Full text: Distribution and Growth

prevented the economy from sagging. The system was crawling 
near the ceiling (although in a respectful distance from it), 
always under pressure from below, owing to the continued 
growth and the keeping up of consumption through a wage drift 
which kept the share of labour from falling. 
This constellation unfortunately does not exist any more, and 
once it has been shattered it is not so easy to re-establish it. 
We must not by any means expect symmetrical results if we now 
turn to the other case, that of low growth. This depresses 
utilization and profits, and therefore tends to even lower 
growth. This result could be avoided if the profit margin 3C 
would decrease. 
I have discussed (in Maturity and Stagnation) the conditions 
for a mechanism by which (K would adapt itself to a lowering 
of the growth rate. It would work by a competitive struggle 
with the aim of eliminating high cost producers; this would 
re-establish a normal degree of utilization and at the same 
time lower the profit margin % . In an oligopolistic industry, 
however, this mechanism can not easily work, because the risks 
and cost of a competitive struggle are much too high. In 
consequence the oligopolistically organised industry will 
experience permanent excess capacity if the growth rate falls,

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