Second is that many projects are best undertaken by government, such as infrastructure that will serve as the foundation for growth, basic research, or other projects where the time frames are too long, the payoffs too ambiguous, or the resource mobilization too great to make sense for the private sector. In keeping with the Ed Walker’s use of writings from long ago to shed light on our supposedly modern problems, Michal Kalecki explained in Political Aspects of Full Employment why businessmen prefer to have lower employment and as a result, growth:
The reasons for the opposition of the ‘industrial leaders’ to full employment achieved by government spending may be subdivided into three categories: (i) dislike of government interference in the problem of employment as such; (ii) dislike of the direction of government spending (public investment and subsidizing consumption); (iii) dislike of the social and political changes resulting from the maintenance of full employment.When you have finished Walker’s fine piece, please go immediately and read Kalecki’s short, penetrating essay.
By Ed Walker, who wrote as masaccio at Firedoglake and now writes regularly at emptywheel. You can follow him at Twitter at @MasaccioFDL, and here’s his author page at Shadowproof.
For a long time, and particularly since WWII, societies around the world have managed substantial parts of their productive activity in non-capitalist zones. In the UK, for example, health care is provided by the National Health Service. It operates in a market society, but it is not part of the process of capital accumulation. The education system is an example in the US. We can think of these non-capitalist enclaves as a social commons. We all share in them, and we all have a stake in seeing to it that they operate at a high level.
*What will happen to our digital heritage? The Network
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