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How an “Act of God” Pandemic Is Destroying the West
The U.S. is Saving the Financial Sector, not the Economy
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Before juxtaposing the U.S. and alternative responses to the corona virus’s economic effects,[1]WHEN CHINA SNEEZES: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Implications, Edited by Cynthia McKinney, Chapter 9, Economic Impact. I would like to step back in time to show how the pandemic has revealed a deep underlying problem. We are seeing the consequences of Western societies painting themselves into a debt corner by their creditor-oriented philosophy of law. Neoliberal anti-government (or more accurately, anti-democratic) ideology has centralized social planning and state power in “the market,” meaning specifically the financial market on Wall Street and in other financial centers.

At issue is who will lose when employment and business activity are disrupted. Will it be creditors and landlords at the top of the economic scale, or debtors and renters at the bottom? This age-old confrontation over how to deal with the unpaid rents, mortgages and other debt service is at the heart of today’s virus pandemic as large and small businesses, farms, restaurants and neighborhood stores have fallen into arrears, leaving businesses and households – along with their employees who have no wage income to pay these carrying charges that accrue each month.

This is an age-old problem. It was solved in the ancient Near East simply by annulling these debt and rent charges. But the West, shaped as it still is by the legacy of the Roman Empire, has left itself prone to the massive unemployment, business closedowns and resulting arrears for these basic costs of living and doing business.

Western civilization distinguishes itself from its Near Eastern predecessors in the way it has responded to “acts of God” that disrupt the means of support and leave debts in their wake. The United States has taken the lead in rejecting the path by which China, and even social democratic European nations have prevented the corona virus from causing widespread insolvency and polarizing their economies. The U.S. corona virus lockdown is turning rent and debt arrears into an opportunity to impoverish the indebted economy and transfer mortgaged property and its income to creditors.

There is no inherent material need for this fate to occur. But it seems so natural and even inevitable that, as Margaret Thatcher would say, There Is No Alternative.

But of course there is, and always has been. However, resilience in the face of economic disruption always has required a central authority to override “market forces” to restore economic balance from “above.”

Individualistic economies cannot do that. To the extent that they have a strong state, they are not democratic but oligarchic, controlled by the financial sector in its own interest, in tandem with its symbiotic real estate sector and monopolized infrastructure. That is why every successful society since the Bronze Age has been a mixed economy. The determining factor in whether or not an economic disruption leaves a crippled economy in its wake turns out to be whether its financial sector is a public utility or is privatized from the debt-strapped public domain as a means to enrich bankers and money-lenders at the expense of debtors and overall economic balance.

China is using an age-old policy common ever since Hammurabi and other Bronze Age rulers promoted economic resilience in the face of “acts of God.” Unless personal debts, rents and taxes that cannot be paid are annulled, the result will be widespread bankruptcy, impoverishment and homelessness. In contrast to America’s financialized economy, China has shown how natural it is for society simply to acknowledge that debts, rents, taxes and other carrying charges of living and doing business cannot resume until economic normalcy is able to resume.

Near Eastern protection of economic resilience in the face of Acts of God

Ancient societies had a different logic from those of modern capitalist economies. Their logic – and the Jewish Mosaic Law of Leviticus 25, as well as classical Greek and Roman advocates of democratic reform – was similar to modern socialism. The basic principle at work was to subordinate market relations to the needs of society at large, not to enrich a financial rentier class of creditors and absentee landowners. More specifically, the basic principle was to cancel debts that could not normally be paid, and prevent creditors from foreclosing on the land of debtors.

All economies operate on credit. In modern economies bills for basic expenses are paid monthly or quarterly. Ancient economies operated on credit during the crop year, with payment falling due when the harvest was in – typically on the threshing floor. This cycle normally provided a flow of crops and corvée labor to the palace, and covered the cultivator’s spending during the crop year. Interest typically was owed only when payment was late.

But bad harvests, military conflict or simply the normal hardships of life frequently prevented this buildup of debt from being paid. Mesopotamian palaces had to decide who would bear the loss when drought, flooding, infestation, disease or military attack prevented the payment of debts, rents and taxes. Seeing that this was an unavoidable fact of life, rulers proclaimed amnesties for taxes and these various obligations incurred during the crop year. That saved smallholders from having to work off their debts in personal bondage to their creditors and ultimately to lose their land.

For these palatial economies, resilience meant stabilization of fiscal revenue. Letting private creditors (often officials in the palace’s own bureaucracy) demand payment out of future production threatened to deprive rulers of crop surpluses and other taxes, and corvée labor or even service in the military. But for thousands of years, Near Eastern rulers restored fiscal viability for their economies by writing down debts, not only in emergencies but more or less regularly to relieve the normal creeping backlog of debts.

ORDER IT NOW

These Clean Slates extended from Sumer and Babylonia in the 3rd millennium BC to classical antiquity, including the neo-Assyrian, neo-Babylonian and Persian Empires. They restored normal economic relations by rolling back the consequences of debts personal and agrarian debts – bondage to creditors, and loss of land and its crop yield. From the palace’s point of view as tax collector and seller of many key goods and services, the alternative would have been for debtors to owe their crops, labor and even liberty to their creditors, not to the palace. So cancelling debts to restore normalcy was simply pragmatic, not utopian idealism as was once thought.

The pedigree for “act-of-God” rules specifying what obligations need not be paid when serious disruptions occur goes back to the laws of Hammurabi c. 1750 BC. Their aim was to restore economic normalcy after major disruptions. §48 of Hammurabi’s laws proclaim a debt and tax amnesty for cultivators if Adad the Storm God has flooded their fields, or if their crops fail as a result of pests or drought. Crops owed as rent or fiscal payments were freed from having to be paid. So were consumer debts run up during the crop year, including tabs at the local ale house and advances or loans from individual creditors. The ale woman likewise was freed from having to pay for the ale she had received from palace or temples for sale during the crop year.

Whoever leased an animal that died by an act of god was freed from liability to its owner (§266). A typical such amnesty occurred if the lamb, ox or ass was eaten by a lion, or if an epidemic broke out. Likewise, traveling merchants who were robbed while on commercial business were cleared of liability if they swore an oath that they were not responsible for the loss (§103).

It was realized that hardship was so inevitable that debts tended to accrue even under normal conditions. Every ruler of Hammurabi’s dynasty proclaimed a Clean Slate cancelling personal agrarian debts (but left normal commercial business loans intact) upon taking the throne, and when military or other disruptions occurred during their reign. Hammurabi did this on four occasions.2

Bronze Age rulers could not afford to let such bondage and concentration of property and wealth to become chronic. Labor was the scarcest resource, so a precondition for survival was to prevent creditors from using debt leverage to obtain the labor of debtors and appropriate their land. Rulers therefore acted to prevent creditors from becoming a wealthy class seeking gains by impoverishing debtors and taking crop yields and land for themselves.

By rejecting such alleviations of debts resulting from economic disruption, the U.S. economy is subjecting itself to depression, homelessness and economic polarization. It is saving stockholders and bondholders instead of the economy at large. That is because today’s rentier interests take the economic surplus in the form of debt service, holding labor and also corporate industry in bondage. Mortgage debt is the price of obtaining a home of one’s own. Student debt is the price of getting an education to get a job. Automobile debt is needed to buy a car to drive to the job, and credit-card debt must be run up to pay for living costs beyond what one is able to earn. This deep indebtedness makes workers afraid to go on strike or even to protect working conditions, because being fired is to lose the ability to pay debts and rents. So the rising debt overhead serves the business and financial sector by lowering wage levels while extracting more interest, financial fees, rent and insurance out of their take-home pay.

