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Podcast: Capitalism Just Keeps Churning

Guido Westerwelle, at right, leader of Germany's Free Democratic Party, celebrates victory with his boyfriend, Michael Mronz, after last month's elections.
Joern Pollex
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Getty Images
Guido Westerwelle, at right, leader of Germany's Free Democratic Party, celebrates victory with his boyfriend, Michael Mronz, after last month's elections.
Podcast: Capitalism Just Keeps Churning

On today's Planet Money:

During the Great Depression, people began ditching capitalism for ideologies like communism or socialism. That hasn't happened during the Great Recession, despite people saying that capitalism's flaws are on full display. Socialist parties have been losing ground across Europe. In Germany, for example, the Socialist Democratic Party just made its poorest showing in elections since World War II.

Eurasia Group's David Gordon says the political right is doing well in Europe these days because it has co-opted issues that traditionally belonged to the left. Where the left remains popular, as it does in Latin America, successful politicians have moved to the right. Meanwhile, he argues, the left lacks a compelling narrative about what caused the economic crisis.

Bonus: The job market is not your fault.

Download the podcast; or subscribe. Intro music: Muse's "Uprising." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Flickr.

Maureen Flaherty writes that she has joined the crowd of people laid off for longer than 27 weeks. She says she's glad to see the big picture about the economy:

The job hunt is just going nowhere, because I am determined on staying in my field, but I am less discouraged knowing what is driving the employment stagnation.

I actually got laid off from the green building industry with 5 years of experience. This is one of the allegedly booming sectors, but nobody actually has any money to hire new people, even with my level of experience and knowledge.

I go to lots of industry-specific networking events, though usually I find that more than half of the attendees are either under- or unemployed. Lately, talk at these events focuses on where the money has gone. Inevitably (and not always me), someone brings up credit markets and commercial paper and why the * no company seems to have re-acquired the line of credit that they need to make their business go again. We used to talk about forest management, timber certification schemes and locally manufactured eco-paints Now we talk about lending.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Laura Conaway
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