1970s >> 1974 >> no-836-april-1974

Can The Government Stop It?

Every time a war ends they say, “Never again.” Every time trade picks up after a slump they say, “It can’t happen again. We know how to control the economy now.” They try tariffs, trade agreements, devaluation, revaluation, altering the bank rate, juggling with the price of gold. None of it works: slumps still happen, just as there is always a war going on somewhere these days. If things improve, the government takes the credit. If things get worse they blame the previous government or another country. The truth is that they have no control at all over the economic convulsions of capitalism, because they are uncontrollable. Slumps and wars are essential phases in its progress. They restore a sort of balance for a few years. But what a ramshackle way of organizing the production and distribution of goods in the world.