The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Most RecentEconomics Archive

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Birmingham, once the manufacturing heart of Britain when it was the workshop of the world, rejuvenated itself after the implosion of its industrial base in the 1980s. That collapse, unimpeded by Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative government, was devastating even by the standards of the time because of Birmingham’s over-dependence on the automobile industry. “This... Read More
Solon, the Wise Lawgiver of Athens
A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson About His Forthcoming Book The Collapse of Antiquity
Note: Michael Hudson published … and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year in November of last year. It is the first volume in what will be a trilogy on the long history of the tyranny of debt. I have interviewed him extensively as he writes... Read More
I may be too trusting, but I generally accept upgrades. Several months ago, I willingly accepted an iPhone operating system upgrade, and lost all the Notes I had stored on my phone. These notes contained bank and credit card details, passport details, and other useful things which I have to consult from time to time,... Read More
I don’t like flying. I consider it unnatural, unhealthy and fraught with peril. But I do it all the time. For me, it’s either fly or take an ox cart. In fact, I’ve been flying since I was six years old – from New York to Paris on a lumbering Boeing Stratocruiser, a converted, double-decker... Read More
After the second Boeing commercial airliner crashed in Ethiopia killing everyone on board, the FAA should have grounded the rest of the Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet in the interest of passenger safety. That would have helped to shore up public confidence in the FAA while giving Boeing the time it needed to locate and... Read More
Conventional wisdom is that it is too early to speculate why in the past six months two Boeing 737 Max 8 planes have gone down shortly after take off, so if all that follows is wrong you will know it very quickly. Last night I predicted that the first withdrawals of the plane would happen... Read More
Putin’s approval rating is high, but it has declined over the past year. The decline is mainly related to domestic policy. Apparently, the public perceives recent Kremlin economic policy as a continuation of the disastrous policies that Washington imposed on Russia in the 1990s when Russia was loaded up with foreign debt while state assets... Read More
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All Are Equal, Except Those Who Aren’t
Like a gilded coating that makes the dullest things glitter, today’s thin veneer of political populism covers a grotesque underbelly of growing inequality that’s hiding in plain sight. And this phenomenon of ever more concentrated wealth and power has both Newtonian and Darwinian components to it. In terms of Newton’s first law of motion: those... Read More
Honestly, the inequality gap in America should stagger the imagination or, on second thought, maybe it shouldn’t, not with the first billionaire in the White House and at least two more threatening to join him in a run for the presidency in 2020. After all, we now live on the planet of the billionaires. In... Read More
The one million people living in the south Wales valleys, a place that was once the engine room of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, are poorer today than the population of parts of Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. Unsurprisingly, they have few good things to say about anybody in authority – the EU in Brussels, the... Read More
China’s political process is probably the most transparent of any major nation’s. Because their bios and track records are constantly updated online everyone is thoroughly conversant with the top one thousand aspirants for leadership and even American observers correctly predicted Xi Jinping’s elevation to the presidency. Everyone knows exactly what the government has promised, what... Read More
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It’s Already Under Way
In his highly acclaimed 2017 book, Destined for War, Harvard professor Graham Allison assessed the likelihood that the United States and China would one day find themselves at war. Comparing the U.S.-Chinese relationship to great-power rivalries all the way back to the Peloponnesian War of the fifth century BC, he concluded that the future risk... Read More
Whose interests are served when Pelosi sells out health care and Pompeo sells out peace?
