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econ 80a lecture 11

econ 80a lecture 11 - OCONNOR A Marxist perspective on the...

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O CONNOR A Marxist perspective on the effort of "money bags," via the government, to stay in power .problem is, that the "fiscal" cost (to the government) of doing so is not sustainable .or so O Connor thought. But .as usual, book heavily influenced by the time (early 1970s) and for the times, he was clearly in the ball-park Unlike Keynes and Marx, who say a crisis for the system as a whole, O Connor s "crisis" lies within the government: We stand at a crossroads in our fiscal arrangements. Many of our citizens are alarmed by the increasing share of their incomes that is taken away by Federal, Stated, and local taxes [as true today as then!] The propensity to spend more than we are prepared to finance through taxes is becoming deep- seated and ominous [he clearly didn t know the persuasive powers of Bill Clinton]. An early end to Federal deficits is not now in sight. Numerous Federal programs have a he growth of expenditures built into them, and there are proposals presently before the Congress that would raise expenditures by vast amounts in coming years. The Fiscal Crisis of the State, p. 2 ************************************************************* The "theory" involves a discussion of what he calls "fiscal politics." 1. the volume and nature of government spending, and 2. the distribution of the tax burden Two simple assumptions regarding the role of the state in a capitalist society: these are "accumulation," and "legitimation ," or in ordinary language, promoting growth (particularly for the large corporate powers) and keeping the lid on the system which would otherwise revolt in response to the oppressive power of the corporation. While the state serves the corporate interests, it is not without some degree of power>>>>>derived from its ability to TAX; and O Connor assumes that the tax system is essentially regressive, or at least becoming less progressive [the latter assumption is closer to reality far closer under Reagan and Bush 2]. The expenditures of the state are obviously related to its two functions, which he breaks down a bit more: ACCUMULATION, requires what he calls SOCIAL CAPITAL; made up of Social Investment (infra structure, education, research ) and Social Consumption (suburban development, child care, medical facilities, social, medical and unemployment INSURANCE not welfare!)
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LEGITIMATION, requires Social Expenses, made up of welfare, the police, and the military THE SYSTEM WORKS ALONG THE FOLLOWING LINES: 1. State expenditures are required for accumulation (a la Keynes, Smith, and Marx) 2. Accumulation requires state expenditures (a la Marx. ..) to deal with the resulting poverty
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econ 80a lecture 11 - OCONNOR A Marxist perspective on the...

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