Reasons to be cheerful

Some valuable words from Brad de Long:

If all goes well in China and India in the next generation—and if nothing goes catastrophically wrong in the rich post-industrial North Atlantic core of the global economy—then the next generation will see a real milestone. For the first time ever more than half of the world will have enough food not to be hungry and worry about famine, enough shelter not to be wet and worried about trenchfoot, enough clothing not to be cold and worried about hypothermia, and enough medical care not to be worried that they and the majority of their children will die of microparisites well short of their biblical three-score-and-ten years.

Bill Easterly reminds us that:

First, financial crises are remarkably common…Second, the global capitalist system does well in the long run anyway.  Average per capita income in the world (a shaky estimate, but probably right order of magnitude) increased by a multiple of 12 over 1800-2008, despite repeated epidemics of financial crises. The US is arguably the country with democratic capitalism the longest, and it also shows a steady upward trend from 1870 to the present, despite repeated banking crises…with usually little effect of each crisis on output relative to trend (except for the Great Depression).

As Marx argued in 1859:

No social order ever perishes before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself. Therefore mankind always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve; since, looking at the matter more closely, it will always be found that the tasks itself arises only when the material conditions of its solution already exist or are at least in the process of formation.

Some how I don’t expect Australian Marxists to accept this. We have Socialist Alternative:

Every worker in the entire world is exploited because we are all making the wealth which ends up either in the pockets of the CEOs to fund their millionaire lifestyles, or reinvested into corporate empires for the next round of production and accumulation…The first feature of capitalism, in other words, is the division and the struggle between the two main classes: the capitalists and the workers. The material interests of these classes are in complete opposition to one another…The second defining feature of capitalism is the competition between the capitalists. Capitalism is not a planned or rational system

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