Britain: Tens of thousands demand action to combat cost-of-living crisis

Morning Star | June 19, 2022

Thousands of protesters gathered in Parliament Square

TENS of thousands of protesters gathered in central London on Saturday to demand action to combat the cost-of-living crisis.

Trade unionists and campaigners from across the country marched from Portland Place to Parliament Square for a TUC-organised rally.

Banners such as “Cut war not welfare,” “End fuel poverty” and “Insulate homes now” highlighted widespread concern over soaring bills and spiralling inflation.

Read More »

A tightening world

Michael Roberts Blog | June 18, 2022

It’s been a big week for the major central banks. First, the European Central Bank (ECB) called an emergency meeting because government bond yields were rising sharply in the more indebted Eurozone economies like Italy and Spain.  That threatens to deliver a new sovereign debt crisis as happened after the Great Recession from 2010-2014, leading to the Greek nightmare.

Read More »

A new pandemic has struck the world: Food inflation

Food prices are increasing at an unprecedented rate worldwide, triggered by 2 years of COVID-19 pandemic-induced disruption and now the Russia-Ukraine war

Richard Mahapatra

Down To Earth | April 19, 2022

This story was updated April 28, 2022 to correct conversion of US dollar to Indian rupees. 

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic was pushed off global front pages last fortnight by food inflation. Food prices have leaped 75 per cent since mid-2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) assessed.

In India, rural consumer food price has doubled in the year through March 2022, according to the All India Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the National Statistical Office (released April 12). At 13 per cent, the country’s annual wholesale inflation was at the highest in a decade. Food and fuel prices played a major role.

Read More »

As Inflation Hits US Workers Hard, do Argentina and Venezuela Provide a Heterodox Toolbox to Confront It? (Part I)

Dakotah Lilly

Orinoco Tribune | March 30, 2022

Part I: Introduction
Inflation is currently a problem in the United States. It is not a problem in the classical sense that inflation has been weaponized as in the past; as a trojan horse against popular, socialist, or nationalist governments in favor of neoliberal adjustment plans. Instead, inflation is a problem in the United States because it exemplifies a ramping up of an aspect of a class based warfare tactic by the oligarchic establishment in order to continue raking in huge profits and an ever increasing share of the capital-labor pie. How do we know this? Well, we know there is general inflation that is further squeezing the wallets of the average working family because every single wage earning member of a family that is not of privilege will be the first to tell you that their wage is not going nearly as far as it was 1, 2, or 3 years ago. Not only this, but the US Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers for the Consumer Price Index puts inflation at its highest numbers in 40 years.

Read More »
POLITICAL ECONOMY 

A Marxist Theory of Inflation

Michael Roberts Blog | August 21, 2020

In my previous post on inflation, I spelt out why mainstream theories of inflation have been proved wrong empirically; leaving mainstream economics in a confusion about what just does drive inflation in the prices of goods and services.  In this post, I want to argue that mainstream theories of inflation falter because they are not based on the law of value that operates in the capitalist mode of production.  Both the monetarist and Keynesian theories fail because of this.

Marx opposed both these mainstream theories. The quantity theory of money was opposed by Marx for two reasons: 1) money is endogenous, created by banks etc, not by state fiat; 2) overall, money represents value in commodity production and is not independent of it.Read More »

COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND ECONOMY 

COVID and Inflation

Michael Roberts Blog | August 18, 2020

Is inflation going to rise once the lockdowns from the pandemic have been relaxed?  Mainstream economics has no idea.  For a start, the rate of inflation in the prices of goods and services in the major capitalist economies has been falling as a trend since the 1980s.  And this is despite the attempts of central banks to boost the money supply in order to stimulate demand and reach a certain inflation target.

Read More »

India to witness severe food inflation due to extreme weather

by Richard Mahapatra

Down To Earth | February 13, 2020

Rising prices of food items, particularly that of vegetables, have spiked retail inflation to a 68-month high of 7.59 per cent in January 2020, according to the National Statistical Office.

While the inflation figure captured headlines, a crucial analysis of the reasons behind this sustained increase in food prices slipped public attention. Extreme weather events have led to crop damages, leading to a collapse in the supply of vegetables at a time of the year when they usually flood the markets.

On the basis of year-on-year comparison, vegetable prices have gone up by 50.19 per cent since January 2019. They have spiked by 45.56 per cent in rural areas / markets during this period and by 59.31 per cent in urban areas.Read More »