“Crises Lasting for Decades,” [PDF] Science & Society, vol. 54, no. 1 (Spring 1990), pp. 73-81
Sometimes a theoretical debate will degenerate into a tower of babel because the participants, without being aware of the fact, are answering not the same question but different questions. It is therefor essential to be clear about what is being asked. In the case of my essay in The Imperiled Economy (Foster, 1987), which Hower Sherman criticizes in a recent article in Science & Society (Sherman, 1989), the question was given in the title: “what is Stagnation?” Moreover, stagnation is distinguished from the business cycle in a sentence that refers to the former as a “trend-line” of slow growth “around which the recurrent fluctuations of the business cycle occur” (Foster, 1987, 59). Similarly, in the other article that Sherman criticizes along with my own – “Power, Accumulation, and Crisis” by Gordon, Weisskopf and Bowles – the authors also make it clear that what they are trying to address at that point is ” the stagnation of the United States economy over the last two decades…” (GWB, 1987, 53).
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