Debt deflation and the transition from finance capitalism to an Austerity Economy

By injecting $10 trillion into the financial markets (when Federal Reserve credit is added to U.S. Treasury allocation), the CARES act enabled the stock market to recover all of its 34 percent drop (as measured by the S&P 500 stocks) by June 9, even as the economy’s GDP was still plunging. The government’s new money creation was not spent to revive the real economy of production and consumption, but at least the financial One Percent was saved from loss. It was as if prosperity and living standards would somehow return to normal in a V-shaped recovery.

But what is “normal” these days? For 95 percent of the population, their share of GDP already had been falling ever since the Obama Depression began with the bank bailout in 2009, leaving an enormous bad-debt overhead in place. The economy’s long upswing since World War II was already grinding to an end as it struggled to carry its debt burden, rising housing costs, health care and related monthly “nut.”3

This is not what was expected 75 years ago. World War II ended with families and businesses rife with savings and with little debt, as there had been little to buy during the wartime years. But ever since, each business cycle recovery has started with a higher ratio of debt to income, diverting more revenue from business, households and governments to pay banks and bondholders. This debt burden raises the economy’s cost of living and doing business, while leaving less wage income and profit to be spent on goods and services.

The virus pandemic has merely acted as a catalyst ending of the long postwar boom. Yet even as the U.S. and other Western economies begin to buckle under their debt overhead, little thought has been given to how to extricate them from the debts and defaults that have accelerated as a result of the broad economic disruption.

The “business as usual” approach is to let creditors foreclose and draw all the income and wealth over subsistence needs into their own hands. Economies have reached the point where debts can be paid only by shrinking production and consumption, leaving them as strapped as Greece has been since 2015. Rejecting debt writedowns to restore social balance was implanted at the outset of modern Western civilization. Ever since Roman times it has become normal for creditors to use social misfortune as an opportunity to gain property and income at the expense of families falling into debt. Blocking the emergence of democratic civic regimes empowered to protect debtors, creditor interests have promoted laws that force debtors to lose their land or other means of livelihood to foreclosing creditors or sell it under distress conditions and have to work off their debts.

ORDER IT NOW

In times of a general economic disruption, giving priority to creditor claims leads to widespread bankruptcy. Yet it violates most peoples’ ideas of fairness and distributive justice to evict debtors from their homes and take whatever property they have if they cannot pay their rent arrears and other charges that have accrued through no fault of their own. Bankruptcy proceedings will force many businesses and farms to forfeit what they have invested to much wealthier buyers. Many small businesses, especially in urban minority neighborhoods, will see yeas of saving and investment wiped out. The lockdown also forces U.S. cities and states to cope with plunging sales- and income-tax revenue by slashing social services and depleting their pension funds savings to pay bondholders. Balancing their budgets by privatizing hitherto public services will create monopoly rents and new corporate empires

These outcomes are not necessary. They also are inequitable, and instead of being a survival of the fittest and most efficient economic solutions, they are a victory for the most successfully predatory. Yet such results are the product of a long-pedigreed legal and financial philosophy promoted by banks and bondholders, landlords and insurance companies reject economy-wide debt relief. They depict writing down debts and rents owed to them as unthinkable. Banks claim that forgiving personal and business rents would lead absentee landlords to default on their mortgages, threatening bank solvency. Insurance companies claim that to make their policy holders whole would bankrupt them.4 So something has to give: either the population’s broad economic interests, or the vested interests insisting that labor, industry and the government must bear the cost of arrears that have built up during the economic shutdown.

As in oligarchic Rome, financial interests in today’s world have gained control of governments and captured the political and regulatory agencies, leaving democratic reformers powerless to suspend debt service, rent arrears, evictions and depression. The West is becoming a highly centrally planned economy, but its planning center is Wall Street, not Washington or state and local governments.

Rising real estate arrears prompt a mortgage bailout

Canada and many European governments are subsidizing businesses to pay up to 80 percent of employee wages even though many must stay home. But for the 40 million Americans who haven’t been employed during the closedown, the prospect is for homelessness and desperation. Already before the crisis about half of Americans reported that they were living paycheck to paycheck and could not raise $400 in an emergency. When the paychecks stopped, rents could not be paid, nor could other normal monthly living expenses.

America is seeing the end of the home ownership boom that endowed its middle class with property steadily rising in price. For buyers, the price was rising mortgage debt, as bank credit was the major factor in raising property prices. (A home is worth however much a bank will lend against it.) For non-whites, to be sure, neighborhoods were redlined against racial minorities. By the early 2000s, banks began to make loans to black and Hispanic buyers, but usually at extortionately high interest rates and stiffer debt terms. America’s white home buyers now face a fate similar to that which they have long imposed on minorities: Debt-inflated purchase prices for homes so high that they leave buyers strapped by mortgage and compulsory insurance payments, with declining public services in their neighborhoods.

When mortgages can’t be paid, foreclosures follow. That causes declines in the proportion of Americans that own their own homes. That home ownership rate already had dropped from about 58 percent in 2008 to about 51 percent at the start of 2020. Since the 2008 mortgage-fraud crisis and President Obama’s mass foreclosure program that hit minorities and low-income buyers especially hard, a more landlord-ridden economy has emerged as a result of foreclosed properties and companies bought by speculators and vast absentee-owner companies like Blackstone.

Many businesses that closed down did not pay the landlords. Realizing that if they are held responsible for paying full rents that accrued during the shutdown, it would take them over a year to make up the payment, leaving no net earnings for their efforts. That was especially the case for restaurants with compulsory limited “distance” seating and other stores obliged to restrict the density of their customers. Many restaurants and other neighborhood stores decided to go out of business. For hotels standing largely empty, some 19 percent of mortgage loans had fallen into arrears already by May, along with about 10 percent of retail stores.5

The commercial real estate sector owes $2.4 trillion in mortgage debt. About 40 percent of tenants did not pay their rents for March, April and May, from restaurants and storefronts to large national retail markets. A moratorium on evictions put them off until August or September 2020. But in the interim, quarterly state and local property taxes were due in June, which also was when the annual federal income-tax payment was owed for the year 2019, having been postponed from April in the face of the shutdown.

The prospective break in the chain of payments of landlords to their banks may be bailed out by the Federal Reserve, but nobody can come up with a scenario whereby the debts owed by non-elites can be paid out of their own resources, any more than they were rescued from the junk-mortgage frauds that left over-mortgaged homes (mainly for low-income victims) in the wake of Obama’s decision to support the banks and mortgage brokers instead of their victims. In fact, it takes a radical scenario to see how state and local debt can be paid as public budgets are thrown into limbo by the virus pandemic.

The fiscal squeeze forces governments to privatize public services and assets

Since 1945, the normal Keynesian response to an economic slowdown has been for governments to run budget deficits to revive the economy and employment. But that can’t happen in the wake of the 2020 pandemic. For one thing, tax revenue is falling. Governments can create domestic money, of course, but the U.S. government quickly ran up a $2 trillion deficit by June 2020 simply to support Wall Street’s financial and corporate markets, leaving a fiscal squeeze when it came to public spending into the real economy. Many U.S. states and cities have laws obliging them to balance their budgets. So public spending into the real economy (instead of just into the financial and corporate markets) had to be cut back.

