Reading Response Two // Heather Weyda

Capitalism, as suggested in Wolfgang Streeck’s How Will Capitalism End?, is at critical point to where it is almost inevitable that we will stray from the capitalistic economy that we’ve become accustomed to. Due to the array of US economic crisis people have lost faith in the economy, particularly after the housing crisis of 2008 where banks and loan companies took an unethical advantage of people’s trust in the predictable housing market. Unfortunately, people have just become used to this unpredictability and ramped economic crises and simply try to adapt to the ever changing economy. There are three main symptoms of a crisis. The first is a constant decline in economic growth. The second is a rise in overall debt in leading capitalist states. Lastly, is economic inequality of income and wealth. Inequality is one of the most detrimental to the economy because it impedes the improvement of productivity and also forces cuts to everyday public services. Capitalism is supposed to have a sense of spreading the wealth in areas that need it in order to continue to build a stronger economy. When the capital is not shared it creates economic inequality and stunts the growth and weakens the economy.This will cause stagnant wages and weakens demand.

Although the economic crisis of 2008 was detrimental and devastated many homes in America and economies around the world, nit much has been done to prevent another similar crisis. The Obama administration enacted the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, but many argue that is would not prevent another problematic economic decline. Much of the act was not even supposed to go into effect until 2017, but it was recently repealed by the Trump administration. So what is keeping the housing crisis from happening again? Absolutely nothing.

When there was an attempt to taper the injection of flat money into the economy due to its dangerous and problematic effect but there was a huge response in a plunging of stocks and caused it to be postponed. This is a natural reaction in a capitalistic economy, but prevents from major changes and reforms from being put into place and prolongs the weakening of the economy. Capitalism is so dependent on Wall Street that it gives a lot of power to the top investors on what changes in politics do and do not happen. This gives people and overwhelming sense of distrust of the government and furthers the idea of corruption in politics. When democracy and capitalism are combined it allows for money to have a huge influence in policy changes and elections.

A combination of the distrust and instability of the current state of our capitalistic economy I agree that it will more than likely not continue forever. However, letting the economy fail on its own and playing it out when we get to that point, as suggested in this article, seems somewhat irresponsible. The fallout from a failure of capitalism would be unfathomable and destructive to virtually every economically developed country around the world. Although it’s almost impossible to consciously develop a plan for the inevitable fallout I think it’s necessary to have some sort of safety net put into place.

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