The redoubtable Seventh Circuit Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner (“the most cited legal scholar of all time”; “probably the greatest living American jurist”), isn’t afraid to call it as he sees it, and given Posner’s brains, experience, and economic cred as an antitrust expert, he may be more credible than your average, run-of-the-mill economist (“economists exist to make astrologers look good”).
In Posner’s newest book, A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent Into Depression, he states:
The world’s banking system collapsed last fall, was placed on life support at a cost of some trillions of dollars, and remains comatose. We may be too close to the event to grasp its enormity. A vocabulary rich only in euphemisms calls what has happened to the economy a “recession.” We are well beyond that. We are in the midst of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
… Read the full article “Judge Posner is Not Afraid to Use the "D" Word”
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the American economy was in crisis after years of stagflation. Mortgage rates were 17%, business loans carried 20% interest rates and productivity had collapsed. On April 21, 1980, Time magazine ran a cover story that asked the question: “Is Capitalism Working?” Today, the crisis that the American economic system faces is greater than that during the darkest days of stagflation. In this opinion piece, George M. Taber, former business editor of Time magazine and author of the 1980 cover story, asks and answers the same question — 29 years later. [Continue reading at Knowledge@Wharton]
Taber still agrees with the final sentence of his 1980 article in Time:
For all its obvious blemishes and needed reforms, capitalism alone holds out the most creative and dynamic force that any civilization has ever discovered: the power of the free, ambitious individual.
And, he warns that despite the pain inflicted by the boom and bust business cycle that is the downside of unfettered capitalism — pain that we are suffering from now –
well-intentioned, but unwise, changes in the nature of American capitalism could do damage that will be felt for decades .
… Read the full article “Schumpeter, Creative Destruction and the Golden Age of Capitalism”