ORDER IT NOW

Sales taxes from restaurants and hotels, income taxes, and property taxes from landlords not receiving rents. U.S. states and localities are having a huge tax shortfall that is forcing them to cut back basic social services and infrastructure. New York City mayor de Blasio has warned that schools, the police and public transportation may have to be cut back unless the city is given $7 billion. The CARES act passed by the Democratic Party in control of the House of Representatives made no attempt to allocate a single dollar to make up the widening fiscal gap. As for the Trump administration, it was unwilling to give money to states voting Democratic in the presidential or governorship elections.

The irony is that just at the time when a pandemic calls for public health care, political pressure for that abruptly stopped. Logically, it might have been expected the virus to have become a major catalyst for single-payer public health care, not least to prevent a wave of personal bankruptcy resulting from high medical bills. But hopes were dashed when the leading torch bearer for socialized medicine, Senator Bernie Sanders, threw his support behind Joe Biden and other opponents for the presidential nomination instead of focusing the primary elections on what the future of the Democratic Party would be. It decided to focus the 2020 U.S. election merely on the personality of which candidate would impose neoliberal policy: Republican Donald Trump, or his opponent running simply on a platform of “I am not Trump.”

Both candidates – and indeed, both parties behind them –sought to downsize government and privatize as much of the public sector as possible, leaving administration to financial managers. Past government policy would have restored prosperity by public spending programs to to rebuild the roads and bridges, trains and subways that have fallen apart. But the fiscal squeeze caused by the economic shutdown has created pressure to Thatcherize America’s crumbling transportation and urban infrastructure – and also to sell off land and public enterprises, basic urban health, schools – and at the national level, the post office. Fiscal budgets are to be balanced by selling off this infrastructure, in lucrative Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) with financial firms.

The neoliberal rent-extractive plan is for private capital to buy monopoly rights to repair the nation’s bridges by turning them into toll bridges, to repair the nation’s roads and highways by making the toll roads, to repair sewer systems by privatizing them. Schools, prisons, hospitals and other traditionally public functions. Even the police are to be privately owned security-guard agencies and managed for profit – on terms that will provide interest and capital gains for the financial sector. It is a New Enclosures movement seeking monopoly rent much as landlords extract land rent.

Having given $10 trillion dollars to support financial and mortgage markets, neoliberals in both the Republican and Democratic parties announced that the government had created so large a budget deficit as a result of bailing out the banking and landlord class that it lacked any more room for money creation for actual social spending programs. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell advised states to solve their budget squeeze by raiding their pension funds to pay their bondholders.

For many decades, public employees accepted low wage growth in exchange for pensions. Their patient choice was to defer demands for wage increases in order to secure good pensions for their retirement. But now that they have worked at stagnant wages for many years, the money ostensibly saved for their pensions is to be given to bondholders. Likewise at the federal level, pressure was renewed by both parties to cut back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with Obama’s 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to reduce the deficit at the expense of retirees and the poor.

In sum, money is being created to fuel the financial sector and its stock and bond markets, not to increase the economy’s solvency, employment and living standards. The corona virus pandemic did not create this shift, but it catalyzed and accelerated the power grab, not least by pushing public-sector budgets into crisis.

It doesn’t have to be this way

Every successful economy has been a mixed public/private economy with checks on the financial sector’s power to indebt society in ways that impoverish it. Always at issue, however, is who will control the government. As American and European industry becomes more debt ridden, will they be oligarchic or democratic?

A socialist government such as China’s can keep its industry going simply by simply writing down debts when they can’t be paid without forcing a closedown and bankruptcy and loss of assets and employment. The world thus has two options: a basically productive public financial system in China, or a predatory financial system in the United States.

China can recover financially and fiscally from the virus disruption because most debts ultimately are owned to the government-based banking system. Money can be created to finance the material economy, labor and industry, construction and agriculture. When a company is unable to pay its bills and rent, the government doesn’t stand by and let it be closed down and sold at a distressed price to a vulture investor.

China has an option that Western economies do not: It is in a position to do what Hammurabi and other ancient Near Eastern palatial economies did for thousands of years: write down debts so as to keep the economy resilient and functioning. It can suspend scheduled debt service, taxes, rents and public fees from having to be paid by troubled areas of its economy, because China’s government is the ultimate creditor. It need not contend with politically powerful bankers who insist that the economy at large must lose, not themselves. The government can write down the debt to keep companies in business, and also their employees. That’s what socialist governments do.

The underlying problem is finance capitalism. Its roots lie at the heart of Western civilization itself, rejecting the “circular time” permitting economic renewal by Clean Slates in favor of “linear time” in which debts are permanent and irreversible, without public oversight to manage finance and credit in the economy’s overall long-term interest.

ORDER IT NOW

It often is easier to get rich in such times of disaster and need than in times of normal prosperity. While the U.S. economy polarizes between creditors and debtors, the stock market anticipates fortunes being made quickly from the insolvency of business with assets and property to be grabbed. Coupled with the Federal Reserve’s credit creation to support the financial and real estate markets, asset prices are soaring (as of June 2020) for companies that expect to get even richer from the widespread distress to come in autumn 2020 when evictions and foreclosures ae scheduled to begin again.

In that respect, the corona virus’s effect has been to help defeat the financial sector’s enemy, governments strong enough to regulate it. The fiscal squeeze resulting from widespread unemployment, business closedowns, rent and tax arrears is being seized upon as a means of dismantling and privatizing government at the federal, state and local levels, at the expense of the citizenry at large.

Notes

[1] WHEN CHINA SNEEZES: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Implications, Edited by Cynthia McKinney, Chapter 9, Economic Impact.

[2] I provide a detailed history of Clean Slate acts from the Bronze Age down through Biblical times and the Byzantine Empire in “… and forgive them their debts” (ISLET 2018).

[3] I provide the details in Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy ((SLET, 2015).

[4] Lawsuits are exploding over the role of insurance companies supposed to protect business from such interruptions. See Julia Jacobs, “Arts Groups Fight Their Insurers Over Coverage on Virus Losses,” The New York Times, May 6, 2020, reports that “insurance companies have issued a torrent of denials, prompting lawsuits across the country and legislative efforts on the state and federal levels to force insurers to make payments. The insurance industry has argued that … fulfilling all of these requests would bankrupt the industry.”

[5] Conor Dougherty and Peter Eavis, “In Commercial Real Estate, the Domino Effect Escalates,” The New York Times, June 9, 2020.

 
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  1. g8way says:

    Huh? There’s no Act of God here. This has been a controlled demolition which was associated with a putative pandemic. The economic disruption was not a result of structural or systemic flaws in the economic or financial system; it was a result of the decision to force the economic disruption.

    Certainly there are structural and systemic flaws in the current economic and financial systems, but to this point those flaws haven’t caused any economic or financial catastrophes or disasters. Except in the obvious sense that the levers of power in the systems are controlled by deeply flawed people.

    • Replies: @PetrOldSack
    , @jadan
  2. Covid and government and corporate response to it was not an act of God. Covid is an Act of Fraud.

