NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Marxist "Solutions" To The Booming Economy

January 17, 2000

Yes, there are still Marxists among American economists. They even have an organization they call the Union for Radical Political Economists. And the long-running American boom makes them decidedly uneasy and sends them on searches for explanations.

Here is a sampling of what they are saying:

  • Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, a Marxist economist at Drake University in Des Moines, says that if the expansion continues another three to five years, "the trickle-down effect is bound to be seen increasingly in wages" and workers could get "sucked into" the good times.
  • For Anthony Gabb, at St. John's University in Queens, N.Y., the U.S. economic system "is more resilient than we may want it to be."
  • Fred Moseley, a Marxist at Mount Holyoke College, decries labor's "passive acceptance" of what he sees as stagnating real wages -- and forecasts that if this continues "perhaps then acceptance will turn into resistance."

The theme among Marxists attending the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Boston last week seems to have been that a Day of Reckoning is coming eventually, although they don't know when.

"If this expansion continues for five to 10 years, I would not be surprised one bit," says Gabb. "But by the same token, if the economy went into recession soon, I would not be surprised either."

What is indisputable is that the Day of Reckoning has been postponed.

Source: Louis Uchitelle, "As the Good Times Roll, the Marxists Are Mellowing," New York Times, January 16, 2000.


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