profit rate falling!

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Tue Mar 16 06:13:33 PST 1999

Apsken at wrote:

>Doug wrote,
><< Of course, this could just be a cyclical squiggle, and the profit rate (by
>these disgracefully bourgeois measures, I admit) will burst to new highs on a
>millennial upswing. >>
>Or, alternatively, the 21st century may vindicate Karl Marx's projection of
>capitalism's outer limit. Or both events may occur -- first the upswing, then
>the crash. What do you predict, Doug?

Remember, I'm still heavily influenced by that Wall Street maxim - "never predict anything, especially the future." Looking just at the U.S., my guess is that we've already been through the fattest part of the post-1982 upswing. Following the 1966 parallel - that was about 16 years into the Golden Age, and 1998 was the 16th year of this upswing. Not to get mystical about 16, sweet or sour, but the point is that the neoliberal social structure of accumulation has gotten pretty long in the tooth. Of course, Europe has yet to see much of anything out of the neoliberal SSA - except austerity and high unemployment - and Asia fell apart. (Of course, Latin America has gone in & out of crisis from almost 20 years, and Africa is in terrible shape.) Is it possible the U.S. will fade and Europe and Asia will recover? Will they take Dennis Redmond's advice and develop a new SSA and a new boom? Dunno. I do know that net foreign claims on the U.S. grew by $400 billion last year, which strikes me as unsustainable. Or would be if the U.S. were a normal country and not an imperial monster.


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