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Michael Roberts

Life Expectancy and Human Development in the 21st Century

If we accept that life expectancy is a good measure of human development, the latest data are revealing about capitalist societies in the 21st century. Life expectancy fell in the US in 2021 to its lowest since 1996, the second year of a historic retreat, mainly due to COVID-19 deaths.

Michael Roberts

September 13, 2022

Food, Famine, and War

If anything proves that famine and food insecurity are man-made, it is the current food crisis that is putting millions globally close to starvation.

Michael Roberts

June 7, 2022

Inflation: Wages versus Profits

Here, we publish Marxist economist Michael Roberts' analysis of the relationship between wages and profit in the inflationary environment of today.

Michael Roberts

May 25, 2022

Ukraine-Russia: Like an Economic Earthquake

The war in Ukraine will have damaging economic consequences across the world, and it's happening as the global economy is supposedly recovering from the pandemic slump.

Michael Roberts

March 25, 2022

The Climate Conference in Glasgow Is Just “COP-out 26”

The climate crisis demands urgent changes to the world economy. This would require bringing the fossil fuel companies into public ownership and rapidly expanding renewable energy. Yet none of this is on the agenda at COP26.

Michael Roberts

November 1, 2021

The Fed, Interest Rates, and Stagflation

Accelerating inflation may be an issue right now in the US and other recovering capitalist economies, but for capitalism, profitability is the real benchmark, and that can be hit by wage rises on the one hand and interest rises on the other.

Michael Roberts

October 8, 2021

Snap Canadian Elections Change Nothing

Prime Minister Trudeau achieved nothing with his snap election and faces the same problems in getting Canada’s capitalist economy going as before.

Michael Roberts

September 22, 2021

Competition, Monopoly, and Exploitation under Capitalism

While signing an executive order to expand competition and crack down on monopolistic practices, Joe Biden said that “capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation.” His statement reflects a long-standing assumption among both classical and more left-leaning economists alike that increasing monopolization is the source of increasing exploitation under capitalism. What do they get wrong? Economist Michael Roberts explains.

Michael Roberts

July 17, 2021

Inflation, Interest Rates, and Debt

Accelerating inflation may be an issue right now in the U.S. and other recovering capitalist economies. But for capitalism, profitability is the real benchmark and that can be hit by wage rises on the one hand and interest rises on the other.

Michael Roberts

July 9, 2021

Profits Call the Tune

Profit is not a "gift of capital," and does not rely on investment. Profits can be generated out of the exploitation of labor power without further investment, and indeed, that is what we can see now in the expansion of ‘fictitious capital’ at the expense of productive investment.

Michael Roberts

June 17, 2021

The Productivity Crisis

In his latest piece, Michael Roberts takes a look at the crisis in productivity and the failures of Keynesian economics over nearly a hundred years.

Michael Roberts

June 2, 2021

Football: Created by the Poor, Stolen by the Rich

Private capital and sport for profit must be replaced by a real people’s sport, run by the people for the people.

Michael Roberts

April 22, 2021

Financial Fictions: SPACs, NFTs, and Cryptocurrencies

In recent years, there has been a spate of new fictions in the casino world of financial speculation. Marxist economist Michael Roberts discusses these technological developments and how when the financial markets go belly up, the digital damage will be exposed.

Michael Roberts

April 14, 2021

Financial Fictions: The Old Ones

In recent months, we have seen financial meltdowns from Archegos Capital and Greensill Capital. Marxist economist Michael Roberts dives into the fictitious capital behind these events.

Michael Roberts

April 13, 2021

Covid and Fictitious Capital

In 2020, output, investment, and employment plummeted across the world, but the opposite was true for the stock and bond markets of the major economies. Marxist economist Michael Roberts explains this trend, which will likely reverse in 2021.

Michael Roberts

January 27, 2021

What’s in Store for the Economy under Biden?

As Biden begins the first day of his presidency, the United States still faces near record levels of COVID cases and deaths. At the same time, economic activity remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

Michael Roberts

January 21, 2021

The Brexit Deal: A Marxist Analysis

As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, British capitalism will suffer. But as Marxist economist Michael Roberts argues, the bigger problem is the COVID slump and the underlying weakness of British capital.

Michael Roberts

January 4, 2021

Perspectives for 2021: Interview with Michael Roberts and Claudia Cinatti

The year of the coronavirus pandemic is drawing to a close. What are the trends in the economy, the political situation, and the class struggle in the year to come?

Michael Roberts

December 15, 2020

A Credit Crash Ahead?

With the promise of a vaccine on the horizon, many sectors of capital are hoping that the world economy will spring back soon. But with the economic crisis sending many working people and businesses into significant debt in order to survive, the prospects for such a strong recovery are rapidly narrowing. Originally posted on his blog, “The Next Recession,” Michael Roberts here outlines the possible scenarios for a third leg of the pandemic slump.

Michael Roberts

December 4, 2020

G20: The Debt Solution

The G20 summit took place virtually this past weekend, with the G20 leaders discussing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world economy. What does this mean for the current debt crisis? The following article was originally posted on Michael Roberts’ blog, “The Next Recession.”

Michael Roberts

November 25, 2020

The Social Composition of the Anti-Trump Vote

It took days of counting votes, but the 2020 election finally ended. Biden won because workers, ethnic minorities, young people and city dwellers voted against Trump. Economist Michael Roberts investigates the data. The following article was originally posted on Michael Roberts’ blog, “The Next Recession."

Michael Roberts

November 10, 2020

Returning To Normal?

With over tens of millions unemployed in the US and economies slowly reopening after the coronavirus pandemic, where are we heading? Economist Michael Roberts provides perspective. The following article was originally posted on Michael Roberts' blog, "The Next Recession. "

Michael Roberts

June 10, 2020

Marx’s Capital, 150 Years Later

British economist Michael Roberts takes a look at the implications of Karl Marx's major work, 150 years after its first edition.

Michael Roberts

July 19, 2017

The Impact of Brexit

British economist Michael Roberts writes about the immediate and long-term consequences of the Brexit.

Michael Roberts

June 29, 2016

The Long Depression and the Future of Capitalism

In this interview with Marxist economist Michael Roberts, he discusses the concepts in his new book, in which he argues that the world economy today remains in the grips of a "long depression" since the crisis of 2008.

Michael Roberts

April 18, 2016