    • Agree: meamjojo
    • Replies: @showmethereal
  3. Covid and government, medical community, and corporate response to it was not an act of God. Covid is an Act of Fraud.

    Those guilty of fraud must be charged and imprisoned for their frauds. No economy can succeed with fraud as a business model, that also employs fraud as a solution to the problems of the fraudulent business models.

  4. Linear time allows for indentured debt servitude ad infinitum. Why would creditors ever want to willingly reduce their greed quotient YoY?

    Greed is the real virus here whereas SARS-2-nCoV-19 is just the USA BSL-4 produced deadly man made Pandemic Pathogen that has facilitated the Controlled Demolition of Wall Street Retail and Commercial sector banking.

    What they want on Wall Street is the ability to borrow unlimited amounts of cash for near zero interest rate cost. Wall Street knows it is not backed by sound money systems of gold bullion so their next ploy is to switch to Modern Monetary Theory and blockchain technology so that they can get free electronic money in perpetuity with ruffling the prevailing Keynesian Macroeconomic logic, or ethos.

    Governments have borrow beyond their ability to pay debts for at minimum of half a century continuously. Greenspan’s Put culture prevails and the monetary heroin junkies of Wall Street are going to get their heroin from Dr. Feelgood at the Federal Reserve or they will join the rioters for the next planned iteration of Occupy Wall Street and the White House/Pentagon/Congress.

    Wall Street elites have two choices here. They can write down debts and provide venture capital or they can leave their palatial homes and run for their very lives as the masses invade their homes and decide to cook their pets on the newly available barbeque with relish.

    Wall Street and the politicians are not going to shake the masses down again, Professor Hudson.
    This time the masses are going to shake the politicians and bankers down to global insolvency worldwide. And then we will put their heads on sticks and hang them all from their ankles just like Mussolini.

    RW

    • Replies: @mark tapley
  5. I love the phrase “Act of Fraud.” But they stole it fair and square. To paraphrase Richard Nixon, “When insurance companies do it, it’s no crime.” It’s systemic.

    • Replies: @76239
  6. The fake virus has been planned for years and is a revamped follow up to the other fake viruses such as H1N1, H5N1, SARS, Bird flu, Swine flu and the AIDS epidemic (see Peter Duesburg on this). It was sprung now as a cover for another massive theft by the banking cartel of trillions as in 08-09. The staged riots are for the same purpose. Governments love to generate war and fake pathogens because both lead to big money and more control.

    This problem cannot be solved by more government regulation. That was what they said all the way back to the time of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The big monopolists are the ones behind the increased regulation or we should say government intervention because that is the only way in a free market they can keep out competition – by using the government. As the founder of Moody’s Bond Co. revealed in the late 1800’s, after the Anti-Trust legislation The Rockefeller’s of Standard Oil and other big Corp. interests of the S.P. 500 had even more control.

    That is why the big meat packers were really the ones behind Upton Sinclair’s “expose” so they could raise the barrier for entry to potential competitors. Same thing for the recent cigarette settlement with the states. The lawyers and the states got a payoff and the same big tobacco co’s keep a monopoly on a low tech. industry that would normally be crowded with low price competition.

    When you have big government you have big corruption. Had we stayed on course with the founders plan for a Constitutional Republic of sovereign States with a very limited national government and with a free market of gold and silver currency the crony corporate monopoly capitalism would have not gotten hold because they have to use the power of government in order to maintain a monopoly. With a very limited gov. that was not constantly fomenting wars for Israel and that had not thrown 15 trillion dollars since the Zionist LBJ’s great society to “fight poverty” and the other transfer programs and gigantic bureaucracy, taxes would be so low that they would not really be an issue.

    One of the reasons for the creation of the banking cartel’s central bank was to instigate the indirect tax of depreciation (inflation) that in effect transfers the wealth to the elite at the top while funding the huge crony gov. along with military expansion and permanent war while at the same time getting rid of the Zionists biggest problem, the middle class.

    The racket with the coming flu vaccines is another good example. Big Pharma backed by the gov. criminals at The WHO and CDC have made billions of the fake vaccines while maiming and killing thousands all over the world.

    • Replies: @Ugetit
  7. @Robert White

    Jewmerica has maintained a rate of currency depreciation (inflation) of right at 50% every 17 years since the banking cartel installed their banking monopoly in 1913. This enables ever bigger crony government and permanent wars for Israel through an indirect tax that most goyim never figure out. It will get worse now that trillions more have been stolen by the sovereign bankers with the full approval of our shabbos goy congress.

    The Zionist big government shake down is going to get a lot worse They are now doing the Big mob type shake down. In 09 we had the bailout for billionaire program to pay off those rich guaranteed bondholders and now it is really just an outright theft for their Wall St. buddies under cover of the fake virus and staged riots.

    In order for Jewmerica to be more comfortably merged with 3rd world countries its economy and standard of living must be reduced. Millions more people and businesses have been bankrupted and now as in 08-09 lots of property will be picked up by the elite vulture investors such as the Jew run and crony government connected Black Rock.

    The masses of cucked idiots are so stupid most of them just believe whatever the Jew MSM tells them. Thats why they are going around wearing face diapers and sucking their own waste products back into their lungs while the Zionists are herding them right on down the path to Agenda 2030-21. Well at least they can make that critical decision to vote for Zionist shabbos goy puppet actor Trump or Zionist shabbos goy puppet actor Biden.

  8. @g8way

    Excruciatingly to the point. Hudson never crosses the invisible line. The “pandemic” is unique for it´s global scope, for both China and the West, other peripheral actors(presumably most did not fully realize the plan (rickety Belgium)), went for desired disruption …on sane premises: consumerism, financial capitalism based on it, needed a game shift, since external actors to the human “economics” could no longer be contoured and cheated on. The elites were ‘eating’ resources, polluting and toxifying, saw the coming of obsolescense of war and foreign policies using military capitalist tools, to the point they scared themself sh**less. The face of how the world is ruled, how cities and hinterlands will look, is open mostly, there is a lot of improvisations going on. Most consequences are not “micro” predictable, but the intention is clear. The elites are sailing on a different tac.

    Must be mentioned, BLM, setting up minority groups in a confused “battle” to let of steam, to rally and co-opt as needed is part of this intended scheme. In the end it adds credibility to one party or another in power, while none had still credibility. Skepticism was creeping and gnawing at the bones of the elites. Well to mention, it was corrupting the “faith” of the middle classes in media, politics and finance.

    Thanks for your comment, I hope it stays there in first position, #1, as a necessary premise to the article. Your scope of viewpoint is global as to the article, …and needed far less wording. I am only trying to look at things as they are from a slightly different angle, in the face of explaining the obvious.

