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TOPIC: Was 2017 a bad year for capitalism?

Was 2017 a bad year for capitalism? 28 Dec 2017 09:28 #5457

  • Paul-UB40
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Simon Jack
Business editor
@BBCSimonJack on Twitter


It was the year the UK stock market broke through a price barrier it set back in 1999. The unemployment rate reached lows not seen for 42 years as record numbers of people found themselves in work.

Silenced during the financial crisis, the full-throated roar of capitalism should have been deafening.
And yet on many measures, 2017 was a bad year for capitalism, the system of free-market economics.
For starters it was the year it faced serious opposition.

In his conference speech, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that capitalism faced a "crisis of legitimacy" after the 2008 financial crash and the time had now come for a new economic model, with a bigger role for the public sector, renationalised utilities and more investment in infrastructure and skills.

Labour Party membership doubled under Mr Corbyn, and having been written off by most pundits when the election was called, Labour ended up gaining 30 seats.

Jeremy Corbyn has spoken of capitalism facing a "crisis of legitimacy" since the 2008 financial crisis
As with all political punditry, hindsight proved helpful. Experts who wrote off his chances soon claimed it was no surprise how well Mr Corbyn's criticisms of capitalism went down given the economic reality of most people's lives.

Capitalism's central promise is that through hard work you - and your family - will have a better life. Of course, there are recessions from time to time but, generally speaking, the tide of economic growth will eventually lift all ships.

Well, that hasn't been true for millions of people since the economic crisis of 2008 but in 2017 a new grievance was added to the decade-long austerity fatigue. After a two-year period in which pay rises narrowly exceeded negligible inflation, prices started rising faster than pay - meaning on average people were getting a little poorer every day.

CBI ex-boss says capitalism not working
Is the productivity puzzle the chancellor's biggest problem?
Social mobility: 'Britain remains deeply divided'
The main reason behind stagnant pay was, as every economist in the land told us throughout 2017, poor productivity. That is measured as the value of stuff made or services provided per worker, per hour. When it goes up, you can afford to pay workers more, their living standards improve and they pay a bit more tax for public services - everyone is happy. When productivity doesn't go up, none of those good things happens.

None of those good things happened this year. In fact, 2017 was the year the budget watchdog in the UK finally gave up waiting for the usual historical rise in productivity to return - with painful consequences for the public finances and the chancellor.

When you give up on improving productivity, some would argue that you are pretty much giving up on capitalism.

Read Full Report here;
www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42399309

Interesting article, Personnaly Socialism works best IMHO,
I guess as a group we have just seen our living standards go down and down, This has got to hit a flashpoint soon, Just hope 2018 is it.
YNWA: You'll Never Walk Alone
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