Capitalist Fluctuation and the Partisan Presidential Praise and Blame Game

Photo by SPACES Gallery | CC BY 2.0

Capitalism moves through long waves and shorter-term cycles of growth and stagnation, boom and bust, rising and falling asset values, mounting and dropping profit rates, job creation and job elimination, increasing and declining investment. It always has, and it always will for as long as it exists.

The operative forces behind these fluctuations are numerous and intertwined: the supply and price of raw materials, energy, food, and labor power; changes in technology; shifting supplies and costs of capital; currency developments; managerial practices; changing forms of business organization; investment strategies; climate and other environmental factors; trade patterns, changes in global geography and state systems; shifting patterns of domestic, regional, and international conflict and cooperation.

Under the capitalist system, there’s no central government planning authority responsible for the ebbs and flows of economic life. The actions, practices, preferences and pronouncement of politicians and policymakers are naturally part of the total context or simultaneous equations systems that shape the nature and rhythm of economic cycles and waves.  But even if we call it (as we probably should since at the least Great Depression) state capitalism, the U.S. profits system is not a government-ruled command structure directed by any single state authority – not even that of the chief executive of the world capitalist system’s most…

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