Category: Political Economy


This video is of Green Day’s cover of the John Lennon song “Working Class Hero.” I think this song serves as a good reminder of the social outlook that goes along with the socialist political and economic program. It is this outlook that I so very much relate to. It is probably the reason that I am comfortable with the socialist label. While Lennon’s song “Imagine” addresses a  form of a social utopia, this song addresses socialist social theory, in particular the concepts of alienation and exploitation.

Green Day covered this song as part of a Save Darfur album that was put together by Amnesty International. The best part of the above clip is that this performance was at the American Idol charity show. Like so many charity events, little mention is made about the root causes of poverty and suffering. It is more about the advantaged feeling better about themselves. Green Day brought the issue to the table.

Lyrics to Working Class Hero :

[By John Lennon]

As soon as your born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
Working Class Hero is something to be
Working Class Hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever and despise a fool
Till you’re so f###### crazy you can’t follow their rules
Working Class Hero is something to be
Working Class Hero is something to be

When they’ve tortured and scared you for 20 odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear
Working Class Hero is something to be
Working Class Hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religon, sex and T.V.
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still f###### peasents as far as I can see
Working Class Hero is something to be
Working Class Hero is something to be

There’s room at the top I’m telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill
Working Class Hero is something to be

Yes, A Working Class Hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

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Schumpeter and the Future?

            Brad Delong argues that while dead almost six decades, Joseph Schumpeter’s economics are to the 21st century what Keynes was to the 20th century.[1] This is interesting to me because Schumpeter seemed to me to be very much stuck in past eras, particularly the industrial revolution and the Great Depression. But to view Schumpeter as a figure of the past is to confuse his economics with his politics. Delong admires the economics, while he dismisses the politics.

            For Delong, the primary contribution of Schumpeter was his attempt to put long-term economic growth, emphasizing entrepreneurship and enterprise, at the “top of the discipline’s agenda.”[2] Schumpeter bemoans that the success of capitalism, which is rooted in entrepreneurship, ultimately leads to a bureaucratic society which will stifle, rather than encourage, that very entrepreneurship. These anti-entrepreneurial bureaucracies include both large corporations and government agencies, both of which rely on capitalist success, but neither of which produce the type of enterprise that Schumpeter sees as the heart of capitalism

            I found it interesting that Schumpeter condemned government bureaucracy for undermining entrepreneurial creativity since he is also a fan of capitalist monopolies. Could it not be argued, and is it not now argued by free-market capitalists, that monopolies undermine entrepreneurial activities by squeezing out the smaller and newer innovators from the market. So while Delong thinks that Schumpeter’s focus on entrepreneurship and enterprise might define the next phase of the American and Western economy, Schumpeter might just be a historical footnote to a renewed interest in entrepreneurship and enterprise within the discipline of economics. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Karl Marx

With Karl Marx’s birthday coming up on Tuesday (he was born on May 5, 1818), I though that I would share some thoughts. Enjoy. Happy Birthday Karl.

In “Marx’s Contributions and their Relevance Today,” John G. Gurley takes an interesting approach to viewing the contemporary economic world through the lens of Marxist analysis. He asks us to consider what Karl Marx himself would say if he were “to rise from the dead and survey our world of theory and practice.” Gurley approaches the question by looking at what he views as the seven major contributions of Marx to economics. Continue reading

My Wall Street Baitout

Not much time to post today. This perspective should not be forgotten as we consider the current economy.

D. Goodman: The “Who Want to Be a Millionaire” images in the video are not aimed at you. I recognize that you are just brilliant. No greed needed.

Keynes on NPR

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Keynes by Duncan Grant

I am working on some posts about John Maynard Keynes and Keynesian economics as they relate to our current economic situation. For now I want to draw your attention to a profile of Keynes done on NPR’s Morning Edition last Friday. In many ways Keynes best represents my view within the schools of political economy, in particular I have a particular affinity for the left-leaning Keynesianism of Paul Krugman. More to come.