domingo, 5 de julio de 2009


There is, in the left academy, a rather broad agreement concerning the nature of the new phase of capitalism asserted since the early 1980s, commonly referred to as neoliberalism. Central to this contemporary economy is the preeminence of financial institutions and mechanisms, domestically and internationally: the new discipline imposed on labor and management, macro policies targeted to price stability, and the opening of frontiers to trade and capital movements, etc. Although it is a multifaceted phenomenon, it is possible to date neoliberalism from the end of the 1970s, when the Federal Reserve, chaired by Paul Volcker, decided to increase interest rates at any level supposedly required to curb ination (what we denote as the "1979 coup").

We agree with this general framework of analysis, but we also believe it often lacks a clear, explicit, reference to social relations. The paper is, actually, a bold attempt at assessing both contemporary trends in capitalism and the perspectives now opened for the 21st century, in a framework whose main focus is on classes, and the interplay of class relations and struggles.

Abstracting from traditional petty proprietaries, class patterns can be summarized as follows: (1) Capitalist owners; (2) Managers (in a broad sense of the term including officials); (3) Clerical workers; and (4) Production workers. In addition to smaller capitalists, managers and clerical workers shaped what has been denoted as "new middle classes".

(...) The transformation of income composition is telling. Before World War II, interest, dividends, and rent, accounted for about half of the income of the traditional capitalist class. The recovery during the latter decades was due to (1) "wages", and (2) income from sole proprietors, partnership, and S-corporations. (An important fraction of "wages" corresponds to the distribution of shares.) These are incomes from tax returns, and it is obviously impossible to determine how much capital income is undeclared. The importance of tax shelters has been growing considerably during those neoliberal years. But the rise of the other categories of incomes remains unquestionable.

Lea todo el artículo de Gèrard Duménil y Dominique Lèvy donde se realiza un buen análisis tanto gráfico como de los datos observados para tratar de analizar las trayectorias de la participaciones de los ingresos en EUA y Francia aquí

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