Catching up and falling behind
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
6d ago
Brazilian Marxist economists Adalmir Antonio Marquetti, Alessandro Miebach and Henrique Morrone have produced an important and insightful book on global capitalist development, with an innovative new way of measuring the progress for the majority of humanity in the so-called Global South in ‘catching up’ on living standards with the ‘Global North’. In this book Marquetti et al argue that unequal development has been a defining characteristic of capitalism. “Throughout history, countries and regions have exhibited differences in labor productivity growth – a key determinant in poverty reductio ..read more
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AHE 2024: value, profit and output
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
1w ago
The 2024 conference of the Association of Heterodox Economists (AHE) took place this week in Bristol, England.  As its name implies, the AHE brings together economists who consider themselves ‘heterodox’ i.e’ in opposition to the main concepts of mainstream neoclassical economics.  Heterodox encompasses Marxian, Post-Keynesian and even Austrian school economics.  And this 2024 conference heard keynote speeches and had panel session with speakers from all these sections. I heard just one of the several keynote sessions, but I’ll come to that later.  First, let me cover my ow ..read more
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Britain’s Securonomics
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
2w ago
There’s been Abenomics in Japan; Modinomics in India and Bidenomics in the US.  Now we have Securonomics in Britain.  This is slick terminology for the basics of the UK’s new Labour government’s economic policy – as expounded by its new finance minister (quaintly called the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Britain), Rachel Reeves a former Bank of England economist. When Reeves was in Washington before the recent UK election, she told her audience that “Globalisation, as we once knew it, is dead”.  And she was right.  The great boom in world trade since the 1990s came screechi ..read more
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Broken Britain
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
3w ago
UK citizens vote in a general election on 4 July.  The opinion polls currently forecast that the incumbent Conservative party will be heavily defeated after 14 years in government.  The opposition Labour party is expected to gain a majority of over 250 seats, a record landslide, with the Conservatives getting less than 100 seats. But ahead of the election, 75% of Britons have a negative view of politics in Britain.  And Labour and the Conservatives are set to record their lowest combined share of the vote in a century.  Instead, smaller parties such as Reform, th ..read more
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France: Macron’s gamble
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
3w ago
France votes over two rounds on June 30 and July 7 in a snap parliamentary election called by President Macron after his party suffered a heavy defeat in the June EU Assembly elections. France has two rounds of voting: if a candidate gets 50% of more in the first round, he or she is elected.  If not, then in the second round, the top two candidates fight it out. A survey released by pollster IFOP found the National Rally (NR) leading all other parties with the support of 35% of voters. The New Popular Front (NFP), a leftist alliance of socialists, communists and greens, came in second wit ..read more
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Fixing the climate – it just ain’t profitable
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
1M ago
In 2023, it was the first time in recorded history that the global surface temperature of the planet breached 2.0°C above the 1850-1900 IPCC baseline.  Also more than 90% of the world’s oceans suffered heatwave conditions, glaciers lost the most ice on record and the extent of Antarctic sea ice fell to by far the lowest levels ever measured. And last month marked a full year of record-high global temperatures, with May 2024 ranking as the warmest May on record.  Earth’s ocean temperatures also set a record high for the 14th month in a row, according to data and scientists from NOAA ..read more
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A soft landing or curate’s egg?
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
1M ago
Last week the World Bank issued its latest Global Economic Prospects.  The WB economists reckon that the world economy “is stabilising” in 2024, the first time in three years.  The world economy avoided an outright recession in 2023 that many predicted (including me – to some degree) and is now making a ‘soft landing’.  Global real GDP growth will be 2.6% in 2024, the same as 2023 and will rise slightly to 2.7% next year. The term ‘soft landing’ is somewhat odd.  I suppose it means that the world economy has not crashed into the runway, but instead lightly settled down.&nbs ..read more
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EU elections: last chance saloon for unity?
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
1M ago
Elections for the European Assembly or European Union (EU) parliament finish today.  Citizens in 27 member states of the EU are voting for 720 members of the Assembly.  Current opinion polls suggest that the two main ‘centrist’ groups of members (the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and the centre-right European People’s Party) will lose more ground to those on the left or right of the centre; but particularly the so-called ‘hard right’ parties in the EU.  These right parties generally oppose immigration, further EU integration economically and politi ..read more
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AI again
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
1M ago
About this time last year, I tackled the subject of artificial intelligence (AI) and the impact of the new generalised intelligence language learning models (LLMs) like ChatGPT etc. In that post I mainly dealt with the impact on jobs for workers being replaced by AI LLMs and the corresponding effect on boosting the productivity of labour.  The standard forecast on AI came from the economists at Goldman Sachs, the major investment bank.  They reckoned if the technology lived up to its promise, it would bring “significant disruption” to the labour market, exposing the equivalent of 300 ..read more
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Mexico: from AMLO to Sheinbaum
Michael Roberts Blog
by michael roberts
1M ago
Mexico has its general election this Sunday.  With a population of over 130 million, Mexico is among the 15 largest economies in the world and the second-largest economy in Latin America. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, has been president since 2018 and so cannot stand again.  His party, Moreno, that he formed in 2012, is putting up the former mayor of the capital city, Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum.  Sheinbaum is facing opposition from Xochitl Galvez, representing a coalition of ‘business-friendly’ parties.  The campaigning has now ended and Sheinbaum holds a ..read more
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