Covid 19 - the end of Capitalism?

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  • A place for discussion about the economics of this virus

    Seems that Capitalism fails to mange this crisis. Recent state interventions seem the only way. Even the US is taking about $1k to every citizen from the state.

  • Seems that Capitalism fails to mange this crisis.

    Compared to which solialist utopias which are miraculously immune to viral contagion?

  • The only people struggling are fair weather capitalists. Deliveroo are making a killing even expanding into supermarket food delivery as the properly employed people are sent home. When the dust clears all that will be left is 0 hours and gig economy contracts for everyone, our tribunals will be so inundated with sick pay claims and such that the wild west of employment will be open to all.

  • My only hope is that the country realises all the stuff we don't make. How we have become slaves to imports. This could give us the impetus to start making things again. A great opportunity.

  • I can say that as I listen to the stream of adverts on commercial radio - every single one seems pointless. Get a train, have a party, go on holiday etc. It's all surreal.

  • Ryanair will still sell you a ticket to Ukraine March 23rd even though the borders are closed.

  • Didn’t Mark Fisher say it was easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism?

  • You might be a Ukrainian citizen trying to get home.

  • I think it’s Zizek but could be convinced otherwise. But whoever it was I think it shows a certain failure of imagination.

  • It was articulated that way by Fisher but it has effectively been touted in different ways by many others—Jameson, Gramsci etc.

    In response to @danstuff, I think at the moment it's inarguable that the UK's response to the crisis—which appears to initially have been grounded in a desire to save the (capitalist) economy at the expense of its citizens' lives—has been wholly inadequate in comparison to neighbouring European countries where remnants of the post-war compromise are more evident in their modes of governance, and they seem to be more willing to govern for the collective good of their people. The below image just about sums it up in terms of France and Spain's responses:

    These are obviously still capitalist countries within a broadly capitalist totality, but if things carry on the way they are and vast swathes of the labour market are rendered unable to work, it is impossible to see how capitalism as we know it will not at least be suspended. Either that or hundreds of thousands of people are evicted, made redundant, become impoverished etc.

  • Maybe this thread will no (save another for now).

    Many people will not be able to pay rent/mortgagor or other. It's not like there will be demand for these rental properties, so evictions are worthless.

    There is no government advice yet, I wonder how to deal with this. Perhaps get out in front and email the agent and try agree something. Wait in hope for some government decree.

  • Captain Fantastic in available on iPlayer. Get some inspiration right there.

    It does seem somewhat hilarious that, in the face of a pandemic central banks cut interest rates - which is typically done to stimulate the economy, i.e. spending.

    What are people gonna buy? Aren’t most peeps going to be on stat sick pay, if that even exists in their country?

  • Presumable a rate cut is more aimed at the loan markets...?

  • I've seen some people calling for universal basic income for a limited time, but that's not going to be enough - it's time for a debt jubilee for the affected months. No bills going out! No landlords getting paid! It's either that, or mass homelessness of freelancers etc after the affected period.

  • What are people gonna buy? Aren’t most peeps going to be on stat sick pay, if that even exists in their country?

    That is exactly the problem, as discussed in this episode of "The Daily" (New York Times podcast).

  • When the shit hits the fan and people need support capitalism fails.
    (Even when bankers needed support the State had to bail them out. )

    And austerity, cutting back the state infrastructure while money being siphoned off to the already uber rich.

    So, we've witness decisions about lives based on economics,
    and we'll see how countries with no or depleted state health service fare.
    If they do resource support it will be from public coffers with no help from the v. rich people scurrying to a bunker in New Zealand

  • I wouldn't be completely shocked if Italy and Spain reverted to National Socialism/Fascism.

  • I work for an online retailer and all of our "Buy stuff for your Holiday" content is a bit worthless now. Thats just a short term patch, pretty nervous how its going to hit us in the medium term.

  • That's a political system more than an economic one.

  • 'Buy Stuff for your Holiday at Home'?

  • @skydancer
    Let's see if the (very) late adoption of the 'Lucas Alternative Plan'
    to manufacture ventilators works.

  • Presumabl[y] a rate cut is more aimed at the loan markets...?

    Fair point. I'll look forward to coming out of a global health incident with an even poorer Gini index.

  • What are people gonna buy?

    Houses. In six months time.

  • When the shit hits the fan and people need support capitalism fails.

    Which is why we have a nation state, a welfare system and taxation. Still doesn't mean we have a command and control economy with no trade.

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Covid 19 - the end of Capitalism?

Posted by Avatar for skydancer @skydancer