Topic
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?

Topic
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

 

Topic
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.

Topic

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.

Topic
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.

Topic
Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 3-2003, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

At least as far as the domestic agenda is concerned, the program for good governance has been settled all over Europe. All the nations that have become rich and important through their market economy, and want to remain so, need reforms. The necessity of these reforms is beyond doubt. The respective government leaders, otherwise committed to conserving their community in the face of disturbing changes, have themselves let it be known that there can be “no alternative” to the “trenchant,” “fundamental,” “extensive,” “permanent,” et cetera, reforms that they are planning. A state of emergency has come to the fore: the state’s budget is ailing, “the economy” is stagnating, and Europe’s important sites for capital investment aren’t what they used to be. All this demands state decrees that do away with disastrous hindrances to the nation’s business life. The damage done to the public good, which — as national budget, economic growth, and success in global competition — is supposed to be guaranteed by proper governmental action, has been found to be the undoubted result of expenses ponied up for the livelihood of people who either work, or else do not carry out this service due to their established uselessness.

Topic
Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 3-1998, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

The Japanese national economy is sliding into recession. It is shrinking instead of growing.

The facts of the case are rather banal, since recession is a periodically recurring "phenomenon" of a capitalistic economy. Capitalistic entrepreneurs, with their investment strategies, extend social production beyond the extent to which their commodity can be profitably sold, attempting to win the competition for revenue and profits. Investment is financed by credit in expectation of future returns. At some point, sales slump and traders and producers run out of cash. Capital advanced no longer yields a profit, credit granted and taken is no longer converted into capital, and debtors go bust, hurting creditors as well. By and large, financial difficulties increasingly occur among firms as well as between firms and banks, raising demand for credit, which is decreasingly met for exactly the same reason, so that difficulties to make payments become general. Production plants, which have been flourishing and expanding up to now, are closed down and the employees depending on them are laid off, because profit can no longer be realized.

Topic
Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 4-2012, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

Five years after the crash of the housing market in the United States, the crisis has become somewhat permanent. Experts see in the conditions of this sector of the national economy either the worst crisis since the Great Depression or, when prices and sales figures temporarily rise again a bit, the famous light at the end of the tunnel. All the same, Fed chairman Bernanke’s summary of the devastation that the mortgage crisis has caused homeowners, the financial world, and the U.S. economy in general is sustained by his concern for how long the downturn will continue or whether land is at last again in sight. He is also quite clear about the social and human costs of the crisis, namely, the growing number of those who are homeless or about to join them.

Topic
Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 1-2005, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

With their common market, the European states have removed tariffs and trade barriers to set down the same conditions for competition for capital based in Europe. But they didn’t come to an agreement concerning the working class. For the treatment of labour, the member states have reserved special rights for themselves so that they can use all elements of the proletarian standard of living as instruments in their competition against each other. Great Britain has even refused to sign the European Social Charter, however limited it is, and is adamant that no regulations imposed by the European Union should come in the way of national self-assertion. Today, “pro-European” Blair is just as determined to defend the British right to “opt out” against Brussels as “Euro-sceptic” Thatcher was in her time. He, too, insists that only reckless treatment of the working population ensures the nation’s competitive edge, his prime objective. And he sees himself corroborated by the course of events.

Topic
Translated from Gegenstandpunkt: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift 4-2005, Gegenstandpunkt Verlag, Munich

Every American President still declares it to be a decisive component of his program to want to take care of the living conditions of that section of its citizenry that never manages to take care of its own maintenance. However, the continual repetition of this message is never meant as an admission of some sort of failure on this front, as a national self-criticism perhaps. Poverty after all is the indestructible downside of American wealth: if, in defiance of all government efforts, growing wealth is accompanied by a tendency for the poor to become ever poorer in increasing numbers, then that’s just the situation that state power sees itself confronted by; a “challenge” it faces and for which it always seeks, and must seek, suitable “answers” anew.