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Michael Hudson: Debt: The Politics and Economics of Restructuring

ilene's picture




 

Michael Hudson: Debt: The Politics and Economics of Restructuring

Intro by Ilene 

(Updated, originally posted at Phil's Stock World)

In the video below, Michael Hudson discusses how damaging "austerity" really is. It wastes labor and production, and leads to economic shrinkage. In the last 30 years, there's been a persistent widening of wealth disparity, an enormous redistribution of wealth between creditors and debtors. In the U.S., the top 1% have doubled their share of returns of wealth (interest, dividends, rent and capital gains).  

PROBLEM: The winners will push economies into Depressions rather than give up their gains. They will continue "business as usual." The creditors will not write down debt. Instead, they embrace the notion of "austerity." 

But austerity makes debts harder to pay. A shrinking economy has less tax revenue, and this exacerbates the budget deficit and leads to calls to cut back spending. Cutting back spending drains money from the economy, adding a tax drain to the debt drain. If you repay debt, the money doesn't get used to buy goods and services, markets shrink, and a declining spiral results. Without writing down the debt, the debt overhead and imposed austerity will shrink economies and polarize nations even further between debtors and creditors.

The choice:  Write down debts or suffer a chronic, severe recession. There's no way to recover while the debt overhead remains in place. 

That all debts can be repaid is an illusion.

Michael asserts that our economic models are quite flawed. In the U.S. 40% of the American labor budget goes to housing, about 15% goes to wage withholding for Social Security and medical care; other debt services (credit cards, student loans) is about 10%, and other taxes (income, sales) are about 10 to 15%. Of the take-home budgets of American workers, 75% is spent on non- goods and services. Only 25% is available for spending in the market. U.S. labor cannot compete with labor in economies that are less financialized, that have lower housing costs, where the government picks up infrastructure costs, and where the government basically has a lower cost structure.  

The problem is POLITICAL. There's NO fair solution that everyone gains on.

We cannot grow our way out of debt with a debt burden as enormous as it is today. Someone has to lose. In the U.S. the banks are blocking a solution. Michael argues that under today's conditions in the U.S., we are robbing the 99% to pay the 1%. That is the political setting.

And that political setting is supported by a large portion of our population in terms of power and voice. Just read the comments to Bruce Krasting's "A Different Buffett Rule - One That Would Work" (posted at ZH) to see the strong reactions against Bruce's idea of taking some extra tax money from the richest folks to provide benefits to disabled people with devastating diseases - people qualifying for the Compassionate Allowance program of Social Security Disability.

The negative reaction seems to be based on the premise that the very rich fairly earned all their money, the poor are lazy, and the evil government should get out of the way.

But the system as it is operating now is stacked against the lower 99%; the playing field is hardly level.

And how is that? The government that dictates taxes also provides the framework, the laws and regulations governing our political, economic and financial systems. It created a system of crony capitalism that has enabled the 1+%ers to get to where they are and stay there. (I think the problem is at level higher than the top 1%, so I write 1%+.)

Charles Hugh Smith just posted an excellent piece that explores the tensions between the need for a central government and the corruption of that government in Crony Capitalism and the Expansive Central State:

"Crony capitalism arises when an expansive Central State dominates the economy. The Central State can then protect crony-capitalist perquisites, cartels, quasi-monopolies and financialization skimming operations of the sort which now dominate the U.S. economy's primary profit centers.

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"If we step back, the larger context is the purpose and role of establishing a State to protect its citizens from foreign and domestic predation and exploitation.

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"The Central State is granted the sole power of coercion by its membership (citizenry) to protect the membership from the predation of individuals, concentrations of wealth and other subgroups seeking monopoly. They grant the State this extraordinary power to insure that no subgroup or individual can gain enough power to dominate the entire membership for their private gain and to protect freedom of faith, movement, expression, enterprise and association.

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"Granting this power to the State creates a risk that the State itself may become predatory, supplanting the parasitic elements it was designed to limit..." (This excerpt was drawn from Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change)

The government provides the freedom and assistance (deregulation, failure to enforce laws, bills that help perpetuate quasi-monopolies) that enable the top 1%+ to continue accumulating more and more of the country's total wealth. It is also charged with keeping those at the top safe from the rage brewing at the bottom.

