Saturday 21 January 2017

Anthony Cronin: This is about figures in a book, not economics

A mutation of capitalism has meant that ours is a financial crisis, not an economic one, writes Anthony Cronin

Anthony Cronin

Published 01/01/2012 | 05:00

SOLUTION: Legend has it that Roosevelt, left, cured the Great Depression by applying Keynesian economics
but in fact it was Hitler, right, who cured it by forcing democracies into reviving their declining industries
SOLUTION: Legend has it that Roosevelt, left, cured the Great Depression by applying Keynesian economics but in fact it was Hitler, right, who cured it by forcing democracies into reviving their declining industries

IT WOULD seem like a piece of badly misplaced facetiousness to wish large numbers of people in the world a happy new year.

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Happiness usually implies a measure of contentment, an absence of fear, foreboding, some degree of hope for the future and the satisfaction of immediate needs. But these are things which many people who are more or less accustomed to them now do not have and have no prospect of getting. A vast calamity seems to have overtaken even the hitherto more prosperous of mankind and one which they cannot alleviate by the exercise of will, foresight, prudence or, except in rare cases, initiative. Those who are for the moment untouched feel both apprehension and uncertainty. Their world is changing in a way that it seems can only be for the worse.

Why? The planet on which we live has not suddenly decreased in wealth or potential fruitfulness. Gashed, torn and subject to unlooked for climatic changes it may be but it is still ready as ever to respond to exploitation. Humankind is as inventive, as enterprising, as courageous and as hard-working as it was five years ago. There is no spirit of revolution abroad recklessly ready to overthrow political structures which seem to work after a fashion in favour of any others more experimental or chancy. We are fighting, slaughtering and destroying each other's resources to no greater extent than we always did.

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