Peking University, School of Marxist Studies
May 5-6, 2018
Volumes II and III of Marx’s Capital describe how debt grows exponentially, burdening the economy with carrying charges. This overhead is subjecting today’s Western finance-capitalist economies to austerity, shrinking living standards and capital investment while increasing their cost of living and doing business. That is the main reason why they are losing their export markets and becoming de-industrialized.
Feedback loops such as albedo loss are accelerating global warming. Tipping points such as the release of polar methane may increasing warming very suddenly. Soon our crops will fail. Science might save us but isn’t being used. Plutocrats block any reforms that would cut their profits. Our democracy is a sham. Trade makes inevitable the increase of inequality, ecocidal side effects, and the alienation of people from each other. Only sharing might save us, and we won’t get there through reforms. The first stop is to talk about it.
The Fed is aggressively raising interest rates, although inflation is contained, private debt is already at 150% of GDP, and rising variable rates could push borrowers into insolvency. So what is driving the Fed’s push to “tighten”?
Trump’s series of threats this week was a one-two punch. First, he threatened to impose national security tariffs on steel and aluminum, primarily against Canada and Mexico (along with Korea and Japan). Then, he suggested an alternative: He would exempt these countries IF they agree to certain U.S. demands.
https://democracynow.org – “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” That’s the message President Trump tweeted on Friday, sending shockwaves across the globe and sparking fear of impending economic volatility. On Thursday, world stock markets tumbled after Trump announced he plans to impose new tariffs on imports of foreign steel and aluminum.
“Cooperation Jackson is an emerging network of cooperatives and grassroots institutions that aim to build a “solidarity economy.” By seizing on the crisis and weak links of modern capitalism and building on the historic struggles for racial equality by the black people of Mississippi, Cooperation Jackson has created a model we can all learn from.” — Richard Moser, “Jackson Rising: At Last, a Real Strategic Plan“, Black Agenda Report, Jan. 30, 2018
“One Belt, One Road,” China’s $1 trillion infrastructure initiative, is a massive undertaking of highways, pipelines, transmission lines, ports, power stations, fiber optics, and railroads connecting China to Central Asia, Europe and Africa. According to Dan Slane, a former advisor in President Trump’s transition team, “It is the largest infrastructure project initiated by one nation in the history of the world and is designed to enable China to become the dominant economic power in the world.” In a January 29th article titled “Trump’s Plan a Recipe for Failure, Former Infrastructure Advisor Says,” he added, “If we don’t get our act together very soon, we should all be brushing up on our Mandarin.”