Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism

By James A. Yunker | Go to book overview

It goes without saying that the three variants of this model are all extremely crude approximations of their respective real-world analogues. As one example out of many, the "pre-Keynesian capitalist" version of the model does not display a realistic amount of variability in the national income growth line. Also, the numerical parameter values used in the simulations are purposely adjusted to keep the solution results for the three variants within a narrow range of variation. This is done to avoid overstating the argument. What the model results do clearly demonstrate, however, is the conceptual distinction between the stabilization objective of Keynesian anticyclical policy and the issue of economic growth. They demonstrate that Keynesian anticyclical policy does not necessarily completely absolve capitalism from the traditional socialist accusation of inadequate dynamic performance. The same factors which lead to business depressions in the pre-Keynesian world are capable of retarding economic growth in the post-Keynesian world. Thus the complete elimination of business recessions does not necessarily mean that the capitalist economy is growing at the socially optimal rate.

Over the last two decades, numerous neoconservative economists have lobbied vociferously, both in the professional journals and in the popular media, for lower taxes on capital property income in the interest of increasing the rate of saving and investment. They have been largely successful, and wealthy capitalists owe these economists a large debt of gratitude. Through their efforts, these wealthy capitalists now enjoy significantly higher disposable incomes. Sales of fur coats, diamond necklaces, yachts, private airplanes, and large estates are thriving. But just how much of this added disposable income of the very wealthy is finding its way into increased saving and capital investment is a very problematic question.

One might well agree with neoconservative economists that a higher rate of saving and investment would be very desirable for purposes of raising productivity, enhancing innovation, improving economic performance and growth, and so on. Under pragmatic market socialism this desirable objective could be achieved by the simple and direct means of an increase in the national government appropriation to business physical capital investment. There would be no risk that the major impact of the policy would simply be to enhance the already extravagant living standards of the small minority of plutocratic capitalists.


NOTES
1.
W. Duncan Reekie's survey of Austrian economics ( 1984), intended for the student and nonspecialist, is a concise and balanced effort to sort out the major

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Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Title Page ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - A New Perspective on Socialism 1
  • 2 - The Pragmatic Market Socialist Proposal 29
  • Notes 58
  • 3 - Pragmatic Market Socialism: Pro and Con 67
  • Notes 92
  • 4 97
  • Notes 140
  • 6 - Investment, Growth, and Entrepreneurship 175
  • Notes 199
  • 7 - People's Capitalism 205
  • Notes 234
  • 8 - Capitalism and Democracy 241
  • Notes 257
  • 9 - Capitalism and History 259
  • Notes 273
  • 10 - Prospects for Change? 277
  • ANALYTICAL APPENDIX 291
  • References 307
  • SUBJECT INDEX 325
  • NAME INDEX 333
  • About the Author 338
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