Yearly Archives: 2012

Michael Hudson: America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff, Part II – The Financial War Against the Economy at Large

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is “The Bubble and Beyond.”

Today’s economic warfare is not the kind waged a century ago between labor and its industrial employers. Finance has moved to capture the economy at large, industry and mining, public infrastructure (via privatization) and now even the educational system. (At over $1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt came to exceed credit-card debt in 2012.) The weapon in this financial warfare is no larger military force. The tactic is to load economies (governments, companies and families) with debt, siphon off their income as debt service and then foreclose when debtors lack the means to pay. Indebting government gives creditors a lever to pry away land, public infrastructure and other property in the public domain. Indebting companies enables creditors to seize employee pension savings.

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Banks Deeply Involved in FBI-Coordinated Suppression of “Terrorist” Occupy Wall Street

If you’ve been following the story of the official response to Occupy Wall Street, it was apparent that the 17 city paramilitary crackdown was coordinated; it came out later that the Department of Homeland Security was the nexus of that operation. The deep FBI involvement is a new and ugly addition to this picture.

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Does Floating Hagel Balloon Show Obama’s Posture Towards Iran?

This Real News Network interview with Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies looks at the significance of the surfacing of Chuck Hagel as a candidate to run the Department of Defense. Hagel is an interesting choice because he believes in cutting defense spending and in communicating with all of our actual and designated bad guys, including Iran. The latter view has made him an official target of AIPAC.

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Deprogramming Progressives Indoctrinated into Supporting Austerity

By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Jointly posted with New Economic Perspectives

A little bit of economics can be a truly terrible thing, for the introductory classes in micro and macro-economics are the most dogmatic and myth-filled part of the neo-liberal curriculum. Dogmas that have been falsified for 75 years (such as austerity) are taught as revealed truth. The poor indoctrinated student is then launched into the world “knowing” that austerity is the answer and that mass unemployment and prolonged recessions are small prices to be paid (by others) to achieve the holy grail of a balanced budget. Students are taught that national budgets are really just like household budgets. These dogmas are not simply false, they are self-destructive and cruel. Neo-liberal economics is so bad and has gone downhill at such a rapid rate that it now worships the economic analog to bleeding patients – austerity – as a response to a Great Recession. Millions of people are indoctrinated annually into believing this long-falsified nonsense, and that includes people who consider themselves progressives.

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Michael Hudson: America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff: Part I

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College,. His latest book is “The Bubble and Beyond.”

How today’s fiscal austerity is reminiscent of World War I’s economic misunderstandings

When World War I broke out in August 1914, economists on both sides forecast that hostilities could not last more than about six months. Wars had grown so expensive that governments quickly would run out of money. It seemed that if Germany could not defeat France by springtime, the Allied and Central Powers would run out of savings and reach what today is called a fiscal cliff and be forced to negotiate a peace agreement.

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The Fed Targets Unemployment With More Money for Banks

[Patient readers: My Internet coverage got knocked out this evening and early morning by the storm. We are now returning you to your regular service. --lambert]

Paul Jay of the Real News Network interviews Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and founding co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI).

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Obama Administration Seeks to Strengthen Rupert Murdoch

Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. He can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/matthewstoller

Earlier this year, Obama Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed relaxing media ownership rules to allow Rupert Murdoch to buy the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. It’s not something you’ll see discussed much, because Republicans like the fact that Murdoch is going to get more power, while Democrats don’t want to admit that Obama is helping the person framed as their arch-nemesis. This is part of a larger pattern – media consolidation is one of the many structural problems that Obama promised to deal with. And indeed, this is the real arena where the battle over free speech is being fought. Corporate control over our communications infrastructure is the free speech question of our time.

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