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Extra info for Capitalism in Crisis: Inflation and the State

Sample text

The New Deal did not prevent a new recession starting in 1938, and the only way out for Germany was the attempt to enlarge its markets and investments by force of the arms it had been producing singlemindedly since 1933. Since 1945 a very different picture appears; steady, sometimes bounding, growth for all the major capitalist states; general amazement at the productive forces locked away in a mode of production widely believed to have reached its limit. Monetarists argue that the state does encroach upon private capitalism, but they forget that it stabilises it as well.

Dominant liberal opinion preferred a theory that could justify the existing economic order rather than criticise it. The labour theory of value in the hands of Ricardian and other socialists was used to call both rent and the profits of capital, exploitation, and to support the claims of the working class for a more just distribution of wealth. A special talent of the professional academic mind has always been to suppress dangerous thoughts. So a great volume of academic criticism began to rain upon the labour theory of value.

If, to avoid depressions and inflation, the government has merely to balance money supply and output and balance its own expenditure against revenue, why does public expenditure ris~ so much in the first place? No equilibrium balance between money supply and output that eliminates the causes of inflation is in fact possible through the market but this is not to deny that there is a relationship between the size of the state sector and inflation. Since 1945 the nature of government expenditure and private credit has helped to create continual inflationary pressure.

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