Tag Archives: Michael Hudson

The Pace University Left Forum Panel Reconvenes and Henry George is Rebranded

Scott Baker has provided a comprehensive summary of a very important recent event that featured some visionary thinkers in economics, money and finance. His description begins…

The team of panelists from last year’s Pace University Left Forum panel – reviewed in the March/April, 2012 issue of GroundSwell – reconvened this year on June 8, 2013, minus Kucinich adviser Dave Kelley who was sidelined due to a back injury.   The remaining panelists were Dr. Michael Hudson, Dr. Cay Hehner, and Chair Andy Mazzone.   The title of this year’s panel was “Wall Street’s War to Impose Austerity.”

Baker follows with his “Abstract” summary…

Wall Street had a record year in profits last year. Bonuses were up and stock prices zoomed. Meanwhile, the productive classes continued to see their wages stagnate as they have for 40 years, while under-reported inflation figures and regressive tax schemes took more of their paychecks, if they could find work. But now Austerity threatens to siphon whatever is left from the bottom to the banking elites. Faux progressive organizations like Third Way in the U.S. are attempting to privatize Social Security to pour billions into Wall Street for further gambling. From Cyprus’ confiscation of up to 70% of bank deposits to Greek pro-recession budget slashing, the road to neo-feudalism continues. Based on Professor Dr. Michael Hudson’s book “Finance Capitalism and its Discontents” and “The Bubble and Beyond”, panelists Dr. Michael Hudson, Dr. Cay Hehner, Dave Kelley, and Chair Andy Mazzone will discuss specific austerity measures that are designed to confiscate, impoverish, and destroy the middle class, while widening the already historic wage gap even further. Learn how the expansive forces of industrial capitalism have been subverted by today’s predatory finance capitalism aided by junk economics and failure to collect the economic rent. What is the rentier class and how does it collect 1/3 of GDP? Is government regulation always wrong? What is the best tax policy? Why the 1% versus the 99%?

Current president of the Henry George School, Andy Mazzone, gave the opening, and after introducing himself as an ex-CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and a trained economist in Marxism, said he now classifies himself as a neo-Georgist — defined as “someone who believes all forms of monopoly should be taxed” while untaxing all forms of earned income — wages, sales, capital.   (In previous discussions with Mr. Mazzone, I have challenged this tax-all-monopolies philosophy a bit, relying on my experience in the fast-changing world of Information Technology where I was a Manager of Information Systems for over 2 decades, and where monopolies may last no longer than the next business cycle.   I think we get into questionable territory in advocating taxing patentable innovations (though I would agree that patents are too easily granted nowadays).   The land monopoly is different, of course, because land, unlike capital, cannot be created by people, is finite, and generally appreciates, while capital goods depreciate and are replaced by newer “improvements,” just as Henry George said over a hundred years ago when improvements came along at a much slower rate.)

Mazzone went on to say that Michael Hudson’s book, “Super Imperialism” basically forecast the current crisis and the financialization of everything, and the subsequent collapse from de-industrialization.

The full report goes on for six pages and includes a number of arguments relating to social justice and economic fairness as well as some essential historical perspective. You can read the rest of it here.

Why Obama Won, and What We Can Expect Next

Michael Hudson is one of the few academic economists who is not completely deluded. He is worthy of your attention. This is is recent article that appeared in COUNTERPUNCH.–t.h.g.

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

by MICHAEL HUDSON

The Democrats could not have won so handily without the Citizens United ruling. That is what enabled the Koch Brothers to spend their billions to support right-wing candidates that barked and growled like sheep dogs to give voters little civilized option but to vote for “the lesser evil.” This will be President Obama’s epitaph for future historians. Orchestrating the election like a World Wrestling Federation melodrama, the Tea Party’s sponsors threw billions of dollars into the campaign to cast the President’s party in the role of “good cop” against stereotyped opponents attacking women’s rights, Hispanics and nearly every other hyphenated-American interest group.

In Connecticut, Senate candidate Linda McMahon spent a reported $97 million (including her earlier ego trip) to make her Democratic challenger look good. It was that way throughout the country. Republicans are pretending to wring their hands at their defeat, leaving the Democrats to beat up their constituency and take the blame four years from now. …More…

 

What’s the “Occupy” movement all about?

Occupy Wall Street and the many related offshoot occupations are raising a lot of questions. These will not be quickly answered, but one thing is clear–increasing numbers of people are fed up with the political and economic status quo. They are not only expressing their dissatisfaction and disgust, but they are looking  for ways to make positive changes that will benefit everyone, not just the few who are presently in control.

Michael Hudson is one of the few university economists who understands the systemic nature of our global economic malaise, and is willing to speak frankly about it. The following is a recent interview that is worth watching.–t.h.g.

Iceland, a case that deserves careful study

Iceland was one of the first countries to experience the financial crisis that plagues the world. It seems to be the canary in the coal mine, and as such, it may be showing us not only what is in store for the rest of us, but also a way out of our dilemma.

In this series of 5 videos, Prof. Michael Hudson explains very clearly what happened to Iceland and shows it to be an example of the pattern that is being played out in the rest of the world.

In the time since that interview was recorded, the people of Iceland have taken action that may get to the root of the problem. Instead of bailing out the banks and rewarding those who caused the problem in the first place, Iceland has, according to one of my correspondents:
– Totally recalled its government.
– Nationalized its main banks.
– Decided not to honor the claims from the UK and Holland due to their speculative policies.
– Created a popular assembly to rewrite its constitution.

Strangely, there has been very little about that in the media.

I would very much like to see reports that detail these actions, so I invite any of my readers who find them to pass them on by making comments to this post–t.h.g.

Prof. Michael Hudson explains today’s financial parasitism

This presentation by Prof. Michael Hudson at this year’s conference of the American Monetary Institute is highly informative. Please pay close attention.