David M. KotzThe Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism

Harvard University Press, 2015

by Corinne Elicone on April 14, 2015

David M. Kotz

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Author and professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, David M. Kotz examines a shift in economic policies since the 1980's. In his book, The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism (Harvard UP, 2015) professor Kotz examines the evolution of this change and how it has affected the way our government decides to regulate big business. Going back to the Carter administration, Kotz identifies a switch towards Neoliberal Capitalism through the cutting of social programs and deregulation of the banks amongst many other factors.

Much of Kotz's book focuses on the causes of the 2008 economic crisis and its connection to neoliberal capitalist policies. He cites speculative finance, asset bubbles, and growing wealth inequality as some factors of a largely unregulated business sphere. He examines an increase in borrowing since the 1970's. He states, "Real wages (pay corrected for inflation) actually trended downward. It was lower in 2007 than it had been in the 70's.[…] In my research I discovered that the answer was ordinary households increasingly pressed financially, began to borrow in order to maintain their living standards". This accumulation of household loan debt would contribute to the economic hardships to come.

Looking forward, Kotz remains hopeful that the United States will learn from the mistakes that caused the 2008 economic crisis. He asserts, "I think we will see the emergence, in the coming years, of a more state regulated, a more government regulated form of economy, although, it is not possible to predict what form that will take"

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