GDP statistics

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Wed Nov 12 17:29:16 MST 2003


David wrote:

Fixed capital formation rates were significantly higher in 1992-2000 period
than in the period between 1980-1991.

Yes, this is true, but we need to know two extra things: what is the
proportion of total investment which is represented by GFCF in the period
1980-2000, and exactly what asset types specifically are being invested in
in which sectors. And this was partly what Robert Brenner was talking about
in the 1990s in relation to the USA, he said, they're building more and more
office buildings, especially in the FIRE and trade sectors, which are being
used less and less.

Marx distinguishes in Das Kapital between money capital, commodity capital
and production capital. This is basic to understanding the origins of
industrial capitalism.  If you forget about Brenner's turbulence, and
concentrate on Marx's concepts I mentioned, you can see that the form of
accumulation might change from the accumulation of production capital, to
the accumulation of commodity capital or money capital or vice versa (this
is also described in an abstract way by Robert Went's book The enigma of
globalisation).

Increasingly, higher-paid Americans do not want to produce more stuff, they
just want to consume stuff and manage, be the boss, they want to be the
bourgeoisie of the world or a Trotskyist, who manages the world's assets, on
the basis of a powerful military capability, that is the ruling ideology
anyway which the American middle classes generally accept. This idea seems
to be supported by (1) having lots of money, assets and guns, (2) lots of
unused productive capacity, plus lots of sucking and fucking, (3) a religion
which provides superior humanity. But the Americans who are intelligent
realise, you need more than that, for example, you might have this really
good plan for turning Iraq into New Mexico, but it might stuff up, because
there were things you did not consider in the plan, for example, Iraqis
might not actually love America if you invade them.

You wrote: in 1973-1980 period fixed asset growth in steel, primary metals,
manufacturing  in the US essentially doubled.  This rate of growth exceeds
that of  the 1992-2000 period.  By 1980 steel capacity was measured at 155
million tons (by the AISI - Iron and Steel institute).

Yes, but world steel output stagnated and overcapacity developed. In the
1990s, with the stockmarket bubbles, you had increased sucking, jerking and
fucking again, more fictitious capital, and you could sell more cars, the
cars used more steel, so then you get an increase in steel sales.
Nevertheless, you still have a problem with excess capacity in the steel
industry, and in this sense American bourgeois are of course just as
imperialist as European bourgeois; they grab what they can, and hope the
working class will not notice and will keep sucking their arse, by paying
wages back to the corporations via the tax system, so that the state
subsidises industries like the steel industry. It's a kind of mafia deal
except it is legal.

In this sense, lots of American and European workers love to suck arse, in
other words, they give their wages away to the government, so that the
government can give the money back to the corporations, to do what they like
with it (it's a bit like going to a stockbroker and buying shares, and the
stock broker then says "listen up, I am a really nice guy you know, I like
you, I am just telling you I am keeping your money, and you will not get
anything back, try to see me less often, just keep loving Dick Cheney and
everything will be fine"). To make this convincing, they reduce taxes for
the labour aristocracy and shift the emphasis to private social insurance,
utilities and social services, for which the labour aristocracy can pay.

Jurriaan





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