.Wolfgang Streeck: the German economist calling time on capitalism - The Gardian
The political economist on Trump’s election, why we should be happy about Brexit and the crises facing western democracy.
“Before capitalism will go to hell, it will for the foreseeable future hang in limbo, dead or about to die from an overdose of itself but still very much around, as nobody will have the power to move its decaying body out of the way.” (...)
Why should the new oligarchs be interested in their countries’ future productive capacities and present democratic stability if, apparently, they can be rich without it, processing back and forth the synthetic money produced for them at no cost by a central bank for which the sky is the limit, at each stage diverting from it hefty fees and unprecedented salaries, bonuses, and profits as long as it is forthcoming – and then leave their country to its remaining devices and withdraw to some privately owned island? (...)
Eight years after Lehman Brothers keeled over and nearly took the entire banking system down with it, capitalism remains broken. British workers are suffering their most severe pay squeeze in at least seven decades. And even though politicians and the policymakers have pulled on every lever – cuts, investment, housing boom, hundreds of billions pumped into the markets – still the engine refuses to purr. The failure is international: the Bank of International Settlements, the central banks’ central bank, warned a few months ago that “the global economy seems unable to return to sustainable and balanced growth”. (...)
He sees the support for Brexit and Trump as stemming from the same source. “You have a growing group of all people, who, under the impact of neoliberal internationalisation, have become increasingly excluded from the mainstream of their society. (...)
But doesn’t he want something better than a new dark ages for his grandchildren? “If I am honest, now I am thankful for every passing year that is good and peaceful. And I hope for another one. Very short-term, I know, but those are my horizons.”
Before capitalism will go to hell, it will hang in limbo from an overdose of itself’ … Wolfgang Streeck.
Tags: #neoliberalism #capitalism #1% #inequality #unemplyment #jobless #brexit #greece #trump #democracy #eu #european union #the left #social democracy