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Monday, January 18, 2010


Capitalism's future (or lack thereof)

Beginning five years ago, I was writing about the folly of thinking that "retraining" was a solution to the long-term problem of declining employment under capitalism. Bringing the story up to the present, the San Jose Mercury News reports that a whopping one-fifth of all office and R&D space in Silicon Valley is empty. And yet, in the unplanned, irrational way that is capitalism, you can still drive around and see more buildings going up, right next to empty buildings. And, adding insult to injury (to the planet and its inhabitants), some of that building is taking place on land that should be preserved as precious and irretrievable habitat.

With the typical optimism of the corporate media (even the corporate print media whose own future is bleak, the Mercury News predicts that "job growth will eventually begin to fill the valley's echoing office buildings." Any gamblers out there willing to take my bet on the "Not!" side? I'll even give odds.

Pulling it all together, this editorial (not from the corporate media!) describes "Capitalism's unsolvable problems." The structural problems we are seeing are not short term problems. They are permanent changes which can only be solved with a completely different economic system. A planned system, a system run on the basis of people's needs, not on the basis of profit. Socialism.

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