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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Schemes of the Rich and Greedy

by Michael Hudson from his blog

I don't agree with everything in the article, particularly with the way he frames his arguments. For example, the title of his essay. This serves to frame the social injustice that he illustrates with a number of examples as simply a matter of morality--greed. Well, I think that this should be overlooked because, after all, he is an economist not a political scientist, and most economists have been so thoroughly indoctrinated in the virtues of capitalism that they don't believe there is any alternative. On the other hand Hudson is a very astute and honest economist who has not lost his sense of social justice. 

Anyway read the article to find out about all the "schemes of the rich and greedy". Actually, there are other schemes as well, but he covers many of the current ones.
...the wealthy want just what bankers want: the entire economic surplus (followed by a foreclosure on property). They want all the disposable income over and above basic subsistence – and then, when this shrinks the economy, they want the government to sell off the public domain in “privatization” giveaways, and they want people to turn over their houses and any other property they have to the creditors. “Your money or your life” is not only what bank robbers demand. It is what banks themselves demand, and the wealthy 10% of the population that owns most of the bank stock.
Of course, the real underlying problem is the system which turns ordinary people with sociopathic tendencies into monsters.