  9. Dr Hudson has written another excellent article, exposing how the virus has been used – similar to the Obama years – to shift ever more billions to the elite 1%.
    There seem to be no realistic answers to the compounding problem of US Oligarchy. Short of complete collapse, US elites will give no ground. Wall street, creditors & their government tools will continue until they can’t.
    If Dr Hudson is correct — & I believe he is — at the moment further social decay seems baked in for the US.
    US Capitalism — all Capitalism ? — is toxic. US Imperialism is an attempt to infect any country resistant to neoliberalism. The US needs to hold together its dollar hegemony — the foundation stone of its corrupt financialised “capitalism”. It also needs to hold together all the post-war institutions it controls such as the World Bank, IMF, NATO … & 800 odd foreign military bases & half a dozen carrier groups. Thus, its rabid attitudes towards China, Russia & Iran.
    Unable, given its own inherent contradictions, to fix its own problems, the US will likely further turn to Imperialism as a means of papering over its unsolvable issues.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  10. onebornfree says: • Website

    “….resilience in the face of economic disruption always has required a central authority to override “market forces” to restore economic balance from “above.” “

    Translation : the ongoing worldwide economic destruction that is the direct result [ie “in your face”] of governments ongoing worldwide idiotic “cures” for their scamdemic, i.e. nationwide lockdowns, mandatory masks, state -approved medical procedures that kill etc. etc., can only be fixed by the exact same entities that caused all of the economic problems in the first place … the government. Yeah, right.

    Brilliant er, “logic” Mr Hudson, but then again, what did I expect from a “government solutions work best” infatuated Marxist, anyway?

    Truth be told, I expected exactly what you delivered, yet another paean to the imagined glories of government. You and your ilk make me sick. Really.

    “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure” Robert LeFevere

    “The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic” H.L.Mencken

    “Why Government Doesn’t Work” [pdf available here]:
    https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Why_Government_Doesn%27t_Work

    No regards, onebornfree

    • Agree: Adam Smith
    • Troll: Yevardian
  11. Speaking of the legacy of the Roman Empire, it was also a tradition in hard times for an incoming emperor to forgive debts owed to the state. When Hadrian took office he publicly burned in the forum obligations totaling nine hundred million sesterces (when four sesterces was a fair day’s wage). Generous annual donatives to the Roman people of grain and silver were a long standing tradition as well. There were also frequent reductions or abolition of various sorts of taxation, as conditions required.

    In the absence of newspapers, coins struck to commemorate current events rapidly spread news of the government’s policies across the great empire. Hadrian’s largesse can be seen memorialized in orichalcum here https://cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=212189

  12. Rahan says:

    The underlying problem is finance capitalism. Its roots lie at the heart of Western civilization itself, rejecting the “circular time” permitting economic renewal by Clean Slates in favor of “linear time” in which debts are permanent and irreversible,

    Brilliant.

  13. Iris says:

    Most interesting article by Pr Hudson, one of a handful of economists who have the integrity of naming the giant elephant in the room; i.e. the utterly destructive weight accumulating debt puts on the real economy.

    At the opposite side of the spectrum, mainstream economists are no better than mainstream journalists: mercenary proxies to the financial cartels destroying entire people and nation.

    It is interesting to read that even mainstream economic analysts are realizing how the Covid pandemic has laid bare the West’s failure and unequalitarian nature.

    Here is a panicked John Micklethwait CBE, Bloomberg’s Chief editor, former chief editor of the Economist, ringing the alarm bells. Although he carefully avoids mentioning the underlying economic root causes of Britain’s failure, his statement of facts remains correct and are another wake up call the financial oligarchy will not listen to, for fear of losing their privileges.

    Instead, we can expect more baseless accusations against China and more self-inflicted blindness about our future.

    How the West was lost: JOHN MICKLETHWAIT and ADRIAN WOOLDRIDGE reveals coronavirus is making China all-powerful again after Europe and America stole its crown… and Britain only has itself to blame

    One of the great fears about the Covid epidemic is that it will plunge the world into a prolonged recession.
    But consider a still more frightening prospect: that it will mark a turning point in history when the West surrenders its pre-eminence to the East — and particularly to China.

    But in general, the Government machine simply did not work. The Covid-19 crisis was like a gigantic stress test for government everywhere and Britain’s state failed the test hopelessly. Many of the problems were simple ones.

    There are two places from which Britain can draw inspiration. One is the rest of the world. The inevitable official inquiry into Covid should not just focus on who is to blame, but on what others did better.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8675517/How-West-lost-JOHN-MICKLETHWAIT-reveals-coronavirus-making-China-powerful-again.html

  14. “For non-whites, to be sure, neighborhoods were redlined against racial minorities. By the early 2000s, banks began to make loans to black and Hispanic buyers, but usually at extortionately high interest rates and stiffer debt terms. America’s white home buyers now face a fate similar to that which they have long imposed on minorities: Debt-inflated purchase prices for homes so high that they leave buyers strapped by mortgage and compulsory insurance payments, with declining public services in their neighborhoods.”

    Indeed that is very true… Many of the racists refuse to believe that was the case and what helped dampen minority wealth in the US compared to white wealth. The added interest paid made a HUGE difference – when they could get the loan…

    You also make a good point about Leviticus and the cancellation of debt and how that was a feature in ancient societies

  15. I wish I knew why Michael continues to write the same article over and over again. It’s been at least 20 times now I’ve read about the ancient Clean Slate practices over 2,000 years ago. As well as what happened when Roman practices changed all that. As well as what happened in the late 1800s, early 1900s when the rentiers triumphed over economics. AS well as into the rise of the Neo-libereals of Chicago in the 70s.

    Hudson describes this over and over and over and over again. But he never ever offers any solution. No future alternative to the horror that seems to be coming. He apparently believes we are doomed to a thousand years of dark ages just so a few rentierss can remain wealthy. That appears to be the least possible route the future will take. But since hardly anyone knows what the real problem is (and it’s sure not systemic racism), it’s more likely to become a place uninhabitable even to a wealthy rentier.

    I wish Michael Hudson was more like Ellen Brown, who does have suggestions that could be implemented now and in the future that would steer humanity back from the brink.

    But then too I wish that both Ellen and Michael would go on The Kaiser Report and explain (once again) to Max what MMT really is. Recently Max has had about 5 “guests” say unchallenged that we are right now in the midst of MMT, as if printing money, but not giving it to people is MMT. It is maddening to hear this libel sailing right over Keiser’s head..

    Michael, at least if you re not going to offer any vision of the future other than a dystopian hell, you could set the record straight countering the disinformation coming from the influential Kaiser Report.

    • Replies: @Tony Hall
    , @Rubicon
  16. @No Friend Of The Devil

    You do realize that epidemics and pandemics have been around for thousands of years right?

    • Replies: @Robert White
  17. @animalogic

    Many people also don’t see the pernicious hand of the “tech companies” in trying to push everyone to work from home more permanently. It gives them more control over the economy. Despite the fact that it is less productive and will increase social ills (domestic abuse and suicide and mental health issues) because human beings are made for social contact with others…

  18. eD says:

    The most “liberal” commentators in the mid-20th century sense (establishment but in favor of civil liberties and some downwards redistribution of wealth and power), particularly the two Michaels, Hudson and Whitney, on Unz.com seem to attack the battiest commentators. I haven’t figured out why that is the case.

  19. Tony Hall says:
    @restless94110

    I wish I knew why Michael continues to write the same article over and over again. It’s been at least 20 times now I’ve read about the ancient Clean Slate practices over 2,000 years ago. As well as what happened when Roman practices changed all that. As well as what happened in the late 1800s, early 1900s when the rentiers triumphed over economics. As well as into the rise of the Neo-liberals of Chicago in the 70s.

    Hudson describes this over and over and over and over again. But he never ever offers any solution. No future alternative to the horror that seems to be coming. He apparently believes we are doomed to a thousand years of dark ages just so a few rentiers can remain wealthy. That appears to be the least possible route the future will take. But since hardly anyone knows what the real problem is (and it’s sure not systemic racism), it’s more likely to become a place uninhabitable even to a wealthy rentier.

