The US-led NATO alliance this week designated a whole new hemisphere to itself for “security” operations. No longer merely an “Atlantic” organization, it’s assuming the role of policing the Pacific. Quite a self-promotion.
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) – the United States’ version of a Central Bank – is a strange duck. It is the U.S. government’s most powerful regulatory agency. It, after all, regulates money and interest rates. Yet, its budget comes entirely from the banking industry and relationships with the financial industry. So Congress, which appropriates money for all other federal agencies, has little leverage over the Fed’s operations.
So, Canada, the Canadian people unfortunately are deprived of honest representation of provincial desires, provincial needs, by the fact that the financial sector, the banks, are pretty much running the country.” – Michael Hudson
On the weekend of July 19-21st, 2019, the University of Manitoba became the venue for the 14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy (WAPE). This annual event represents a gathering of Marxist economists from around the globe, and aims to utilize current understandings on the subject to analyze and study the world economy, reveal its laws of development, and offer policies to promote economic and social progress on national and global levels.
Republished with permission from Solidarity and Against The Current
THERE IS A growing suspicion among many people involved in movements against war, for social justice, and for an ecologically sustainable society that capitalism can only create a world of war, injustice and environmental destruction. There is widespread and growing understanding that the current social order cannot continue without catastrophe occurring —yet we lack a vision of what might replace it.
Updated: July 25, 2019
by Jason Cohen
July 24, 2019
The souls of Puerto Ricans everywhere should burn with indignation as they read through the text messages by Gov. Ricardo Rossello and members of his administration written in a group chat. On July 13, the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico published 900 pages of the messages.
The Democratic Party has clearly swung to the progressive left, with candidates in the first round of presidential debates coming up with one program after another to help the poor, the disadvantaged and the struggling middle class. Proposals ranged from a Universal Basic Income to Medicare for All to a Green New Deal to student debt forgiveness and free college tuition. The problem, as Stuart Varney observed on FOX Business, was that no one had a viable way to pay for it all without raising taxes or taking from other programs, a hard sell to voters. If robbing Peter to pay Paul is the only alternative, the proposals will go the way of Trump’s trillion dollar infrastructure bill for lack of funding.
At the panel, speakers will argue that the decline of neo-liberalism and the growth of a new conservative wave are objectively conditioned. The prevailing model of late capitalism that has led to the domination of the market of simulacra, financialization and stagnation, called the ‘new normality’, cannot ensure the progress of the productive forces that are on the verge of not just another technological revolution, but a qualitative change – the genesis of the economy in which a decisive role will be played not by reproductive, but by creative work.
Payments can happen cheaply and easily without banks or credit card companies. This has now been demonstrated – not in the United States but in China. Unlike in the US, where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments, in China most money flows through mobile phones nearly for free. In 2018 these cashless payments totaled a whopping $41.5 trillion; and 90% were through Alipay and WeChat Pay, a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking. According to a May 2018 article in Bloomberg titled “Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares“:
“Socialism is a society coming together and taking control of the major centers of economic power: the banks, factories and industries, the major natural resources, the major sources of energy, all the centers of the economy. All the centers of economic power being controlled by society and functioning to work in the benefit of society. If you think that that could come into being as the result of a bunch of people going to the polls and clicking for one candidate, that’s delusional, could never happen.” — Caleb Maupin
President Trump has threatened China’s President Xi that if they don’t meet and talk at the upcoming G20 meetings in Japan, June 29-30, the United States will not soften its tariff war and economic sanctions against Chinese exports and technology.
“Self-determination is not possible within the capitalist social framework, because the endless pursuit of profits that drives this system only empowers private ownership and the individual appropriation of wealth by design. The end result of this system is massive inequality and inequity.” — Kali Akuno, Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi
Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance. Since the late 18th century American legal decision that the business corporation organizational model is legally a person, it has become a dominant economic, political and social force around the globe.
“Marxism and Karl Marx taught us there are two classes. There is the bourgeois and the proletariat. There are those who own the major centers of economic power, the factories, the banks, the means of transport, the means of communication and make profits from them. And then there are the rest of us who sell our labor power to those capitalists in order to survive. We get wages, we live by working, we’re proletarians. They live by owning, they’re capitalists.” — Caleb Maupin
This article is excerpted from my new book Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age, available in paperback June 1.
The U.S. federal debt has more than doubled since the 2008 financial crisis, shooting up from $9.4 trillion in mid-2008 to over $22 trillion in April 2019. The debt is never paid off. The government just keeps paying the interest on it, and interest rates are rising.