Within this context, the reality of the situation today, it makes perfect sense to take back some income (interest, dividends, rent, capital gains) from the wealthiest to help others who can't work to simply live. 

As Phil observed in $105,637 for Me, $80 for You!

"Isn’t this economy FANTASTIC?

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"It sure is for those of us in the top 1% (1.4M) - people earning over $352,000 in annual income. We made $105,637 more Dollars in 2010 than we did in 2009 – thanks in large part to the Fed’s fantastic policy of printing more and more money, which lets us borrow cheaply or invest with leverage in inflating equity as the Dollar collapses. 

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"Sure the Dollar collapsing hurts everyone – but an extra $105,637 keeps us ahead of inflation, right? 

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"I’m still jealous of course, as the top .01% (14,000 people) – who earn an average of $23.8M, were able to add another $4.2M to their annual incomes in 2010. That’s 52,500 TIMES the average $80 increase earned by the bottom 99%. (Chart above: source Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, NY Times.)

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"That’s right, somehow, the riff-raff in the bottom 99% managed to grab 7% of the Nation’s total increase in income – clearly Congress needs to make immediate changes to prevent this travesty from happening again! 

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"Steve Rattner has a different opinion:  'The only way to redress the income imbalance is by implementing policies that are oriented toward reversing the forces that caused it. That means letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy and adding money to some of the programs that House Republicans seek to cut. Allowing this disparity to continue is both bad economic policy and bad social policy. We owe those at the bottom a fairer shot at moving up.'...

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"Of course things seem fine if you are in the top 1%... and that means – very simply – less for the bottom 99%. When do we have the ideal amount? When we have 100% and the bottom 99% has zero? We already have 25% and in 2010 we captured 56% of the income gains, so our disproportionate share is, indeed, growing even more disproportionate every year...

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"The top 1% have their own top 1%... the bottom 99% of the top 1% also got screwed, capturing just 1/3 of the gains for 1.4M while the top 14,000 took 66% of the pie. 

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"Just like in 1927, the stock market is roaring as the rich get richer and trickle their increased earnings into stocks and commodities, with commodities being the most fun as rich people get to buy things they don’t need..."

The structure of our economy needs to be taken down and rebuilt. This not just a problem of debt but a problem of theory. 

 

Michael Hudson: Debt: The Politics and Economics of Restructuring

Courtesy of Jesse's Cafe Americain

I have been watching the presentations from the New Economic Thinking's (INET) Paradigm Lost Conference in Berlin. 

Here is Michael Hudson's talk on Debt and Restructuring from April 13, 2012

 

 
 

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Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:31 | 2357580 fresno dan
fresno dan's picture

"

The negative reaction seems to be based on the premise that the very rich fairly earned all their money, the poor are lazy, and the evil government should get out of the way."

Maybe there are some who think that.  But I suspect what some people hear is advocacy of taxing success.  I think to reach someone other than the choir, one has to say the problem is not successful bankers, but proping up unsuccessful bankers.  Its a Profit and LOSS system - it can't work if there are not losses.

Its like a digestive system - you gotta eat.  AND you gotta poop.  No pooping, and in a very short time you don't feel like eating.  And soon after that, you'll never eat again...

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:01 | 2358547 ilene
ilene's picture

One has to say the problem is not successful bankers, but propping up unsuccessful bankers.  Its a Profit and LOSS system - it can't work if there are not losses.

Good point, and that is a symptom of a larger problem that let that occur in the first place. I think Charles's article which I linked to addresses that very well. 

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 05:41 | 2357529 Sanksion
Sanksion's picture

Production leads to wealth. Consumption leads to poverty. When one says : "governemental stimulus" or "relance à la consommation", I hear "governement spending" and "relance à la pauvreté".

Spending : poverty
Saving : wealth

Get it straight into your mind and you'll be bullshitproof.

 Whatever you're an individual, or a group of individuals (as a corporation, a state, a nation), if you consume more than you produce, you end up dead. And a group of human net-producers will keep on reproducing and will be the DNA of the next humanity while you will have disappear from the surface, you consummer lemmings.

The 1% don't spend their revenues toward bullshit, iPads, luxury car, and so on, that's how you get rich. If you want to be poor, keep going on your poor's habits : spend recklessly, endlessly, with both hands, aggressively.

