After Capitalism (New Critical Theory)
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Since first published in 2002, After Capitalism has offered students and political activists alike a coherent vision of a viable and desirable alternative to capitalism. David Schweickart calls this system Economic Democracy, a successor-system to capitalism which preserves the efficiency strengths of a market economy while extending democracy to the workplace and to the structures of investment finance. In the second edition, Schweickart recognizes that increased globalization of companies has created greater than ever interdependent economies and the debate about the desirability of entrepreneurship is escalating. The new edition includes a new preface, completely updated data, reorganized chapters, and new sections on the economic instability of capitalism, the current economic crisis, and China. Drawing on both theoretical and empirical research, Schweickart shows how and why this model is efficient, dynamic, and applicable in the world today.
ones. This is a joke, right? A sick joke. In fairness to Krugman—whose excellent work will be cited often in this book—it must be noted that he follows his “sick joke” remark with this: Capitalism is secure, not only because of its successes—which have been very real—but because no one has a plausible alternative. This situation will not last forever. Surely there will be other ideologies, other dreams, and they will emerge sooner rather than later if the current economic crisis persists and
more heavily endnoted than the first. Unlike the first version, the endnotes sometimes take up issues relevant, although not central, to the main text. They are not, as they are in the original, merely documentations of facts or quotes, or suggestions for further reading. Still, you can read through without looking at the endnotes, and you won’t miss much. Why a new edition? Above all, because debate about the desirability of capitalism is more widespread now than it has been in decades, and I
and are positioned along the parade route. What will you see? As you would expect, the parade begins with a lot of very small people, many just inches off the ground. Indeed, nearly five minutes pass before the participants reach the one-foot level—representing an annual income of Inequality, Unemployment, Overwork, Poverty 91 $11,300. There are some 10 million households in the United States that make no more than that. After thirteen minutes, the marchers have grown to two feet,
investors—becoming “toxic,” that is, unsellable, thus causing the credit markets to freeze up. Without access to credit, businesses had to cut back, lay off work- Economic Instability, Environmental Degradation, Democracy 135 ers, which decreased consumer demand, which caused more layoffs, which decreased demand further, and so on. Well and good, but this story doesn’t address the more basic question: Why did we get a housing bubble in the first place? Why did we have a concurrent stock
these jobs are going, boys, and they ain’t coming back.” Well, they haven’t come back, nor have they been replaced by other, better jobs.) What is to be done? It is sobering to realize that Keynesian stimulations of the standard sort, the kinds undertaken by the Roosevelt administration, did not bring an end to the Great Depression. Although the recovery officially began in March of 1933 as the economy began to expand again, the unemployment rate, which had dropped from 25 percent in 1933 to 14