A debt Jubilee for America?

by Paul Craig Roberts As school children my friends and I were very interested in archaeology and ancient civilizations. We read all the available books. My best friend intended to become an archaeologist and to explore ancient ruins about which we imagined more than we actually knew. As far as I can discern these days no one in the general population has any thoughts of Sumer, Babylonia, Assyria, Ur. For the American young the 1940s, not 2,500 BC, is the ancient past. A time so long ago that it predates the Old Testament by 2,000 years is probably imagined as a brutal and politically incorrect time of inhumanity and human sacrifice. In short, a script for a horror fantasy movie or a video game. In actual fact, these civilizations were ...

Are debts sins?

For millennia we have been told that Jesus Christ died for our sins. So much focus on sin hasn’t left much room for theologians to talk about Jesus’ thoughts on economic justice. But what if, as a social reformer, Jesus was killed because he talked about reforming the economics of his day? Writing-off debt has been a cornerstone of economic reform for millennia, so could it have been debt that Jesus wanted to do away with? Ross Ashcroft travels to New York to meet economist Michael Hudson, whose latest book explains why ancient debt principles have never been more relevant than today. LIKE Renegade Inc. on Facebook here FOLLOW Renegade Inc. at @Renegade_Inc PODCAST https://soundcloud.com/rttv/sets/renegade-inc  

Inflation: the End?

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"Is inflation dead?" asks the Bloomberg/BusinessWeek magazine cover. DOUBLE DOWN's Max Keiser & Stacy Herbert talk to Dr Michael Hudson, an economist and author, who laughs out loud at the notion. Inflation in asset prices has soared as witnessed in Berlin recently where tens of thousands took to the street to protest rising rents. The rise in inflation has been reflected in the rise in debt that is where it is all masked. Hudson notes that student debt, most of it unpayable, is now at over $1.5 trillion. They also discuss policies like Medicare4All now taking off amongst the younger generations saddled with all these debts. Healthcare costs also burden US employers in a way none of their competitors around the world have to deal with. So is inflation dead? ...

Tax Resistance, Debts and Empire

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I appeared at The People's Forum on this highly recommended panel. Join Dr. Michael Hudson, New Testament Scholar, Dr. Aliou Niang and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Biblical Scholar and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, for a discussion on the history of debt and what it means for our context today. Moderated by Shailly Gupta Barnes and the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice.

Up in Arms

The Delphic Oracle Was Their Davos: A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson: A New “Reality Economics” Curriculum Is Needed (Part 4) Cross-posted from Naked Capitalism By John Siman, who is also the author of Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 in this series John Siman: I want to spell out the implications of the points that Socrates brought up, and with which you and I agree. That leaves the question facing us today: Is the American oligarchy and state as rapacious as that of Rome? Or is it universally the nature of oligarchy in any historical setting to be rapacious? And if so, where is it all leading? Michael Hudson: If Antiquity had followed the “free market” policies of modern neoliberal economics, the Near East, Greece and Rome would never have ...

The DNA of Western civilization is financially unstable

The Delphic Oracle Was Their Davos: A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson: (Part 3) Cross-posted from Naked Capitalism By John Siman, who is also the author of Part 1 and Part 2 in this series John Siman: It seems that unless there’s a Hammurabi-style “divine king” or some elected civic regulatory authority, oligarchies will arise and exploit their societies as much as they can, while trying to prevent the victimized economy from defending itself. Michael Hudson: Near Eastern rulers kept credit and land ownership subordinate to the aim of maintaining overall growth and balance. They prevented creditors from turning citizens into indebted clients obliged to work off their debts instead of serving in the military, providing corvée labor and paying crop rents or other fees to the palatial sector. JS: So looking at history ...

Mixed economies and monopoly

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The Delphic Oracle Was Their Davos: A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson: Mixed Economies Today, Compared To Those Of Antiquity (Part 2) John Siman: Could you define what you mean by a mixed economy? Michael Hudson: There are many degrees of how “mixed” an economy will be — meaning in practice, how active its government sector will be in regulating markets, prices and credit, and investing in public infrastructure. In the 20th century’s Progressive Era a century ago, a “mixed economy” meant keeping natural monopolies in the public sector: transportation, the post office, education, health care, and so forth. The aim was to save the economy from monopoly rent by a either direct public ownership or government regulation to prevent price gouging by monopolies. The kind of “mixed economy” envisioned by Adam Smith, John ...

The Delphic Oracle as their Davos

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A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson About His Forthcoming Book The Collapse of Antiquity (Part 1) Cross-Posted from Naked Capitalism. By John Siman Note: Michael Hudson published … and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year in November of last year. It is the first volume in what will be a trilogy on the long history of the tyranny of debt. I have interviewed him extensively as he writes the second volume, The Collapse of Antiquity. John Siman: Michael, in the first volume of your history of debt — "… and forgive them their debts", dealing with the Bronze Age Near East, Judaism and early Christianity — you showed how over thousands of years, going back to the invention of interest-bearing loans in Mesopotamia in ...