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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 1-2018, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

In the market economy, growth is an officially and quite generally recognized necessity. It is taken for granted that the growth of the economy is the precondition for prosperity; when growth slows down or actually stops altogether, there is a risk of want and need. Those who warn that continuous economic growth is an absurdity go more or less unheard in the culture section. Critics who maintain that a growth geared solely to immediate economic performance is too narrow a focus for society’s well-being and who call for broader criteria and values to be included are suspected of being anti-consumerist or anti-progress, or accused of ultimately having no idea of human nature and inherent human needs. Even the most sober reference to “natural limits of growth” will face the accusation of being divorced from reality. And indeed it is — reality being that those in charge of business definitely do not know or recognize any ‘natural limit’ that could thwart the economic purpose that is in effect and being practiced: a market economy needs growth. The only question is why? Where does this absolute necessity come from?

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 3-2017, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

Those who run businesses are said to have certain tasks, expected to achieve this and that, and sometimes accused of neglecting their duties. However, the members of this profession don’t perform any of the positive or negative functions attributed to them unless they do their job. And that is to increase the wealth at their disposal — regardless of whether a nation’s public credits them with creating jobs or blames them for destroying jobs, whether public opinion says they are protecting the environment or damaging it, contributing to growth or jeopardizing it…

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 2-2018, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

President Trump's “America first!” targets the whole world. But the degree to which the US is affected by the politics in other states comes down to more than the differences in numbers that the President loves to read from the figures of America’s negative bilateral trade balance. There is one rival above all others — actually just about the only one — that is ultimately incompatible with “America first!”: the People's Republic of China.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 2-2011, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

A. Conflicting ways out of the recession

I. Culture War in America

II. Obama’s economic and financial therapy for the nation’s ailing economic base

III. The Republicans’ counterplans

IV. Worries and warnings about the catastrophic consequences of the political dispute help to intensify it

B. The U.S. has to be concerned about its money

I. The U.S. economy is the major exception in global capitalism

II. The identity between America’s national credit and the world’s capitalistic wealth has a price that has fallen due in the wake of the recent financial crisis

III. And the competitors are no longer the same either

Conclusion: New steps in implementing the crisis through the states’ crisis policies

 

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 3-2010, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

In the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig explodes. For months, huge amounts of oil flow out of the borehole into the sea, reaching the American coast and in effect ruining the environment in several states, together with the livelihoods of large parts of the population. According to experts, this is the biggest environmental catastrophe in American history — and in view of this occasion, the country’s president, in his speech to the nation, draws attention to the importance of what is happening on the Gulf coast.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 3-2009, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

The crisis of worldwide, capitalist business is entering its third year. It began in the summer of 2007 as a disruption of a specialized segment of the U.S. financial sector, when the devaluation of securities in which home mortgage and other debt had been used as speculative business items led to the insolvency of the special-purpose vehicles constructed for the purpose of creating and marketing these items. The crisis consequently spread further and further.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 2-2009, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

I.

One thing is clear to states as a result of the destruction of all sorts of capital, on whose success they and “we all” live: the services of financial institutions terminated through mismanagement are one, if not the, pillar of the common good. The economic capacity of the financial sector is to be maintained or, as the case may be, restored; the banks are to be enabled to use their financial power once gain. Their rescue is being carried out by the authorities providing the funds that the banks are authorized, and usually also able, to generate.

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Now that the world’s biggest banks are collapsing and assets valued at many billions are vanishing into thin air, politicians, economic experts, and journalists worry about the effects of these collapses on such a thing as the “real economy.” This is noteworthy, for until just recently a difference between stock market prices and bank yields on the one hand, and the wealth that comes out of production and sale of useful things on the other hand, was entirely unknown.

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Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 2-2009, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

One is supposed to imagine it roughly the following way: the crisis drags on because business simply hasn’t got going again. That’s because the banks, “lifeline of our economy,” aren’t supplying business people with the loans they need. They don’t do this because they are sitting on “lots of toxic assets,” which is why there is simply ”no more trust” between them nor in their dealings with the rest of the business world. So it’s clear that the state absolutely has to help them trust again, thereby helping all of us out of the crisis.

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In the last week of September, the U.S. government announces its intention not to let another big bank fail following the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Instead, the treasury secretary intends to buy the banks’ worthless securities for 700 billion dollars, and so supply them with fresh funds. The rescue package triggers off fierce controversies in the U.S.