The answer for part (A) is as follows; These three elements, big business, big labor and big government worked together to promote economic prosperity from the late 1940s to the early 1970’s because of the benefits of economies of scale for these three groups. Big business has evolved to such a size that now many corporations have bigger turnovers than some small countries. Big government has evolved to cope with the changes in technology, society and business, so that by a series of regulations aimed at controlling the actions of big corporations they can control how capitalism works.
Big labor also helped in this economic prosperity by supporting the governments’ regulations and helped with the creation of a wealthy consumer middle class that improved economic prosperity. All of these three groups could see that there would be an improvement in the economies of the world after the Second World War, and that economic prosperity and job stability alone with lower costs could be achieved by working together to try and promote this in an informal way.
The answer for part (B) is as follows; Informal cooperation was possible before the late 1970s because of the favorable economic conditions, however during the depression of the 70s corporations realized they needed to be innovative and develop new products as well as be creative in how they work in order to improve their own business position in a depression.
The way technology has developed since the 1970s has led to a situation where military products have been adapted for the consumer market and improved transportation and communication have meant that global trade is now an instant transaction that rarely requires an agent or a middleman. Direct marketing is now very important and the development of production methods and process improvements have meant that products can be made and sold a lot cheaper than they used to be.
The answer for part (C) is as follows; The particular brand of capitalism practiced today in the United States is said to be super-charged because it is a form of capitalism that has accelerated rapidly over the last 40 years. The fundamental characteristics of this brand of capitalism are hyper competition between organizations and the lack of any oligopolies, combined with the activities of labor unions.
This link between super-charged capitalism and technological advancement has lead to the situation the global economy is in today. There is increased trade between countries, more competition on a global scale between massive corporations who can use their huge economies of scale to bring about low production costs and high profits. Individual consumers have also become part of this super capitalism, due to the fact that financial deregulation has happened and allowed normal people to save and invest in the economy.
The answer for part (D) is as follows; Reich’s statement about being in two minds about super capitalism in the twenty-first century can be interpreted in a number of ways. The system of super capitalism works in such a way that it is linked with democracy through the political control of organizations. Governments control organizations, yet organizations control governments through their employees gaining political positions that they use to the benefit of the corporations instead of the citizens of the country.
Now that major corporations can influence the decisions of the politicians the ordinary people of the world are starting to see that they are almost irrelevant when it comes to political decision making, as usually decisions are made in favor of corporations and not individuals. There is a choice that people have to make, between having access to low cost products or having a say in the democratic process and making the government into a solely political organization and ban politicians from holding positions in large corporations.
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