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The Guardian: "The best of capitalism is over for rich countries – and for the poor ones it will be over by 2060"

Link to web site

"One of the upsides of having a global elite is that at least they know what's going on. We, the deluded masses, may have to wait for decades to find out who the paedophiles in high places are; and which banks are criminal, or bust. But the elite are supposed to know in real time – and on that basis to make accurate predictions.

"Just how difficult this has become was shown last week when the OECD released its predictions for the world economy until 2060. These are that growth will slow to around two-thirds its current rate; that inequality will increase massively; and that there is a big risk that climate change will make things worse. Despite all this, says the OECD, the world will be four times richer, more productive, more globalised and more highly educated. If you are struggling to rationalise the two halves of that prediction then don't worry – so are some of the best-qualified economists on earth.

"World growth will slow to 2.7%, says the Paris-based thinktank, because the catch-up effects boosting growth in the developing world – population growth, education, urbanisation – will peter out. Even before that happens, near-stagnation in advanced economies means a long-term global average over the next 50 years of just 3% growth, which is low.

"The growth of high-skilled jobs and the automation of medium-skilled jobs means, on the central projection, that inequality will rise by 30%. By 2060 countries such as Sweden will have levels of inequality currently seen in the USA: think Gary, Indiana, in the suburbs of Stockholm."

Link to web site

New Statesman:
"Paul Mason: what would Keynes do?"

"In 1930, while the world was still reeling from the impact of the Wall Street crash, John Maynard Keynes published a remarkable essay: in 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren' he imagined a world where, as he put it, mankind’s “economic problem” has been solved. By 2030, barring unforeseen wars and given the population did not rise too fast, a combination of technological advance and rising wealth could leave enough for everybody.

"This would be quite a big change, he pointed out, because the entire history of humanity has been determined by there not being enough for everyone.

“Keynes wrote:
"For the first time since his creation, man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem – how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well."

"... Keynes looks into the future using three yardsticks: the rate of technical innovation, the growth of population and the growth of capital through compound interest. He estimated that productivity would safely grow at least 1 per cent per year, and that capital would grow by 2 per cent per year. If so, it was safe to assume that by 2030 the standard of living in advanced countries could be four to eight times what it was in 1930 – and if technology improved faster, eight times could be an underestimate.

"So, what happened in reality?"

Link to web site

Evening Standard:
"There are alternatives to endless cuts"

"The era of austerity will not end after next year’s general election. Most of us probably knew that.

"But how many of us know that austerity is set to get significantly worse after next year’s trip to the polls?

"It's a startling proposition given that the economy is recovering strongly — yet it has generated little scrutiny.

"The squeeze on Whitehall departments has been unprecedented in recent years, as the Coalition has tried to slash its inherited budget deficit of 11% of gross domestic product.

"Day-to-day government spending, which excludes things such as state pensions, welfare, new roads and interest payments on the national debt, has been contracting in real terms by around 2.3% on average each year since 2010."

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