Keep going, I'm watching you and I admit I have some fun doing so...

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:40 | 2357587 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 halleluja! spread the gospel of sanity, bro... WTF is your avatar is holding up?

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:35 | 2357583 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Nice pistole there hombre. Do you use it on people...or as part of some form of "entertainment"? If it's the latter (and i hope it is of course) then indeed...you are proof that consumption is the sin de quo non of economic activity. Of course you have to be a rich COUNTRY simply to afford it. So yes, while i agree with your sentiment (foolish though it is) the fact of the matter is in a world where all private debt can be written off to zero endless then absolutely YES you want to spend "recklessly" as you call it. Insofar as "the 1% don't spend their revenues towards bullshit"...well, hahahahaha! really? "what do you call the housing bubble then?" it's called PRECISELY what the rich "spend towards bullshit on." And unlike equities real estate is and will forever be nothing but "a greater fools game." too bad we have to live in the darn things. AND TO THINK THE GOVERNMENT TAXES IT NO LESS!! hahahahaha. Anywho...market up strongly this AM...by all means..."be conservative"...in a non-trusting sort of way of course. "There's a reason people in that line of work have the strongest of faiths" as they say. It comes from simply understanding "you can become rich beyond belief in this space"...but, alas "you can lose it all too." Truly though nothing more than a den of thieves...it is the only honesty in this world. "And if you make ONE dollar you win" as they say.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 05:41 | 2357537 Nukular Freedum
Nukular Freedum's picture

Exactly. Which in turn implies true reform of the tax system along these lines:

http://pearlsforswine.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/how-to-reform-simply-ever...

Furthermore, if formal law and regulation systems were to be reformed this would fatally undermine the special advantages of the so called 1%:

http://pearlsforswine.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/a-dilemma-how-to-reform-t...

Final piece of the jigsaw for our less bright brethren on ZH (Krasting and Ilene): removal of the government monopoly on money and interest rates.
Combined result; benign and sustainable social revolution.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 03:37 | 2357448 Nukular Freedum
Nukular Freedum's picture

"We cannot grow our way out of debt with a debt burden as enormous as it is today. Someone has to lose. In the U.S. the banks are blocking a solution. Michael argues that under today's conditions in the U.S., we are robbing the 99% to pay the 1%. That is the political setting.

And that political setting is supported by a large portion of our population in terms of power and voice. Just read the comments to Bruce Krasting's "A Different Buffett Rule - One That Would Work" (posted at ZH) to see the strong reactions against Bruce's idea of taking some extra tax money from the richest folks to provide benefits to disabled people with devastating diseases - people qualifying for the Compassionate Allowance program of Social Security Disability."

You are completely misrepresenting the point of most of the comments in the thread which are arguing for radical reform of the system rather than tinkering with the broken system which you and Krasting advocate. You are really the ones who are defending the status quo with such ideas. Only question is why?
Also, regarding austerity, where were you when the government were stimulus spending during the boom times? Kept your hypocritical mouths shut then didnt you? Now suddenly your bleating again about the need for still more stimulus. Talk about complete and utter moral bankruptcy. You and the system deserve each other.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:36 | 2357585 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Illinois will work for me. What else ya' got?

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 02:10 | 2357389 putaipan
putaipan's picture

if i have done harm to MMt in any way...i am dreadfully sorry.

and we 'lefty's' will do everythin we can to support ron paul until the convention, but.... after that, if the only choice you have is the "other morman" i hope you will get right with us. this time, it is not a wasted vote.

 

althought these postings do reek of black veltvet and baerenyeager.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 01:37 | 2357362 goforgin
goforgin's picture

I am a big fan of Michael Hudson. But, the whole Economics Department at the U of Missouri, Kansas City needs to be recognized as the only educational institution  that has not been co opted by the bankers and CEOs.

Austerity is a fraud, and Michael Hudson tells it as it is. He has lazered on the principal problem with Western economies, that is, taxation of labor and its failure to tax unearned income such as rents, minerals, dividends and capital gains from and on real estate.

 

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 02:00 | 2357385 putaipan
putaipan's picture

no "but"s necissary dude . can you say "acedemia captured"?

