Are Students a Class?

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Students usually don’t think of themselves as a class. They seem “pre-class,” because they have not yet entered the labor force. They can only hope to become part of the middle class after they graduate. And that means becoming a wage earner – what impolitely is called the working class. But as soon as they take out a student debt, they become part of the economy. They are in this sense a debtor class. But to be a debtor, one needs a means to pay – and the student’s means to pay is out of the wages and salaries they may earn after they graduate. And after all, the reason most students get an education is so that they can qualify ...

Jargon, Junk Reviewed

A Book Review by Peter Koenig via the Saker website The author, Michael Hudson, is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Michael’s book, Junk Economics, reads like an economic thriller. It also provides all the answers to: “What I always wanted to know about Economics, but was afraid to ask”. It is a fascinating read, written for ‘experts’ as well as for economic novices. It is a factual account of what so called ‘Propaganda Experts’ want you to believe about economics, and it dismantles the myths. It explains ‘jargons’ that are on purpose coined, so that the average reader ...

Review of Steve Keen’s “Can we void another financial crisis?”

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At first glance Steve Keen's new book 'Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis' seems too small-sized at 147 pages. But like a well-made atom-bomb, it is compactly designed for maximum reverberation to blow up its intended target. Explaining why today’s debt residue has turned the United States, Britain and southern Europe into zombie economies, Steve Keen shows how ignoring debt the blind spot of neoliberal economics – basically the old neoclassical just-pretend view of the world. Neoclassical's glib mathiness is a gloss for its unscientific “don’t worry about debt” message. Blame for today’s U.S., British and southern European ...

The Real Russiagate: Obama’s Stasi State

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by Michael Hudson and Paul Craig Roberts Mike Whitney has written an excellent expose of the “Russiagate” cover story for Obama’s political use of national security to help his party oppose Republicans. Covert surveillance of politicians on Obama’s Nixon-like “Enemies List” has been going on for many years, but is only now being unmasked as a result of the failure of its cover story (“We weren’t spying on enemies; only on Russians to protect America”). Democratic-leaking mass media have passed on the cover story authored by former Obama-administration officials led by CIA director John Brennan, FBI director James Comey, the DNC, and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff. The loose ends in this cover-up have now been so widely exposed as hearsay and political ...

Wall Street First

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Trump is Obama’s Legacy. Will this Break up the Democratic Party? Nobody yet can tell whether Donald Trump is an agent of change with a specific policy in mind, or merely a catalyst heralding an as yet undetermined turning point. His first month in the White House saw him melting into the Republican mélange of corporate lobbyists. Having promised to create jobs, his “America First” policy looks more like “Wall Street First.” His cabinet of billionaires promoting corporate tax cuts, deregulation and dismantling Dodd-Frank bank reform repeats the Junk Economics promise that giving more tax breaks to the richest One Percent may lead them to use their windfall to invest in creating more jobs. What they usually do, of course, is ...

The Land Belongs to God

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Speech to the Union Theological Seminary, Columbia. The focus of my talk today will be Jesus' first sermon and the long background behind it that helps explain what he was talking about and what he sought to bring about. I've been associated with Harvard University's Peabody Museum for over thirty years in Babylonian economic archeology. And for more than twenty years I've headed a group out of Harvard, the International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE), writing a new economic history of the ancient Near East. The five colloquia volumes that we've published began in 1994. We decided we have to re-write the history to free it from the modern ideological preconceptions that have distorted much popular understanding. When I ...

Break Up the Democratic Party

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It’s Time for the Clintons, Rubin to Go – and Soros too. In the week leading up to last Tuesday’s election the press was busy writing obituaries for the Republican Party. This continued even after Donald Trump’s “surprising” victory – which, like the 2008 bank-fraud crash, “nobody could have expected.” The pretense is that Trump saw what no other politician saw: that the economy has not recovered since 2008. Democrats still seem amazed that voters are more concerned about economic conditions and resentment against Wall Street (no bankers jailed, few junk mortgages written down). It is a sign of their wrong path that party strategists are holding onto the same identity politics they have used since the 1960s to divide Americans ...

Rentier Capitalism – Veblen in the 21st century

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In 2012 a conference was held on Thorstein Veblen in Istanbul. It was sponsored by a socialist labor union, the Chamber of Electrical Engineers. We were asked why not focus on Marx. My answer was that Marx had died a generation earlier, and the major critique of finance capitalism had passed to Veblen. This book (from which my following remarks are excerpted) is a series of essays, including by myself and another NC friend, Michael Perelman. The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism Michael Hudson Edited excerpt from Michael Hudson and Ahmet Oncu, eds., Absentee Ownership and its Discontents: Critical Essays on the legacy of Thorstein Veblen (ISLET 2016, $35). Simon Patten recalled in 1912 that ...