We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, August 21, 2015

Puerto Rico: a US debt colony hounded by hedge funds

Click here to access article by Jerome Roos from Reflections on a Revolution.

After noting the similarities of debt problems between Greece and Puerto Rico, Roos points out the selective treatment of creditors when Puerto Ricans were faced with default.
But for all these obvious similarities, there is one puzzling difference: while Puerto Rico was allowed to default on its debts without drawing much ire – or interest – from the US government, Greece has not been able to do the same. Why was Puerto Rico allowed to default while Greece was not? The answer is simple: first follow the rules, then follow the money – and you will see.
Thus, if you are a creditor in the US One Percent, you will be paid in this default arrangement, but many thousands of small Puerto Rican creditors consisting of ordinary savers via their credit unions were conveniently sacrificed. Otherwise, the ultimate effects on Puerto Rican society as a whole remain the same as in Greece: public expenditures for health, education, and welfare are being slashed to pay off these One Percent creditors.

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