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:39 | 2357586 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

well..."they're poor too." having said that...EVERYTHING IS TAXED! (that was academia's idea btw.) including PROPERTY! From whence comes this right? Shall we discuss "what they do with our money" then? WHAT? VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION EVEN MORE! DIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. (well...the default of the entire Continent of Europe will suffice. EXCELLENT WORK!)

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 01:35 | 2357360 putaipan
putaipan's picture

YEAH WELL- DID ANY OF YOU SUPPORT DENNIS WHEN MICHEAL WAS HIS MAN?

 

ROCKY !ROCKY!  ROCKY! ROCKY !

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 00:39 | 2357263 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

Poverty: Debt is not a Choice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juQc0rLdB-E

When Money is Debt; Wealth *is* Poverty

http://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/blog/dispatches/236

Main Street DOES NOT have enough money to pay back its debts.  Increasing our taxes will bankrupt us even sooner.

Debt Dollar Tyranny Flow Chart:

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3325954/debt-dollar-tyranny-2-54k?tr=77

The "money power" cartel is mostly exempt from taxes...  Buffett's Berksire has owed $1 billion in taxes for a decade and, factoring in the bailout benefits, Buffett is a HUGE welfare queen who has, net-net, sucked form the tax payer.

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/buffett-irs-back-taxes/2011/09/01/id/409520

We can't be suckers...  the criminal financial oligarchs use and abuse suckers...

Their narrative is essentially always false - a deception engineered to fleece the "galactic chumps" that reside in America.  We can't even get to merit when the implementation would be a total fraud.  You know, like shrinking the TBTF&J banks that are 30% bigger than before?

And yes, the Federal Reserve criminally broke the law for 25 years and blew the world's largest credit bubble in human history in order to create the world's biggest bust... which has already begun...

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3324744/wmdebt-graph-3-79k?tr=77

 

**California has an initiative to label GMOs - this is a battle we can win...  we need to win.

Where is Zerohedge on this **CRITICAL** issue?

We need a sticky note or something telling people to sign the initiative - we have until April 22, 2012 to get it on the ballot.

Spread the word!

 

If you are in CA, get out and sign this petition...

LabelGMOs.org

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 23:46 | 2357184 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

thank you ilene!! this essay speaks sensibly and truthfully.....any of the 1% who have no compassion on the needy are damning themselves and are evil scum.....i assure you that such pieces of shit will not be seen roaming the kingdom of god to come....shame on them...

debts must be liquidated and concentrations of wealth and power diluted....

"Michael argues that under today's conditions in the U.S., we are robbing the 99% to pay the 1%. That is the political setting."

damned right we are and i have said so since tarp was first discussed....judgment day is coming and it can't come soon enough

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 23:37 | 2357147 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

Typica socialist crap. Not only do you want more government (taxation, other involvment) but you also incorrectly attribute to those in opposition to you, selfish ulterior motives.  With the government already taking 40% of what i make I can pretty much see that I do not want them involved with what happens to the rest of it.

I think Savage is right...it is a mental disorder...

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 02:03 | 2357386 putaipan
putaipan's picture

savage is a paid "fire inna crouded theatre mouthpiece"...he almost had a "kennith what's the frequency meltdown" though the last time they invaded lebanon

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 22:16 | 2357000 alexwest
alexwest's picture

#
see the strong reactions against Bruce's idea of taking some extra tax money from the richest folks to provide benefits to disabled people with devastating diseases - people qualifying for the Compassionate Allowance program of Social Security Disability.
#

hey idiot ..read the constution.. if you find any reference that rich must pay for poor I BUY YOU TRIP TO CARRIBEAN..

if i want to help, i will do.. BUT ITS NOT FUCKING GOVERMENT BUSINESS TELL ME WHAT TO DO W/ MY MONEY...

founders's idea was not bring rich people here and tax them to the death to help poor ones.. its called socializm/ communism..

YOU WANT HELP POOR, DO IT.. STOP #UCKING PREACHING AND JSUT DO IT..

alx

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 22:10 | 2356994 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Thanks Ilene, this was a good analysis.

I too am a big Michael Hudson fan, after seeing him on the Keiser report. It's encouraging that there are folks like him trying to change the debate, and injecting some reality into economic circles. 