    I wish Michael Hudson was more like Ellen Brown, who does have suggestions that could be implemented now and in the future that would steer humanity back from the brink.

    I covered much ground similar to that of Michael Hudson in a 20,000 word essay published here at Unz Review just one week ago. Entitled “Lockdowns, Coronavirus, and Banking: Follow the Money,” I too attempt to put concepts of debt and usury in historical perspective with special reference to the intervention of the Federal Reserve in the events of 9/11, the so-called bailout of 2008-09, and the manufactured assault on the global economy initiated by the lockdowns in response to the WHO’s misnamed “pandemic.” The lockdowns are the key to understanding the genesis of our current economic debacle just as the mandatory injections coming at us at warp speed are bound to be the instigators of much future pandemonium in the arena of global public health.

    https://www.unz.com/article/lockdowns-coronavirus-and-banks-following-the-money-2/

    The essence of the economic reset being pushed on us in the name of fighting the celebrity virus is a monstrous regime of robotizing almost everything. This robotization of all kinds of procedures, large and small, includes future onslaughts of attack on human consciousness and independent thought. These attacks will take place in coordination with the design and implementation of myriad forms of Artificial Intelligence. The AI systems being secretly contemplated, tested and implemented in the name of “national security,” include industrialized systems for injecting nano biotechnology into human persons. With the help of 5G and the forthcoming 6G, the diabolical plan is to force digital interfaces into human beings so that it becomes possible to institute forms of enslavement far more radical than anything known in history so far.

    My new essay in Unz Review, was published originally at American Herald Tribune. It is not a repeat of old essays although in does draw on the concluding chapter of my volume, Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization and Capitalism published at McGill-Queen’s University Press.

    [MORE]

    https://www.mqup.ca/earth-into-property-products-9780773531222.php

    While Prof. Hudson identifies “a New Enclosure movement” brought forward in the name of neoliberalism, this old and many-faceted process embodies but one aspect of a larger phenomenon I identify as “privatization since 1492.” The break up and acquisition of the commons is manifest on a hemispheric scale in the ongoing process that began with Europe’s colonization of the Americas following the initial trans-Atlantic voyage of Christopher Columbus.

    https://www.mqup.ca/earth-into-property-products-9780773531222.php

    I wrote the final chapter of Earth into Property based on my study of the then-unfolding bailouts of 2008-09. These bailouts were deemed necessary because of the devastation caused by the huge accumulation of derivative bets held especially by the Wall Street share holders of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    In conducting my research back then I paid special attention to the role of a Wall Street leviathan known as BlackRock in administering the bailouts through three Maiden Lane Companies. The name of the three prototypical entities created by the NY Fed is derived from its Manhattan address on Maiden Lane. BlackRock emerged in the late 1980s from a Deep State company known as Blackstone. The two companies remain to this day allied competitors with a merger somewhere down the road a distinct possibility.

    The Chair of Blackstone was Peter G. Peterson. Peterson followed David Rockefeller as Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations, a position the Blackstone co-founder retained between 1985 and 2007. Peterson was Commerce Secretary under Nixon and Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York throughout the period between 2000 to 2004 when Wall Street was deeply involved with several aspects of the 9/11 debacle. Earlier in his career, Peterson was Chair of Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb, companies that have been major players in the founding and genesis of the Federal Reserve.

    Peterson and Blackstone were partners with Larry Silverstein in securing the mortgage for WTC 7 and in the leasing of the Twin Towers. After 2007 the sovereign wealth fund of the People’s Republic of China briefly owned 12.5 % of the equity in Blackstone.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blackstone-group-cic-idUSKCN1GQ09T

    As I detail in my Unz Review essay, BlackRock presented the basic outlines of the current US federal strategy for dealing with this financial fiasco back at a conference of central bankers who met in Jackson Hole Wyoming in Aug. of 2019. This date, of course, was several months before the celebrity virus embarked upon its official and heavily hyped career as the basis for what is now being openly advertised by the people at the World Economic Forum as a “global reset.” At Jackson Hole BlackRock’s main presenter was Stanley Fischer, former Governor of the Bank of Israel and former Federal Reserve Vice-Chair.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-08-15/blackrock-s-ex-central-bankers-have-bold-vision-to-beat-recession

    I have followed the work of Ellen Brown with much appreciation over the last decade or so. I agree with restless94110 that she offers useful and pragmatic suggestions for what to do in the face of the kind of financial terrorism we are now facing from the international financial mafia that has coalesced around the US Fed over more than a century. A major part of my most recent essay involves contrasting the career of the system that coalesced around the US Fed with the career of the system that took shape around the Bank of Canada. Between 1938 and 1974 Parliament empowered the Bank of Canada to create no-interest or very low-interest loans for Canadian infrastructure projects during a period of substantial national growth.

    During this period Canada’s entire national debt went only to about $20 billion. Then in 1974 the Bank of Canada system was overturned by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau when he opted to join instead the Bank of International Settlements, the so-called central bank for central bankers. As a result of this decision the Canadian national debt has grown in 2020 to $700 billion.

    I argue that the Bank of Canada’s example between 1938 and 1974 should serve as an encouragement for the governments of many countries simply to leave the lock hold of private bankers on systems of usury that privatize the means for creating national debts and setting interest rates. Sovereign legislatures all over the world have the power to repatriate the current process for creating money and lending it according to processes that will re-empower peoples saved from debt enslavement by our collective resort to the instruments of genuine national self-determination.

    • Replies: @restless94110
    , @jadan
  20. Rubicon says:
    @restless94110

    Sorry to inform you, “restless 94110” but there IS NO SOLUTION. Why? Well, because these evil, demonic Oligarchs in the US could care less if millions of Americans die of starvation.

    They have manifested their power from the height of the Federal govt. all the way down to the little
    city halls of small towns.

    And if that’s bad, the worst problem is the society of 300 MILLION citizens who are so illiterate and ignorant of these Oligarchic criminals………..they actually believe either The Democrat Party or the Republican Party will save them. Hardly likely. Those two parties are ALL bought off by these Oligarchs.

    In the meantime, if you read Hudson’s article, he was telling the readers that IF Only our Neo-Feudal Lords & the govt. would cancel all debt as they did during Ancient Times. NOT gonna happen.

    Ellen Brown is big on “Public Banks.” Really? With a society unable to use critical thinking skills, or to stand up to these Oligarchs…….are they really going to gather as a massive group to initiate Public Banks? NO.
    In many regards, the millions of unenlightened citizens deserve their fate: SERVITUDE!

  21. @Tony Hall

    The lockdowns are the key to understanding the genesis of our current economic debacle just as the mandatory injections coming at us at warp speed are bound to be the instigators of much future pandemonium in the arena of global public health.

    By criticizing Hudson, I was not looking for a competing or supplementary essay on what is going on. Why what is going on is going on is in the end really unimportant. And with all due respect, your reply is TL:DR partly because of that reason.

    I have followed the work of Ellen Brown with much appreciation over the last decade or so. I agree with restless94110 that she offers useful and pragmatic suggestions for what to do in the face of the kind of financial terrorism we are now facing from the international financial mafia that has coalesced around the US Fed over more than a century.

