Full text: From Stagnation in the 30s to Slow Growth in the 70s.

3) The reasons why this prosperity period came to an end and 
gave way to slower growth, great Bnemployment and a lot of 
subsidiary problems such as indebtedness. 
want to deal 
with two questions which arise from my treatment of the 
accumulation process in U.S. 
1) I took the view that the great depression 1929-1939 did 
not come as suddenly, from a historical perspective, as it 
seemed at the time, but that a decline in the rate of 
accumulation -the rate of growth of capital - had in fact 
begun a long time ago. From what data we have ( they are 
have not radically changed 
since ) it appears that the accumulation reached a high in 
the 1880s and declined afterwards. A decline is also shown 
in the growth rates of the G N P. 
Now the first reaction to this observation might well be this: 
The decline should not occasion any great surprise or 
constitute a problem, since the growt£ a o? population and of 
the labour force has also declined. It should be regarded as 
only natural that the national product and also the cppital 
stock would move roughly parallel to the labour force. 
Befoi£ we settle, however, on this "supply determined" 
explanation, we should consider that the accumulation process 
consisted largely in an enormous shift of labour from 
agriculture to industry, and also from rural to urban settlements. 
In fact, the growth rate of the non-agricultural labour force 
might be used as a primitive measure of accumulation 
for the early periods.

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