Thursday, October 13, 2011

Marx to market (Bloomberg Businessweek 9/19-25)

I'm a little behind on reading, but this article in Bloomberg Businessweek caught my attention. Follow this link to read the article. While not mentioning the Occupy Wall Street movement, it certainly seems to apply (although I confess, I haven't read all of the details on OWS).

The article/editorial talks about how times have changed, yet we seem to be going back to some Marxist ideas and it says this in a not-negative tone. "You might even say the Bearded One (Karl Marx) has rarely looked better." The article notes that with "U.S. unemployment rate is still more than 9 percent" and Marx had predicted that "companies would need fewer workers as they improved productivity." Peter Coy (the author of the editorial) points out that the blue-collar workers' condition is "still a far cry from the subsistnence wage and 'accumulation of misery' that Marx conjured" but he adds that "it's not morning in America, either." The last line is a reference that few conservatives would miss.

The article also stresses Marx' point that "the proletariat isn't paid enough to buy the stuff capitalists produce (a point I disagree with - all of the unemployed have very nice cell phones, TVs, etc).

The editorial says that it's "time for another burst of enlightenment" and says we are facing a "crisis of capitalism". He thinks that "grasping the ways in which Marx was right is the first step toward making sure that... predictions of capitalism's downfall remain wrong."

Might it be that Coy is correct? Are the rumblings of the OWS group rumblings from Marx' grave? Are these people anti-capitalists? I'm certain that I don't know and am looking for answers

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