Keynesian program ?

Jurriaan Bendien J.Bendien at wolmail.nl
Sat Dec 28 06:49:40 MST 2002


Gary asked:

"Why won't the world's ruling elites adapt a Keynesian program?"

Good question. I don't really know the answer though. Very generally,
because of the extent of international economic integration, the sheer
mobility of international capital and money markets, the level of public and
private debt, and the lack of any social force that can exert significant
political pressure in that direction (a question of the balance of class
forces). Keynesianism assumes economically that the state has a real grip on
the national economy, and politically that there is a social force exerting
political pressure for income redistribution; if those conditions do not
exist, Keynesian projects are unlikely to be adopted and to succeed.
American-style "Keynesianism" consists mainly of pumping a lot of state
funds into military industries and subsidising the corporations. Classic
Keynesianism is unlikely to make a major comeback, that is my hunch, except
possibly (1) if sharply intensified international competition led to a big
resurgence of protectionism and increased economic regulation, i.e. if the
failure of the neo-liberal project creates a totally unworkable economic
situation, requiring drastic state intervention, and/or (2) if there was a
strong labour movement demanding it.

J.


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