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
“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.
“For the sake of simplicity, in the discussion that follows I shall call “workers” all those who do not share in the ownership of the means of production—although this does not quite correspond to the customary use of the term. The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is “free,” what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.” — Albert Einstein, Monthly Review, May 1949
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Apr 8, 2019
Rick Sanchez explains the economic impact of migrants on the US. Then Pulitzer prize-winning Chris Hedges, host of “On Contact,” joins Rick Sanchez to discuss the “penny capitalism” and “regional capitalism” that the US Hispanic population engages in and which fuels true wealth creation. He contrasts these forms with the “corporate capitalism” that decimates communities as well as the planet. They also discuss the dearth of critical reporting on the topic in corporate media and the reasons behind it.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Apr 6, 2019
The fertility rate in the United States has been steadily falling, so much so that without immigration our population would be declining. This is the seventh straight year fertility rates have fallen. In 2017, the nationwide fertility rate was 1,765.5 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age—well below the rate of 2,100 births per 1,000 women necessary to keep the population stable. Only two states—South Dakota and Utah—had birth rates above replacement levels.
“If you invest your tuppence wisely in the bank, safe and sound,
Soon that tuppence safely invested in the bank will compound,
“And you’ll achieve that sense of conquest as your affluence expands
In the hands of the directors who invest as propriety demands.”
— Mary Poppins, 1964
“Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many.” ― Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776
As alarm bells sound over the advancing destruction of the environment, a variety of Green New Deal proposals have appeared in the US and Europe, along with some interesting academic debates about how to fund them. Monetary policy, normally relegated to obscure academic tomes and bureaucratic meetings behind closed doors, has suddenly taken center stage.