Disaster Capitalism

Naomi Klein argues that disaster creates opportunities for capitalism to expand. If so, opportunities will abound. Perpetual war will do the same.

Consider the plan by NYC to provide a protective wall around Lower Manhattan. First, the protection extends only to the rich, not to, say, the Bronx. Second, the plan confers expansion opportunities for real estate industries. Third, the $10 billion price tag is way too low.

Miami, for example, recently floated a bond issue for about $600 million to protect Miami from a rising sea with more intense storms. You get the picture: armoring cities and regions will cost a whole lot, so where isĀ  Dick Cheney’s Hallarburton?

The Iraq War provided lots of lucrative contracts Hallarburton. Indeed, never forget President Eisenhower’s warning about the Military Industrial Complex.

Recession ==> Green Economy

I heard somewhere that a recession provides the opportunity to pause, to reconsider direction, strategy, and next steps for the organization. Many savvy observers see a recession on the horizon — although I see a robust consumer, low interest rates, and lots of opportunities for investment. This expansion is long in the tooth, lots of geopolitical risks threaten, and China slows.

However, should a recession hit I anticipate that:

  1. A period of at least three years before growth ensues again, not a short duration, will diminish further the legitimacy of capitalist.
  2. The opportunity for innovations and investments, particularly much needed infrastructure, opens up a needed transition to a green economy.

A recession could, should, become the gateway to an adaptive green economy, labor intensive and fair. Why not?