    You may need to get more current with Brown’s writing. She writes frequently on the state bank of South Dakota (or is it North Dakota?) and has been writing on the recent California law allowing bank creation, which has led to Los Angeles beginning the creation of a state bank.

    Furthermore, she writes that the USPS should be used as a banking outlet (and others have proposed using the USPS for a national social media outlet as well, which would force Free Speech). She does not really get into any secret or non secret theories about the Fed, only that, quite correctly, the Fed doesn’t work for most people and for the Nation as a whole.

    And that’s really all you need to know. You do not need to formulate grandiose theories about it. Neither does it serve anyone any good to say there is some plot to turn everyone into an automaton slave. That makes no sense, really. Even globalists would not be ok living in such a world.

    And as certain as you or others may be that such a world is possible to construct, it is very clear that the nature of mankind makes it so it will be very difficult more probably impossible to successfully achieve such a dystopian result.

    By trying to explain so much, you explain little and to no useful end.

  22. @Rubicon

    I do not agree.

    If there is no solution why are you still living? If people are all except for (maybe) you so stupid, what exactly is worth you going on?

    All of this phrasing (e.g., New Federal Lords) is really nonsense talk. Why don’t you wait until it ever does come true before you write things like that. Because we ain’t there e yet.

    Oligarchic societies destroy themselves from within. They make a country weak and feeble. You can easily see it right now:

    Try to imagine the black rioting and race hatred and the white rioters doing so during the America of the 50s, when almost everyone had a job and a future and it was simple for the average person to have a house and raise a family. You have to make sure that there are fewer losers in society or there is no society, and then there is no country. Other countries see this and will take advantage.

    And while it might be true that such a cave in can take some time to completely self-destruct, in the modern era, we appear to be telescoping time: how many centuries did it take for Rome to completely fall? And how many decades did it take for the USSR to fail? Chances are it will take mere years for the current idiocy to completely destroy the nation.

    Saying there is no solution? Perhaps. But then again,why even say that at all? Just go to a corner of your kitchen, sit in the corner, and wring your hands and weep. For eternity.

    No thanks. And Michael Hudson should know better than to write the same article over and over and over again. It makes him look stupid. And I don’t believe he is stupid. But I could be wrong about that.

  23. @showmethereal

    Bioweapons manufactured in Biosecurity Level Four laboratories have only been around for about half a century to date. The CIA has become a real epidemic, I agree. And now that they have deployed bioweapons to enable biometric control of the masses via bio-informatics we can all start investing in BIG Pharmacology patents like they were oil wells fueling Petrodollar U$D supremacy worldwide.

    BIG Tobacco, BIG Oil, BIG Pharmacology!

    BIG Money!

    BIG Revolution!

    RW

  24. Paul1776 says:

    The old ways are the best ways. We have a depression and a plague upon us. In these times we need to sacrifice our failed leaders to the gods by throwing the biggest bankers into an active volcano, one each day. Amazingly, if you start at the top and work your way down after not many days the situation corrects itself. Always works but only if you start at the very top.

    • Agree: Iris, Ugetit
    • Replies: @jadan
  25. jadan says:
    @g8way

    If an accident can be called an act of god, then the release of this bioweapon from the Wuhan Institute of Virology can be considered an act of god, or simply monumental human incompetence. But who can prove it? A prima facie case is compelling. There is no case at all for a “controlled demolition”, however. This is malignant fantasy. The pandemic is not merely putative, it is a stone cold fact, although at this point not so severe as the flu of 1918. Hang around, friend, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I do hope g8way gets a dose of it. It will clarify his outlook somewhat and he will probably recover easily since he is young.

    This writer seems to think the current economic collapse is not a systemic failure, but the activity of “deeply flawed” people, or perhaps global conspirators with their agenda of “controlled demolition”. Are these the same critters who carried out 911? He seems to have forgotten 2008 when 10 million people had their homes stolen by the owner/operators of this system of financialized capitalism. He’s missing the entire point of Hudson’s essay.

    This economic disaster is not the result of the nefarious intentions of a cabal of evil-doers, it is a collapse of financial capitalism. It happens on a regular basis, every 7 to 14 years approximately, but this is the worst systemic failure since 1929. Failure of capitalism. Deep systemic change is need for the survival of the US. Hudson is showing the way to prevent societal collapse.

  26. jadan says:
    @Tony Hall

    It is a courtesy to Michael Hudson and other contributors to respond to their essays. Using the comment section to blow your own horn is tacky. Reminds me of Trump.

  27. jadan says:

    Michael Hudson is framing our current events in an historical context not available to us from any other source I’m aware of in the academic domain of economics. All knowledge is politicized by the “winners” and we are taught to understand economic realities from the point of view of the creditor class which has won the battle for political control. “Socialism” is evil, destroyer of individual liberty, unlienable rights, and innovation. We have run down a cul de sac and there appears to be no way out, as we bear witness to systemic collapse, which is the illusion produced by rigid ideology. Hudson is here to frame our situation with a new perspective that is actually ancient. With a correct understanding of the dire straights we’re in, we have the possibility of building something new from the rubble.

  28. Ugetit says:
    @mark tapley

    That is why the big meat packers were really the ones behind Upton Sinclair’s “expose” so they could raise the barrier for entry to potential competitors. Same thing for the recent cigarette settlement with the states.

    Not only raising the barrier to potential competitors, but also eliminating competition wholesale. Don’t forget “Prohibition,” Teddy Roosevelt’s (another fraud), trust “busting,” the wars against Germany, and the rise of “Communism,” which eliminated competition under catchy slogans such as we’re witnessing today with the fraud known as BLM. Note that the three Rittenhouse dealt with were not only white, not black, but apparently criminals to boot as was the cold blooded crackpot who executed the Trump supporter on the street.

  29. Tim too says:

    “It is a New Enclosures movement seeking monopoly rent much as landlords extract land rent.”

    Employers are demanding that certain employees work from home, and provide office space, and services.

    Employers are reaching right into peoples homes and grabbing space and services. It is a new enclosures strategy, more expropriation. This will reduce costs to employers for buildings and services, and the costs go on workers.

    Act of thug.

  30. The pandemic is damaging nothing.

    The reaction to a virus with marginally more lethality than seasonal flu is hurting the average person financially and not protecting them from the virus.

    • Replies: @jadan
  31. jadan says:
    @Doubting Thomas

    Be patient. The pandemic will eventually touch you and yours and make a believer out of you. The reaction to the virus is hurting the average person financially because the our financial system has never passed a stress test and never will. It is not capable of protecting the people because it only works to enrich the few at the expense of the many. If this were a more rapacious pandemic, we would currently be subjected to marshal law. Quarantine breakers, curfew violators, and anti-maskers would be shot dead. The pandemic we now experience of which you are so skeptical (183,000 dead doesn’t impress you) is only a dress rehearsal. You haven’t understood what Michael Hudson is saying at all. Why comment if you haven’t read and understood what the author is saying?

