Privatizing Social Security to Inflate Stock Market Prices

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Contents Introduction Why it was regressive to fund Social Security as an autonomous system Financial engineering vs. industrial profits and employment Social Security, forced saving and Labor Capitalism What if the stock market does boom? Will that save Social Security? Introduction This would not seem to be an auspicious time to mount a campaign to privatize Social Security. The investors who placed their pension-plan accounts and other savings in the stock market in the 1990s have found much of their gain wiped out since the downturn began in late winter 2000. Throughout the world an aversion to losing one’s savings has been spreading. Last spring German citizens suffered such heavy losses gambling away their savings in 401(k)-type investment schemes that in addition to curtailing their investments, many are ...

The New Economic Archaeology of Debt

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Introduction to Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East (ed. with Marc Van De Mieroop) (CDL Press, Baltimore, 2002) Economists, anthropologists and assyriologists have discussed the origins of debt and the setting of interest rates from such different perspectives that there has been remarkably little overlap or mutual discussion. Indeed, when economic theorists have ventured to speculate on the origins of debt, they usually have based their reasoning on a priori market-oriented principles rather than looking at the historical record. One of the aims of this colloquium is therefore to establish a more historically grounded basis for tracing the course of commercial and agrarian debt in Bronze Age Mesopotamia, and the logic that underlay the Clean Slates that annulled ...

I Meet the Leading Authority on the Babylonian and Near East Tradition of Debt Cancellation

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Copy of a regular newsletter by Boudewijn Wegerif, Sweden WHAT MATTERS-77 Dear list members, Yesterday I was with an American economist who says of himself that he is a Marxist, whose godfather was Leon Trotsky, whose father was thrown in prison in the US in 1941 for advocating the overthrow of the government, who has worked for the Chase Manhattan Bank as their balance of payments expert, and who is now an authority on the Babylonian and Near East tradition of debt cancellation. I was with someone who in another guise, as musician, once auditioned to conduct the orchestra of the Stockholm Opera Company: - someone whom I had been told I would find extremely rude, with a verbal bite as sharp as ...