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 22:07 | 2356983 smb12321
smb12321's picture

Well, Ilene is back pushing his/her vision of a "balanced" approach consisting of taking someone else's wealth.  Ilene, government austerity is painful ONLY if State spending has become a large part of the economy. All those decrying EU austerity fail to grasp that when the State assumes control of activities formerly reserved for the private sector cuts are painful.

Few would mind paying more taxes IF...the burden was shared by all (instead of half) and if the money did not vanish down a black hole of debt.  But the reality is that we have not had a budget in 3 years, are borrowing over 40% of every dollar and are blithely acting as if this can go on forever.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:41 | 2357588 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

fine. "we'll wipe out California, too." they're all sunny and happy out there. I hate that.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 22:00 | 2356970 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

We've been getting down to the nitty gritty here on ZH over the past couple of days, Crony Capitalism and Sociopaths and all.

Now let's talk about some solutions.  I vote for the 1/10 of 1% giving it all back aka Iceland.  How 'bout you guys?  After all if Bennie wants to keep printing, lets roll those Brinks trucks to the 'burbs instead of backing them up to Goldman Sucks.  I'll bet we'll see some stimulation then!

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 05:09 | 2357516 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Bubble Ben isn't saving the economy or unemployed... he's saving bankrupt bankers and politicians arses (see also ECB in Europe)

This is not "stimulation" this is just plain filling holes in the books, which is precisely why despite the $€£Trillions printed there's been zero positive effect on the economy

Throwing good (counterfeit) money after bad at the 2 least productive sectors, Govt and banking

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 21:49 | 2356953 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

So this thread has people who think they will pay down US DEBT without any Crash. That is good. So how about putting $5/gallon tax on gasoline amd raising Sales Tax to 20% to pay down the Deficit and stop the Debt increasing ? No takers ?

Well you are proving Hudson right - noone wants to pay  to fund Rentiers who failed to do proper credit checks. Argentina defaulted 2001; Russia defaulted; Iceland defaulted - but Americans think the Banks deserve every last Cent and will go down paying every last Cent in interest and principal to holders of CDOs. Banks are the foundation of the American Dream.

I think Hudson has a more coherent view. It is called The Real Balance Effect but clearly few Economists comment and political loons are free with words that have no analytical content. So enjoy the next 30 years of grinding irrelevance as the US and The West sink into the kind of poverty they haven't seen sor 90 years

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:44 | 2357590 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

DEEEFAULT! DEEEFAULT! DEEEFAULT! (I like where the Republicans are on this one btw. "Tax cutting in a time of trillion dollar deficits" suits me JUST fine.)

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 21:22 | 2356909 Sun and Moon
Sun and Moon's picture

Michael Hudson thinks we have been having austerity since 1980?Where does he get that idea?

The US government has been spending like a drunken sailor since the 80's. US debt has increased by 15X since 1980. What is austere about that?

The past 30 years have been notable for the absence of austerity.

One reason why the rich got richer: Medicare gave a blank check for medical expenses, medical spending skyrocketed, doctor's income increased greatly. (Also a bonanza for malpractice attorneys.) But the money to pay all those rich doctors and lawyers needs to come from somewhere. It is deducted from the paychecks of the bottom 90%, causing their earnings to decrease.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:44 | 2357593 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

aye..."tis true."

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 22:11 | 2356996 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

I wonder if he meant it in the context of a point he likes to make:  money that would have been collected in, say, property taxes to fund community initiatives is instead siphoned off into interest payments to bankers.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 00:23 | 2357261 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Yeah.  Ask a few municipalities about those wonderful Goldman swaps.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 21:11 | 2356881 putaipan
putaipan's picture

actually- this seems to be going over fairly well here. bitchez. and thanks for that. however, i'm thinking mention of gold or ron paul in the title would have produced a very different thread. i hope the dialogue can continue. big up ron paul for his voting record and educating people on the fed and monetary policy in general...but implementing the full paul enchilada without prosicutions or regulatory oversight would be the ultimate tptb free lunch.

remember all modern monetary theory mmt spending is done with government issued debt not fed debt.

and is expected to be accompanied by both justice served ala bill black and tax reform ala henry george....

