističnega cikla rasti v recesijo vpliva padanje profitne stopnje. Na drugi strani pa ugotavlja, da ponovni obrat k rasti ni odvisen od ekonomskih faktorjev, pač pa od političnih. Torej kapitalistično prostotržno gospodarstvo se ne samoregulira, pač pa potrebuje brco od zunaj, da začne spet migati po težki krizi.

In this revised and expanded edition of Long Waves of Capitalist Development, Ernest Mandel seeks to explain the underlying determinants of the booms and slumps of the trade cycle. Mandel first establishes that there have indeed been twenty- to twenty-five-year-long waves of capitalist expansion and contraction—and that these have persisted in the period since World War II. He then assembles evidence to show that while broad tendencies in the rate of profit have been decisive in triggering downturns, the ingredients necessary for a new upswing are, by contrast, generally political and extra-economic in character. He thereby demonstrates the falsity of neo-liberal doctrines, according to which the free market will itself generate a new formula for balanced and sustainable expansion.

Vir: Verso books

Druga pa je knjiga Branka MilanovicaGlobal Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization“, ki na osnovi Milanovicevega skoraj 30-leta dela na podatkih o globalni porazdelitvi dohodkov opisuje globalno neenakost. Pokaže, da se je globalna neenakost med državami zaradi globalizacije zmanjšala (predvsem na račun gospodarskega vzpona Kitajske in Indije), povečala pa se je neenakost znotraj držav. In prav glede slednje prinaša Milanoviceva knjiga največji prispevek. Milanovic namreč poskuša nadgraditi Kuznetsove valove neenakosti. Nobelovec Simon Kuznets je namreč evolucijo neenakosti v kapitalizmu ilustriral z narobe obrnjeno črko U – v času nizke gospodarske aktivnosti in razvitosti je neenakost nizka, z razvojem kapitalističnega gospodarstva, ko se proizvodni faktorji selijo iz nizko produktivnega v bolj produktivni sektor, se neenakost dohodkov močno poveča, nato pa se z dosegom visoke razvitosti (ko prevlada visoko produktivni sektor) neenakost med sektorji spet zmanjša. No, Milanovic te Kuznetsove valove nadgradi, kjer Kuznetsovemu narobe obrnjenemu U-ju doda nov U, kar pomeni, da se po določeni točki neenakost v razvitih državah lahko spet poveča. Milanovic to ponovno povečanje neenakosti pripiše različnim faktorjem, predvsem pa faktorjem TOP: Tehnologiji, Odprtosti (globalizaciji) in Političnim odločitvam.

Več o Milanovicevi knjigi bom pisal enkrat v prihodnje, v jeseni pa bomo Milanovica in predstavitev njegove knjige gostili tudi na Ekonomski fakulteti. Boste obveščeni.

One of the world’s leading economists of inequality, Branko Milanovic presents a bold new account of the dynamics that drive inequality on a global scale. Drawing on vast data sets and cutting-edge research, he explains the benign and malign forces that make inequality rise and fall within and among nations. He also reveals who has been helped the most by globalization, who has been held back, and what policies might tilt the balance toward economic justice.

Global Inequality takes us back hundreds of years, and as far around the world as data allow, to show that inequality moves in cycles, fueled by war and disease, technological disruption, access to education, and redistribution. The recent surge of inequality in the West has been driven by the revolution in technology, just as the Industrial Revolution drove inequality 150 years ago. But even as inequality has soared within nations, it has fallen dramatically among nations, as middle-class incomes in China and India have drawn closer to the stagnating incomes of the middle classes in the developed world. A more open migration policy would reduce global inequality even further.

Both American and Chinese inequality seems well entrenched and self-reproducing, though it is difficult to predict if current trends will be derailed by emerging plutocracy, populism, or war. For those who want to understand how we got where we are, where we may be heading, and what policies might help reverse that course, Milanovic’s compelling explanation is the ideal place to start.

Vir: Harvard University Press

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