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The golden age
"The 15-hour working week predicted by Keynes may soon be within our grasp - but are we ready for freedom from toil?"
"An escape from what Keynes called the tunnel of economic necessity is still open to us. Yet it will require changes in the economic structures that drive the chase for money and in the attitudes shaped by a culture of consumption. After decades of finance-driven capitalism, it takes an effort to recall that such changes ever seemed possible.
Yet it is now clear that market liberalism has failed in its own terms. It promised that if markets were set free, everyone would benefit in the long run. In reality, most households in developed countries experienced less income growth under market liberalism than in the decades of Keynesian social democracy after 1945. Of more immediate importance, except for the top one percent there has been no recovery from the crisis of 2008, and even worse looms ahead. And despite the initial success of the backlash against Keynesian macroeconomic policies, austerity is now failing in political as well as economic terms."
John Quiggin is the author of "Voodoo Economics" (2010).
to read "The golden age" published September 27, 2012 on http://www.aeonmagazine.com, click on