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2020-06-28

The precariat is the contemporary version of Karl Marx’s proletariat

 A vast underclass of increasingly indebted, socially immobile Americans – African-Americans, Latinos, and, increasingly, whites – is revolting against a system that has failed it.

The precariat is the contemporary version of Karl Marx’s proletariat: a new class of alienated, insecure workers who are ripe for radicalization and mobilization against the plutocracy (or what Marx called the bourgeoisie). 

This class is growing once again, now that highly leveraged corporations are responding to the COVID-19 crisis as they did after 2008: taking bailouts and hitting their earnings targets by slashing labor costs.

Nouriel Roubini ProjectSyndicate 24 June 2020


Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at New York University's Stern School of Business and Chairman of Roubini Macro Associates, was Senior Economist for International Affairs in the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, and the World Bank. 

His website is NourielRoubini.com.https://nourielroubini.com/

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Martin Wolf 2008: One might not expect much from economists, but one would surely expect them to warn us of a crisis on this scale.

I am not seeking to deny that a few people saw important pieces of the emerging puzzle and some saw more than a few pieces.

In my gallery of heroes are Avinash Persaud, who told us early and often that the risk-management models on which regulators foolishly relied were absurd individually and lethal collectively

(Long list of names.....and Nouriel Roubini, of course, who was Dr Doom before almost anybody else.)

The list is not exhaustive and I apologise to all those offended by my omissions.Alternatively, we could have spent more time studying the work of Hyman Minsky.

Speech given by Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator, at the FT’s annual economists’ drinks party in London


Financial Times, 27/11 2008

Hyman Minsky




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