- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Credibility Gap

Posted by: Barry Stoller on October 01, 1999 at 11:00:47:

In Reply to: I doubt it though posted by Gee on September 30, 1999 at 13:37:38:

:: Let's see some specific citations. Even the New York Times interpreted the new Statistical Abstract of the United States as confirming the 'gap between rich and poor [is] substantially wider' (5 September 1999, sec. A, p. 14). And as far as leisure goes, ever heard of Juliet Schor?

: The gap is irrelevant. The 'relative' above is relative to the past, whether its 100 years
ago or last summer the trend is clear. I was not discussing any gap between those
consider american over time.

'The gap is irrelevant' to who? The fat bosses or the three-job families sinking further and further into debt? Please specify which point of view you are talking about when you say things like the income disparity gap is 'irrelevant.' _________________________

And---as you said in another post: The scope of wealth creation does continue to increase, for as many moments as we can ominously say "for the moment".

According to a recent issue of The Economist, which I'm sure you'll concede is no hot bed of red malfeasance, the private sector's financial debt is currently 5% of the GDP (whereas in the last 50 years it has not exceeded 1%) and America's current-account deficit is a record 4%---'all classic symptoms of a bubble.'(1) Claiming that 'a collapse on Wall Street remains the biggest threat to the world economy,' The Economist went on to say:

History shows that markets do overshoot and that bubbles can persist for some time---indeed, that is their nature. It also shows that the bigger a bubble gets, the greater the excesses it creates in the economy---and the bigger the bang when it eventually pops.(2)

Or as Barron's tactfully put it after the 1997 crash that wiped out almost a third of Asia's economy (excepting protectionist China): 'Capitalism without bankruptcies and failures would be like Christianity without hell.'(3)

For the moment indeed. Hope your life preserver is a good one, that ice burg is getting closer.

1. The Economist 25 September 1999, p. 17.
2. Ibid.
3. Barron's 3 November 1997, p. 6.


Speaking of promiscuous credit, anyone here get a constant barrage of credit card offers? Pay your respects to the late Abbie Hoffman and take those postage return envelopes and stuff them full with the heaviest items you can think of (I like rocks)---then mail them back so the companies have to absorb pointless extra expenses for their idiotic advertising. Yippie!

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