a nice lecture from the claremont crew, instead of the kansas crew- http://videocenter.cst.edu/videos/video/644/

and pps- some of the best recoded huson stuff is in the "guns and butter" archive.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 21:07 | 2356866 SwingForce
SwingForce's picture

Here's The Problem, Jerky- End the Fed & elect RON PAUL. Case closed.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 22:01 | 2356968 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Ron Paul, well enough.  Though we're gonna need volunteers for the Secret Service detail.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 01:37 | 2357364 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

Do the secret service jobs include south american hookers and coke? if so put the prankster on the list, I'll do my duty for expenses only and refuse to accept a salary - just like Pres. Washington did.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 21:15 | 2356885 putaipan
putaipan's picture

so much for dialogue..... great idea tho' and when that dream's gone,  might i suggest-

ROCKY ! ROCKY !

ROCKY ! ROCKY !

ROCKY ! ROCKY !

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 00:23 | 2357257 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

What?

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 01:39 | 2357366 putaipan
putaipan's picture

sorry coon-back to your room. i meant-

VOTE THE 'OTHER MORMON' !

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 20:47 | 2356803 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

 

The negative reaction seems to be based on the premise that the very rich fairly earned all their money, the poor are lazy, and the evil government should get out of the way.

Some were.

I didn't like it because it's a top-down solution.  http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-16-17/different-buffett-rule-o...

 

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 01:42 | 2357371 putaipan
putaipan's picture

hey. didya' notice that  florida, the first to insist on drug tests for welfare

had a 2% failure rate? nah... those people didn't need money to live.

and it only cost them 100000$ in testing fees.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 03:33 | 2357441 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

I'd like to see the testing protocol.  Junkies are pretty good at dodging that stuff (and I know, I have relatives that work with them).

I also live near section 8 housing.  Trust me, there's plenty of fat to cut in the social welfare programs.  Watch this all the way through and tell me you still feel the same about welfare... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o64Fz-KW1Dk  and if that doesn't do it, watch this one too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzspsovNvII&feature=related

The first is serious, the second is satire.  Check out her commentary here http://www.rightthisminute.com/video/its-free-swipe-yo-ebt mad props to that girl.

Not nearly as much as defense and the vast swaths of congressional pork, naturally.  Equal percentage cuts in all areas, says I.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 20:26 | 2356746 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

"The negative reaction (to Bruce Krastings article) seems to be based on the premise that the very rich fairly earned all their money, the poor are lazy, and the evil government should get out of the way."

1). Nobody said the poor are lazy. But Bruce wants to make the disabled lazy and suck on the nipple of the socialist State.

2). Nobody said all the rich "fairly earned their money". Bruce said all the rich deserved to be robbed because he thinks it's "fair" to rob other people of their earnings, he thinks it's "fair" to think he knows how better to spend their money than they do and he thinks it's "fair" he allocates their money to better deserving charities than they do. Bruce isn't "fair" at all, he's just a grotty socialist (thief)

3). People do think the "evil Govt should get out of the way". Look at Govts record in the following tragedies; US housing (disaster); US education (train wreck); US healthcare (beyond a farce); War (3 illegal ones and a 4th on the way)

Apart from badly mis-interpreting other peoples views (Bruce did that too) where the hell do you get the idea Govt is good at anything Ilene???

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 11:56 | 2358499 ilene
ilene's picture

Zero Govt,

What I wrote was my impression from reading comments to Bruce's article. I am not saying everyone feels like that or has the same thinking on the subject. I concluded my article saying the political and economic systems need to be restructured. 

I would make a lot of changes in our government, but do not think having NO government is a viable solution. 

The point wasn't that the rich should be robbed to pay for the poor. Bruce specifically wrote that money should go to people with disabilities so severe that the diagnosis itself is accepted as proof that they cannot work. 

The rules right now favor the extremely wealthy. If the rules were changed so that there was more fairness, and the system was not so corrupted, I think the problems we're facing wouldn't be so immense. But that's not how it is.  First choice - total reform - is unlikely right now. In the meantime, Bruce's solution is better than doing nothing to try to undo some of the results of a terrible system. 

 

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:48 | 2357596 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

cuz somehow "they found a way to finance it all." Now..."it's time to pay." (cue...HUGE banker payouts!)