The US health system is the most high cost and dysfunctional health care system in the world. The reason is that it is privatized. In the rest of Western civilization the system is socialized. The reason health care is socialized in civilized countries is not only to provide health care to citizens who otherwise could... Read More
Introduction In these times, when the United States pursues an unprecedented military build-up, promotes coups and trade wars, breaks weapons agreements, organizes the illegal seizure of overseas financial accounts, building barriers and walls along the southern border, Washington can count on the mass media to provide a variety of propaganda messages, ranging from the predictable... Read More
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Maybe Donald Trump isn’t as stupid as I thought. I’d hate to have to admit that publicly, but it does kind of seem like he has put one over on the liberal corporate media this time. Scanning the recent Trump-related news, I couldn’t help but notice a significant decline in the number of references to... Read More
Life History Theory and the Crisis of the White Working Class
One of the best-selling nonfiction books of 2012 was Charles Murray’s Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010.[1] It was widely reviewed, including an informative essay by Roger Devlin in this publication.[2] As stated in the subtitle, Murray focused on White Americans, and he saw a growing class divide among this demographic. Paradoxically, by... Read More
The Saker: Could you summarize the state of Venezuela’s economy when Chavez came to power? Michael Hudson: Venezuela was an oil monoculture. Its export revenue was spent largely on importing food and other necessities that it could have produced at home. Its trade was largely with the United States. So despite its oil wealth, it... Read More
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The end of America’s unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected, thanks to the very same Neocons who gave the world the Iraq, Syria and the dirty wars in Latin America. Just as the Vietnam War drove the United States off gold by 1971, its sponsorship and funding of violent regime change wars... Read More
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Shooting Two Feet With One Bullet
5G is a national productivity tool whose benefits, like those we derive from our railways, are less noticeable to end users yet critical to industry and commerce. 5G is 20 times faster than 4G, serves as the fast backbone of the “Internet of Things”(IoT), handles a million connected devices/km2 simultaneously with millisecond latency and uses... Read More
President Trump’s frustration with the Federal Reserve’s (minuscule) interest rate increases that he blames for the downturn in the stock market has reportedly led him to inquire if he has the authority to remove Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Chairman Powell has stated that he would not comply with a presidential request for his resignation, meaning... Read More
de_beers
Rainbow Nation shows its colors
South Africa is an ongoing topic of concern among the dissident right, which views it as a cautionary tale about the dangers of becoming a minority in your own country. The Rainbow Nation has been largely ignored by the mainstream media since the end of apartheid, but last year Donald Trump scandalized the global establishment... Read More
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Back in November I published a long column discussing the results of the 2018 midterm elections and then a couple of weeks ago I also released a private letter I'd distributed to prominent figures in the Alt-Right movement back in 2017, suggesting some of the ways that their public positions had severely damaged their credibility... Read More
http://i.imgur.com/Q78M7l9.jpg I am among the few to have had the good fortune of growing up in France. I did know that most of the world was poorer than my country and that some people in far away and not-so-far away lands were still dying in wars. But talk of “globalization” was already all the rage... Read More
humpty-dumpty
The word 'catastrophe' has several meanings, but in its original meaning in Greek the word means a "sudden downturn" (in Greek katastrophē ‘overturning, sudden turn,’ from kata- ‘down’ + strophē ‘turning’). As for the word "superpower" it also has several possible definitions, but my preferred one is this one "Superpower is a term used to... Read More
History is told by Walls and Roads which have marked significant turning points in the relation between peoples and states. We will discuss the story behind two walls and one road and the circumstances which surround them and their consequences. The Berlin Wall In the aftermath of World War II, Europe was divided between East... Read More
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Introduction The US embraces a regime doomed to failure and threatens the world’s most dynamic economy. President Trump has lauded Brazil’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro and promises to promote close economic, political, social and cultural ties. In contrast the Trump regime is committed to dismantling China’s growth model, imposing harsh and pervasive sanctions, and... Read More
These Crazies Are Just Like Hitler
One often sees the silly assertion by right-wing extremists that feminists, social justice warriors, and other “cranks” are enstupidating American education. The purpose, according to these fascists, who are just like Hitler, is “to make historically incompetent groups look competent.” The racism in these absurd claims is obvious. In particular such Neo-Nazis say that mathematical... Read More
There were not 312,000 new jobs created in December. Never mind. Where does the Bureau of Labor Statistics tell us the jobs are. Health care and social assistance together with leisure and hospitality account for 36% of the new jobs, with 40,000 new waitresses and bartenders. Retail trade (possible as December is the Christmas month)... Read More
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I do not believe that GDP growth – or the pursuit of wealth in general – ought to be an end in itself. Nonetheless, the fact is that virtually all countries today do consider the production and redistribution of wealth to be a fundamental goal. In this context, GDP per capita (minus wealth from national... Read More
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Probably the single most important political fact about the modern world has been the steady rise of the United States of America. From a geopolitical point of view, the United States really is in a class of its own. While the Soviet Union might have rivaled the U.S. militarily, and while China and the European... Read More
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The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
As we head into 2019, leaving the chaos of this year behind, a major question remains unanswered when it comes to the state of Main Street, not just here but across the planet. If the global economy really is booming, as many politicians claim, why are leaders and their parties around the world continuing to... Read More
