New School University race to the bottom

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I found a story in Saturday’s New York Times that I think epitomizes the crapification of higher education in the United States. It concerns the New School, where I taught at the graduate faculty from 1969 to 1972 (when it was still called the New School for Social Research). Sharon Otterman, “Facing Budget Troubles, Some Colleges Look to Sell the President’s House,” The New York Times, February 16, 2024. The New School wants to sell its presidential residence in Manhattan for $20 million. It joins other small colleges that are turning to their real estate to help them through budget troubles. The president of the New School in Manhattan is about to lose an extraordinary perk: a five-story West Village townhouse that for decades has served as the university head’s official residence. The school, ...

Global Insecurity

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io0H1i7Xf8s RADHIKA DESAI: Hello and welcome to the 19th Geopolitical Economy Hour, the program where we discuss the evolving political and geopolitical economy of our time. I'm Radhika Desai. MICHAEL HUDSON: And I'm Michael Hudson. And we bring you this program with the help of our host, Ben Norton, our videographer Paul Graham, and our transcriber Zach Weisser. The carnage in Gaza has paused, though the possibility that this will open the door to a permanent resolution is remote. Little else seems to have changed. The U.S. remains doubled down on its one-sided support for a murderous Israel, the tail that wags the U.S. dog. MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, it's not only the United States that's doubling down, it's Europe that's doubling down. And it's becoming, you're seeing, they've banned protests supporting the Palestinians ...

The Dumb Luck of Dollar Hegemony

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https://youtu.be/Zjni3f13XMw Support Michael Hudson's unique perspective by joining his Patreon group, where we hold these quarterly discussions. Next is Thurs Dec 7th. Karl: Welcome everyone to another quarterly session with Michael. We’ve got to come up with a good nickname with these (sessions). They're great discussions and we like to have a fireside type conversation with Michael, who, of course, you all know, as one of the world's leading experts of neoliberal era we live in. And yeah, Michael, we have with Patreon now about 270 supporters. So it's absolutely fantastic that we've grown to that many.  M: I'm glad you encouraged me to start it.  K: Yeah, well, it's been a nice way to get to know a few of your supporters and having these Q&A sessions certainly helps. So, yeah, a big ...

Were the Biblical Prophets Anti-Semitic?

If the prophets of ancient Israel such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi and Amos were alive today, Benjamin Netanyahu would accuse them of anti-Semitism for daring to describe his government as a travesty of what the Mosaic covenant was all about. A common thread running throughout the Jewish Bible – Christianity’s Old Testament – was to criticize kings, the wealthy and corrupt courts for violating the Mosaic commandments to create a fair and equitable society protecting the poor from the economic oppression of debt bondage, and loss of their land. If the prophets were summoned to give judgment today, it is Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party and the steeply unequal economy of Israel that would be condemned as violating the most basic laws of Biblical Judaism. Prophet after prophet described the Lord ...

Twice as Important

IMF showdown with China in Morocco, October 12, 2023 This year’s annual IMF/World Bank meetings in Morocco are the most explicitly confrontational yet by US/NATO diplomacy toward China and its fellow BRICS+ allies. It is not really rivalry, because US neoliberal financial policy is so different from the aims that the BRICS+ countries have been developing at their own recent international meetings. At issue is not only what countries will be the major beneficiaries of future IMF and World Bank loan operations, but whether the world will back US unipolar dominance? Or will it start to move explicitly toward a multipolar philosophy of mutual support to increase living standards and prosperity? This is counter to the anti-labor austerity imposed by US demands, using these two organizations as arms of its New ...

A BRICS+ Bank: How would it really function?

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This first week of October has seen U.S. interest rates soar to the 5% level on long-term Treasury bonds. That has made long-term Treasuries one of most attractive investment vehicles in the world, or even the most attractive. One obvious result is that countries aiming to dedollarize their central-bank reserves would make an untimely decision move out of the dollar at this point. To avoid holding dollars in the form of US Treasury securities would mean holding foreign reserves denominated in a currency that is declining against the dollar. No other government is willing to make its currency so attractive to international investors (including central banks) by raising interest-rates so high.  At 5%, US bonds are the most secure and best investment around. There is a huge move into the dollar – ...

The Looming War Against China

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Economic Logic has been Replaced by National Security Overrides The July NATO summit in Vilnius had the feeling of a funeral, as if they had just lost a family member – Ukraine. To clear away NATO’s failure to drive Russia out of Ukraine and move NATO right up to the Russian border, its members tried to revive their spirits by mobilizing support for the next great fight – against China, which is now designated as their ultimate strategic enemy. To prepare for this showdown, NATO announced a commitment to extend their military presence all the way to the Pacific. The plan is to carve away China’s military allies and trading partners, above all Russia, starting with the fight in Ukraine. President Biden has said that this war will be global in scope ...

ZIRP’s only Exit path is a Crash

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The United States’ Financial Quandary: ZIRP’s only Exit path is a Crash Abstract Interest-bearing debt grows exponentially, in an upsweep. The non-financial economy of production and consumption grows more slowly as income is diverted to carry the debt overhead. A crash occurs when a large part of the economy cannot pay its scheduled debt service. That point arrived for the U.S. economy in 2008, but was minimized by a bank bailout, followed by a 14-year boom as the Federal Reserve increased bank liquidity by its Zero Interest-Rate Policy (ZIRP). Flooding the capital markets with easy credit quintupled stock prices and engendered the largest bond market boom in U.S. history, but did not revive tangible capital investment, real wages or prosperity for the non-financial economy at large. Reversing the ZIRP in 2022 caused bond ...

Should there really be a Supreme Court? 

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Its role always has been anti-democratic. Vested interests create “checks and balances” primarily to make political systems non-responsive to demands for social reform. Historically, therefore, the checks are politically unbalanced in practice. Instead of producing a happy medium, their effect often has been to check the power of the people to assert their interests at the expense of the more powerful. Real reform requires a revolution – often repeated attempts. The Roman Republic suffered five centuries of fighting to redistribute land and cancel debts, all of which failed as the oligarchy’s “checks” imposed deepening economic dependency and imbalance. The Supreme Court is America’s most distinctive check. Its deepening bias since its takeover by “conservatives” claiming to be “originalist” interpreters of the constitution, has led to the most widespread protests since Franklin Roosevelt ...