There is a “mystery” we must explain: How is it that as corporate investments and foreign aid and international loans to poor countries have increased dramatically throughout the world over the last half century, so has poverty? The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world’s population. What do we make of this?
This is the second in a two-part article on the debt burden America’s students face. Read Part 1 here.
The lending business is heavily stacked against student borrowers. Bigger players can borrow for almost nothing, and if their investments don’t work out, they can put their corporate shells through bankruptcy and walk away. Not so with students. Their loan rates are high and if they cannot pay, their debts are not normally dischargeable in bankruptcy. Rather, the debts compound and can dog them for life, compromising not only their own futures but the economy itself.
Higher education has been financialized, transformed from a public service into a lucrative cash cow for private investors.
The advantages of slavery by debt over “chattel” slavery – ownership of humans as a property right – were set out in an infamous document called the Hazard Circular, reportedly circulated by British banking interests among their American banking counterparts during the American Civil War. It read in part:
THE SOCIALIST German playwright Bertolt Brecht once wrote that “famines do not simply occur; they are organized by the grain trade.”
A similar observation could be made about Puerto Rico today. Replace “famine” with “natural disaster,” and the “grain trade” with “U.S. colonialism,” and you have a succinct summation of the human disaster that is unfolding on the island today.
Students usually don’t think of themselves as a class. They seem “pre-class,” because they have not yet entered the labor force. They can only hope to become part of the middle class after they graduate. And that means becoming a wage earner – what impolitely is called the working class.
TheRealNews on May 23, 2017
Economist Michael Hudson explains that even though housing prices are back up at 2008 levels homeownership is at a much lower level and banks have their loans guaranteed by the US government.
Speech to Kairos group, Union, Columbia
[Edited version for clarification, January 23, 2017]
The focus of my talk today will be Jesus’ first sermon and the long background behind it that helps explain what he was talking about and what he sought to bring about. I’ve been associated with Harvard University’s Peabody Museum for over thirty years in Babylonian economic archeology. And for more than twenty years I’ve headed a group out of Harvard, the International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE), writing a new economic history of the ancient Near East.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Sep 10, 2016
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges sits down with economist Mark Blyth to discuss the detrimental ramifications of austerity programs following the 2008 financial crisis. Professor Blyth, author of “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea” addresses the political effects of the spending cuts and considers why the elites will not take responsibility for the fallout. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil examines the impact austerity measures have had on the American working class and the poor since 2008.
Brexit could trigger a $500 trillion derivatives meltdown, by forcing the EU to allow insolvent member governments and banks to write down debt. Italy is in financial crisis and is already petitioning for that concession. How to avoid collapse of the massive derivatives house of cards? Alternatives are considered.
with Abby Martin
teleSUR English on Jun 23, 2016
Puerto Rico’s massive debt has been discussed at length in Congress and the media, all omitting the most important fact: the history of being a colonial subject for over 500 years, still owned and controlled by the United States.
The word ‘democracy’ is derived from the Greek words ‘demos’, = people, and ‘cratein’, = rule. Democracy would be the best possible form of governance. In a complete democracy all citizens have the right to speak. Anyone can call attention to problems. Anyone can propose solutions. And all may express arguments in favor or against these solutions, so all interests in play can be discussed. This way decisions can be taken, based on all available knowledge and insight. Supplementary advantages are, that when people participate in the process, they know why the decisions are taken and will respect them more easily. Also, they acquire insight in other peoples’ interests, which contributes to mutual comprehension and peaceful living together.
Here is a power point I gave last night at an American Freedom Alliance event in Los Angeles on whether the federal debt can be repaid (yes), how it can be repaid (by simply issuing the money), and why that would stimulate the economy without leading to hyperinflation.