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou
The PRC Should Retaliate by Targeting Sheldon Adelson's Chinese Casinos
As most readers know, I'm not a casual political blogger and I prefer producing lengthy research articles rather than chasing the headlines of current events. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the looming danger of a direct worldwide clash with China is one of them. Consider the arrest last week of Meng Wanzhou,... Read More
This year, I simply couldn’t get one fact out of my head: according to a 2017 report from the Institute for Policy Studies, three billionaires -- Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates -- have amassed as much wealth as the bottom half of American society. That’s 160 million people! (And unlike our president, I... Read More
socialcredit-1
For centuries Western monarchs derived legitimacy from a God Who lent authority to the laws they promulgated. The simultaneous demise of God and the monarchic principle in 1918 left the law legitimized by force alone and, a century later, our distrust[1] suggests that it has failed to converge with the ethical. Things were little better... Read More
h/t @piquremoraline
Modern societies are characterized by easy living and an increasingly feminized and infantilized culture. The result is that modern man is no longer motivated by spirituality or honor, but purely by lower drives, such as gibs, security, and the pursuit of comfiness. The great majority of people, and by extension just about all societies, are... Read More
Every automobile in France is supposed to be equipped with a yellow vest. This is so that in case of accident or breakdown on a highway, the driver can put it on to ensure visibility and avoid getting run over. So the idea of wearing your yellow vest to demonstrate against unpopular government measures caught... Read More
Economies Diverge, Police States Converge
I have followed China’s development, its stunning advance in forty years from impoverished Third World to a huge economy, its rapid scientific progress. Coming from nowhere it now runs neck and neck with the US in supercomputes, does world-class work in genetic engineering and genomics (the Beijing Genomics Institute), quantum computing and quantum radar, in... Read More
This is my second column on the two weeks that Vi and I just spent in Chengdu, China. It is meant not so much as a travelogue as a snapshot of what is going on in an economic juggernaut. Judging by email from readers, many do not realize the scope and scale of China’s advance.... Read More
How the Bronze Age saved itself from debt serfdom
There has been an explosion of discussion about whether to cancel student debts. Critics of the idea point out that wealthy people would be the main gainers, posing moral hazard. The debate has has quickly slipped into a discussion of modern economies and whether it was moral to cancel the debts of people who are... Read More
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A Review of Michael Hudson’s new book AND FORGIVE THEM THEIR DEBTS
To say that Michael Hudson’s new book And Forgive Them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year (ISLET 2018) is profound is an understatement on the order of saying that the Mariana Trench is deep. To grasp his central argument is so alien to our modern way of... Read More
goldcoins
French and Israeli media report that a group largely made up of Israelis scammed 3,000 French citizens out of approximately $20 million. Most of the stolen money is in Israel, but Israeli authorities are reportedly failing to cooperate with France in prosecuting the scammers and retrieving the money. This is the latest of numerous examples... Read More
Vi and I have just returned from Chengdu, a Chinese village of seventeen million and the gateway to Tibet. Since China is of some interest to the US these days, I thought a description of sorts, actually more in the nature of a disordered travelogue, might be of interest. I hadn’t been to the country... Read More
President Trump recently called the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes crazy. Leaving aside President Trump’s specific complaint, which is likely motivated by the belief that low rates will help him win reelection, he is right that “crazy” is a good way to describe the Federal Reserve.When not forced to use a government-created currency, individuals have... Read More
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Introduction Bankers, agro-business elites, commercial mega owners, manufacturing, real estate and insurance bosses and their financial advisers, elite members of the ‘ruling class’, have launched a full-scale attack on private and public wage and salary workers, and small and medium size entrepreneurs (the members of the ‘popular classes’). The attack has targeted income ,pensions, medical... Read More
September marked a decade since the bursting of the housing bubble, which was followed by the stock market meltdown and the government bailout of the big banks and Wall Street. Last week’s frantic stock market sell-off indicates the failure to learn the lesson of 2008 makes another meltdown inevitable.In 2001-2002 the Federal Reserve responded to... Read More
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I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Dr. Michael Hudson. Today’s show: The Vocabulary of Economic Deception. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, a Wall Street financial analyst and distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri,... Read More
Last week the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Sadly, instead of replacing NAFTA’s managed trade with true free trade, the new USMCA expands government’s control over trade. For example, under the USMCA’s “rules of origin,” at least 75... Read More
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I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Dr. Michael Hudson. Today’s show: Rescuing the Banks Instead of the Economy. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is president of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street financial analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University... Read More
Third Time's the Charm
This is America’s third trade war on China: we held its head under water from 1949-1971 and from 1989-92. Inter alia, the US, the EU and the USSR embargoed all weapons technology to prevent China from independently developing the H-Bomb or launching satellites. She did both and kept her economy growing debt-free, twice as fast... Read More
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If the Left is ever going to come together to save the world from Donald Trump and his legions of fascistic Putin-Nazis, we're going to need to confront our primary enemy ... the international working classes. Yes, my comrades, I'm afraid it's time to face the facts, depressing as they are. The working classes are... Read More
Category Classics
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
ABC's Epic Steel-cage Smackdown