Reader Aravind Ayyar writes:
Reading your recent post on Marx, I was reminded again of how much a Marxian explanation of the roots of the present economic crisis corresponds with the facts far more plausibly than all the pap of the currently accepted economic theories. See, for e.g., http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n03/benjamin-kunkel/how-much-is-too-much.
Indeed, as the recently released minutes of the meetings of the Federal Reserve from 2006 show, the nation's top economists refused to countenance the very possibility of a housing bubble that could have devastated the economy. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/13/business/transcripts-show-an-unfazed-fed-in-2006.html)
As to the immiseration of the vast majority under capitalism, I wonder whether it is a "relative" one to our times after all. Those marvelous inventions of our age, the iPhone and the iPad, simply didn't pop out of the head of that genius, Steve Jobs, as all the encomiums after his death had it. Rather, the reality of how those devices are actually manufactured in the prison-houses in China reveals something far more horrifying, something that I doubt that even the London of Dickens could have competed with at its nadir. And why is this tolerable today? Because, "Paul Krugman says so." I kid you not.
And anyone who thinks that that's what happens in a "communist" state, should sober up to the fact that the median wage of the retail worker in this country, which used to support a middle class existence for much of the post-war era, is no longer a subsistence wage; indeed, it often doesn't even comply with whatever weak labor laws that have not yet been dismantled by the political class in the race to find the bottom against China.