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 22:12 | 2356999 smb12321
smb12321's picture

What's more confounding is that despite overwhelming evidence that State-run ventures are  inefficient, poorly managed, costly and get poor results, folks still argue that they should be the ones who "fix" our problems.  Why in the world anyone in their right mind would call on the federal government for help in financial matters is beyond me.   It's like calling a pyromaniac to help put out the fire.

The Founding Fathers were wise and didn't even know it.  The things they propose that should be run by the federal government are the only things they are good at.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:50 | 2357599 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"cuz they actually cut the check" that's why. The Democrats killing Social Security back in the 70's is what got Republican majorities for decades. "They're doing it again." Only this time...they're going to wipe out entire cities "to get their way." Perhaps even an American State or two. Quite odd really.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 22:47 | 2357062 Seer
Seer's picture

The reason why State-run ventures are a disaster is because this is shit that is TOTALLY unsustainable- that means that the private sector wouldn't be able to do it either (in a sustainable manner).

Listen, it's not that I'm defending the State, not at all. BUT, we've got to be honest with ourselves here.  Pretending that the "private" sector is god-like, when it's no more staffed with the same people as are "leaders" of the State (paging Mr Romney), well... I start smelling more vultures looking to con folks.

There were only these word in this article that are irrefutable:

We cannot grow our way out of debt

We cannot grow our way to prosperity, either!  This is the story of the carrot and the stick, the promise of a future that never comes, the story of TPTB (the type of govt does not matter).

Everyone seem to forget that the big crack-up was with the PRIVATE sector, and govt, as it's programmed to do, is there to bail out the rich fuckers who fuck up (where did all that bailout money go to?).  People are looking at govt carrying the dead carcass and missing the point that it was the private sector that did the deed to begin with: no one put a gun to the heads of the banksters and told them they had to make liars loans; no on put a gun to the heads of the refi folks to robo-sign.

This is ALL the result of a fundamentally flawed paradigm, "founding fathers" be damned.  Perpetual growth on a finite planet would ultimately rupture into a pile of puss no matter if it were "govt" or "private enterprise" that had the upper hand.  We ALL made promises, in the form of future "returns" (all based on perpetually compounding interest, which was not backed by the real physical world [finite and all that]).  Promises that were pure fantasy (no tie-in to physical reality- and no, gold-backed money isn't the "solution;" it's more realistic, but unless it operates in a paradigm in which we view growth as the problem that it is it would also suffer the same end [actually, that's why it DID end]).

The Founding Fathers exploited a country, its original inhabitants, imported slave labor, all after snubbing the fucking British after they helped fund the entire operation.  Enough with the stupid piousness, it does nothing to help us confront our dire predicament.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 06:56 | 2357607 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

the Federal Government took WARRANTS in these drunken and debaucherous firms. The taxpayer made a profit. The phuckers in the private sector DID this IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR. GOVERNMENT FOUND A WAY TO FINANCE THAT WAR (either to exit or continue...and it HAS BEEN EXPANDED ENORMOUSLY under this Administration.) The Government has done more than done its job. "This is beyond the Call of Duty" this time. THE PRIVATE SECTOR MUST PAY NOW. The private sector wants a police state as a consequence? YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THAT. I mean "those are some pretty fancy chicken coops you're building down there."

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 01:33 | 2357359 putaipan
putaipan's picture

and there you go-

the only version of the original american dream (post constitutional let us all get along, pre-"little big man" 60's reverend wright tell the truth, post p.c. , i've never been proud of amerikkka-) was in the post deppression/ "we won!" 1940's. treasury almost seizing back control from fed,

does that make sense?  ,,,,  if so- ACT UP NOW ! LIKE STRAIGHT MEN ONNA  MISSSION !

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 20:11 | 2356720 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

I'm also a big fan of Michael Hudson, been listening to his videos & reading his website for two years :  

"Debts that can't be repaid won't be repaid. "    

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 20:07 | 2356704 Pdmv007
Pdmv007's picture

The average income of the top 0.01% at USD23m is precisely the same annual income of one of the 2 candidates for the White House ...

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 20:01 | 2356692 JamesBond
JamesBond's picture

But austerity makes debts harder to pay....

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I stopped reading after that inane comment.

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