If There Is a Recession–and If Not

If There Is a Recession–and If Not

Given two diametrically opposed projections of our economic and political future, what should the response of the left be?

I pose the issue in this uncertain way for a reason. The United States and the other advanced industrial economies are in the midst of a transition from one economic-social-political paradigm to another. Dramatic technological changes are under way: GM’s new Saturn automobile is scheduled to be built in an automated, robotized process that will reduce the total labor cost per car from its present level of 55 hours to 21 hours (in 1979, it was nearly 80 hours per car). At the same time, it is clear that the Keynesian welfare-state policies, which seemed totally triumphant in the ’60s, no longer work. And we are about to import automobiles from South Korea…

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