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  • Joan Denoo

    Ian, your daughter who encountered Marxism in school has the opportunity to think about options. We know capitalism is unstable. It has frequent recessions and regular depressions. 

    "Economists have empirically proven five Kondratieff cycles since the late 18th century."

    "There is no uniform progression in the market economy; in fact, upturns and downturns regularly take turns with each other. The short business cycles that last approximately three years are called Kitchin cycles; the medium-term ones lasting between 7 to 11 years are called Juglar cycles. However, there are also long economic cycles that last between 40 to 60 years. They are named Kondratieff cycles after their discoverer Nikolai Kondra­tieff. The triggers for these long waves are groundbreaking inventions that are called basic innovations.

    As my former mentor stated, "the ball bearing has been replaced by the computer chip."

    ~ Ed Lindaman

    I recommend you read the entire article. It offers insights into what happens and why. 

    In the meantime, I am prepared for The Greatest Depression Yet.

     

  • Joan Denoo

    "Economists have empirically proven five Kondratieff cycles since the late 18th century 

    1). The first long cycle was triggered by the invention of the steam engine and fundamental innovations in textile manufacturing (the fly-shuttle loom, the spinning mule, the spinning jenny).

    2). The railroad and the Bessemer converter led the economy to the second Kondratieff. It was the great era of big steel."

    3). "The third Kondratieff was the first long cycle that was carried by the prac­tical application of scientific knowledge. The discovery of the electro-dyna­mic principle by Werner von Siemens enabled the conversion of mecha­nical energy into electrical energy, and the findings on the composition of matter through quantum physics imparted the knowledge of manipulating material – the foundation of modern chemistry. The third Kondratieff ended with the global economic crisis of the late 1920s and early 1930s. "The Great Depression!"

    4). The new upswing, the fourth Kondratieff, came with the automobile and petrochemistry. It marked the height of the industrial society and brought mass transit to the streets and to the air. The fourth Kondratieff drew to a close with the massive crude oil price increases by OPEC in the late 1970s.

    5). The fifth Kondratieff began in the early 1950s. Its driving force originated in computer-based information technology. With constantly increasing speed, information technology permeated all areas of society and turned the world into a global village of information. During the fifth Kondratieff, the industrial society changed over into an information society. Since then, economic growth is primarily defined as growth in the information sector. The fifth Kondratieff ended at the turn of this century. At the same time it ended, the sixth Kondratieff cycle began. 

    6). The carrier of this new Kondratieff cycle will be health in a holistic sense.  At first glance, this statement may come as a surprise. Can health expenditures, which are economically classified as pure expenses and as something negative that should thus be avoided if possible, take on the role of a locomotive for growth and employment in the future?

    "At this point, we should recall the results of modern growth theory. Machi­nery, capital or jobs are only ostensibly the most important sources for economic growth. The main source for economy growth is productivity pro­gress. The sixth Kondra­tieff is carried by an improved productivity in handling health (a more detailed description of the sixth Kondratieff can be found on this homepage).

  • k.h. ky

    Joan, your article reminds me of a new comedy/educational show with W.Kamau Bell titled "The United Shades of America". He visits different areas in the US and discusses their economy and way of life. He was in the Appalachians, in Beattyville KY, on the last show discussing the coal industry and loss of jobs. Beattyville has the dubious honor of being the poorest town in the USA. It was one of his better shows. I highly recommend it.