THE DYNAMICS OF U.S. CAPITALISM: Corporate Structure, Inflation, Credit, Gold, and the Dollar by Paul & Harry Magdoff Sweezy

THE DYNAMICS OF U.S. CAPITALISM: Corporate Structure, Inflation, Credit, Gold, and the Dollar

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These economic writings first appeared in Magdoff and Sweezy's leading socialist journal, Monthly Review. The book jacket claims that ""no other writings in recent years"" can compare with Sweezy's analysis of the developing balance of payments crisis; ""no other brief presentation"" of corporate mergers ""can match the ones in this book,"" which generally exhibits ""clarity, penetration. . . and superior pedagogic talent."" In Sweezy's case, however, it is the pedagogy of the timid professor. On dollar instability he writes, ""it is usually argued"" that the result may be ""a worldwide financial crisis similar to that which occurred 35 years ago,"" but it is the third person who argues while Sweezy himself hedges, meanders, qualifies, and ponders but does not state where the crisis is leading: ""the moral of this story. . . is that socialists. . . can never count on capitalists to fight their battles for them."" But aren't readers invited to count on socialists to tell them about the direction of the economy? On multinational corporations Sweezy's analysis is standard liberal economics focusing on the multinational as a self-contained corporate monolith, itself ""the key institution of finance capital,"" without reference to its dependence on the Eurodollar credit market or the role of U.S. banking in financing its growth. The closest Sweezy comes to prediction is a forecast that the parvenu upstarts in the merger movement will turn toward proto-fascist movements like Wallace's; here as throughout ""clarity"" and ""precision"" are lacking. Magdoff's experience as a stockbroker, assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and productivity expert helps him give a clearer understanding of economic processes, and his empirical verification of the general stagnation of the American economy is extremely valuable -- the jacket should have puffed him. The authors are both regarded as major left-wing economists and the book should gain attention and demand, despite its limitations.

Pub Date: June 29th, 1972
Publisher: Monthly Review Press