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Capitalist Economics

The Anatomy of Capital: Sir Arthur Keith's Economics

 Professor Sir Arthur Keith is an anatomist with a considerable reputation. He occupied the presidential chair at the annual meeting of the British Association at Leeds barely two months ago, and caused a journalistic stir by his review of that controversial topic, “Man’s origin.” This has recently been published, with additions, by Messrs Watts (price 7d.). It is with the concluding essay that the present scribe proposes to deal.

The Coming Slump: Does the Gold Standard Matter?

The correct answer to the question, "Why are the workers poor?" is: "They are poor because the means of production and distribution are owned and controlled by the capitalist class instead of by the whole community, and consequently so is the wealth produced by the workers." This is the starting point from which the working class should view all schemes for improving capitalist trade, currency systems, etc. It is naturally not the starting point for the defenders of capitalism. They take private ownership for granted and leave out of their enquiries any possibility of ending it. As a result, their attempts to find out why poverty, trade depression, unemployment and crises exist, and how to end them, are sterile and fruitless.

Editorial: The Pint Pot

 The capitalists are very much concerned just now to teach the workers something of economics—of the capitalist variety, of course. We have before us as we write a whole pile of effusions which have recently appeared in the capitalist Press, or have been let loose upon the workers in the form of capitalist leaflets, to which, in most cases, those who issue them have not the courage to put their names.

Cooking the Books: Growth of What?

In an article in the New York Times (6 February), 'The Economic Growth that Experts Can't Count', Patricia Cohen reported on criticism by some economists of increases in Gross Domestic Product as an adequate measure of economic growth. GDP, she wrote, 'is designed to measure production and just production – not welfare or happiness.'

'At its most basic, G.D.P. is calculated by looking at prices – the price of materials, workers, overhead and so on that it costs to make a product and the price that consumers in turn pay for that product. And while prices can be measured, they don't necessarily reflect the value of quality and experience. As far as G.D.P. is concerned, a delectable $20 meal that would wow Julia Child is equal to a rubbery, tasteless one that costs the same amount. The growing suspicion, however, is that in a digital world overflowing with free services like Facebook, Google and YouTube, price is an increasingly ill-suited proxy for value.'

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