Well-Being and Beyond
Show Less

Well-Being and Beyond

Broadening the Public and Policy Discourse

Edited by Timo J. Hämäläinen and Juliet Michaelson

This book will broaden the public and policy discourse on the importance of well-being by examining psychological, social, environmental, economic, organizational, institutional and political determinants of individual well-being.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 6: Buying alone: how the decreasing American happiness turned into the current economic crisis

Stefano Bartolini


Capitalism is an unstable economic system. Although it often generates economic growth over the long term, this growth does not take place in a continuous fashion, but rather in a cyclical manner, that is, alternating periods of economic boom and stagnation and, at times, deep recession. Many argue that the crisis that began in the summer of 2007 is one of the typical cyclical crises of capitalism. In its extraordinary dimension it is a 'black swan', an extremely unlikely event. The message implied by these interpretations of the crisis is: we do not need to change things. The party is simply on hold for the moment, because the jukebox is broken. But it will be mended and the dancing will start again, as thrilling and fun as before. The thesis I contend, instead, is that the present crisis is not simply a cyclical one and it does not merely signal the instability of capitalism. It is the entire type of capitalism that became dominant, especially in the US in the last few decades, that is in crisis. My message is: the music is, after all, not that great at this party, even when the jukebox works and, in any case, if we don't change the music, the jukebox will break down over and over again. In fact, the current crisis is the epilogue of the type of capitalism that I have called NEG (negative endogenous growth) capitalism.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.