    • Agree: showmethereal
    • Troll: GeneralRipper
  32. L Blankfein does god’s work, too. Fleecing Job over again in disasterisms. God’s dice and Words are loaded and He Wants to gamble with His imaginary friend ,the devil, over you (original hedgie). Dr. Hudson has remarked on historical under-dog oligarchs being involved in resets. Is there some-one we could split the Rockerfella Foundation and Open Soc. with (60/40)? Those trust-funders and irreligious charities picking themselves up by their gucci laces for the first time would cause me tears of joy maybe…. Pacific potlatches were a way of redistibution. Every one then had too agree it was a great party, good giftbags, and the host was nice; and occasionally the potlatch would be remembered as exceptional (during starvation, eg.). To be remembered well… “the good oft inter’ed with the bones”. Dentalium shells also were local, like a Wampum money mine. Thank you Michael.

  33. @Rubicon

    “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
    Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page
    Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism. “
    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

  34. 76239 says:
    @Michael Hudson

    “By the early 2000s, banks began to make loans to black and Hispanic buyers, but usually at extortionately high interest rates and stiffer debt terms.”

    This is because the loans made to black and Hispanic buyers have a higher risk of default. They lose their jobs more frequently, and the property they borrow to buy is usually less marketable. Therefore, a higher rate of interest is in order. Higher risk, higher rates.

    • Agree: Jim Christian
  35. 76239 says:
    @jadan

    You are living in a dream world.

    When has the government ever told the truth? Why trust what they say, when they lie all the time?
    Whether its wars, economics or science, you never get the truth from the government.

    Hudson and you are merely sniveling boot lickers of tyranny.

  36. 76239 says:

    “Act of God Pandemic Is Destroying the West”

    Viruses have been around for thousands of years, and human beings keep living longer and longer. Never needed shutdowns or compulsory vaccines in the past. 350 million people live in the US alone. The over inflated death counts are minuscule as a percentage of the total population.

    Only the propagandists perpetuate this lie that this the covid pandemic. If anything, its a casedemic. So many cases because the tests are designed to be very sensitive so to bring about a positive result. Their results are meaningless.

    This phony virus and the policies it has spawned are killing the west. It is not the virus.

    • Agree: GeneralRipper
    • Replies: @showmethereal
  37. gnbRCSD says:

    … The fiscal squeeze resulting from widespread unemployment, business closedowns, rent and tax arrears is being seized upon as a means of dismantling and privatizing government at the federal, state and local levels, at the expense of the citizenry at large.

    It appears, at least in some cases – especially the Minneapolis riots – that specific areas are being targeted for looting/burning/destruction by BLM/Antifa (as noted by a study on Solari.com) for the purpose of decreasing property values for the ultimate purpose of benefiting vulture real estate developers. As noted there, these areas were largely (or at least a good part) minority owned businesses not having the resources to execute a formal demolition (not covered by potential Federal grant/low cost loans under an emergency declaration), and therefore with little recourse but to sell out.

    I really don’t get it. Sure, this is a benefit for a few entities with financial resources, but the resultant and cumulative [financial] wide-ranging suffering is against supposedly ‘Christian values’ on which our government and policy is based (… or perhaps propagandized), but perhaps ‘Christians’ are being corralled to perform the bidding of other groups. This is knowable, but probably not actionable.

    The obvious end-game seems to be that without industry, and the consequent destruction of the American industrial workforce, the US is essentially an agrarian country with a military (… or a military with an agrarian country, to be more accurate).

  38. “Act of God”, my ass.

    This latest round of evil bullshit was cooked up by the Satanic Global Elites.

    May they suffer for all eternity in the depths of Hell with their father.

    • Replies: @Robert White
  39. @GeneralRipper

    “Act of God” is code for CIA/U.S. Army.

    RW

  40. @jadan

    Anecdotally – I can’t honestly recall anyone I know dying from a flu… I know of 5 people who died from covid… I also know 2 people who survived – and even though they are “back to normal” it took a toll and them and you can see… But I also know 4 others who got it and survived and there are no lasting effects that they can tell. And i’m sure others had it and never knew at all.

  41. @76239

    “Never needed lockdowns”??? Absolute nonsense. Go read what happened in the 1918 pandemic.

  42. @jadan

    Wtf is “marshal law”?

    Is that when Marshal Matt Dillon calls the shots?

    You there! Without your Covid mask! Halt or I’ll shoot!

    LOL

    It’s martial law, goofy.

    I’ll bet you’re a “college graduate” too.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
  43. @GeneralRipper

    You are an idiot. The Romans would make fun of you for pronouncing their word “martialis” without a hard t. Since marshal is closer to the English bastardized pronunciation, and since the meaning of “marshal” is actually a more accurate descriptor of the condition of “martial law”, marshal is definitely the better word to use.

    In fact, the term “marshal law” has deeper roots than “martial law” in the English language, and notion that it is an error by today’s mentally retarded and ethnically alien grammarists is, in fact, an error. There are multiple court documents from the 2nd millennium in which these terms are used on equal footing.

    [MORE]

    From Foedera, conventiones, literae, Thomas Rymer:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=0MtOAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA480

    Difcretion fhall think neceffary, the called the marfhal law or martial law, according to the law marfhal or law martial.

    From An impartial collection of the great affairs of State: from the beginning of the Scotch rebellion in the year 1639 to the murther of King Charles I., John Nalson:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=litDAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA586

    Declarat. No subject of this kingdom ought to be sentenced to death, or executed by Marfhal Law

    From Brief Animadversions on Amendments Of, & Additional Explanatory Records To, the Fourth Part of the Institvtes of the Lawes of England, William Prynne:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=ietIAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PP7

    K. Henry 7. his Statutes, fee statutes. His Patents for Marfhal Law, p. 59, 6o

    From Grundlage zu einer Hessischen Gelehrten, Volume 20, Otto Gerland

    https://books.google.com/books?id=WMtbAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA197

    gerufen wurde, Ich fand den Kriegsrath verfammeltf ,der fo eben den Befchluß gefaßt hatte – Marfhal Law ‘-,- ansznrufen, wonach Jeder z der Waffen ergreifen kannf diefe gebrauchen mußf um die Entlaufenen nieder zu machen

    As you can see, “marshal law” was the original term from middle English used by the aristocracy; people who use “martial” today immediately strike me as non-old stock, post 1700s Americans, and peasants from Southern England. Rootless wetbacks, probably with lots of ethnik admixture, who we should never have allowed in to this country.

    • Replies: @GeneralRipper
  44. @JohnPlywood

    You are an idiot.

    That’s a very entertaining and interesting bit of bullshit, but I’m afraid there is no such term as “marshal law” Leftard.

    mar·tial law
    /ˈˌmärSHəl ˈlô/
    noun

    military government, involving the suspension of ordinary law.

    Now kindly stfu.

  45. Zipzap says:

    The article is an excellent explanation of why people are getting angry and reaching for the pitchforks.

    The rich, oblivious to the danger, are continuing to scoop up money and assets while the getting us good.

  46. Antiwar7 says:

    It’s notable that the Roman Empire, which Michael Hudson points out is the source of this “creditor always beats debtor” inhuman logic, also apparently produced the following piece of logic in action:

    According to Roman law, if a slave killed his or her master, all of the master’s slaves would be crucified as punishment. Both men and women were crucified. Tacitus writes in his Annals that when Lucius Pedanius Secundus was murdered by a slave, some in the Senate tried to prevent the mass crucifixion of four hundred of his slaves because there were so many women and children, but in the end tradition prevailed and they were all executed.

    from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion#Society_and_law .

    • Thanks: Iris
  47. Hudson has been making the same mistake for so long it’s difficult to believe he is sincere.

    Paragraph 9: “…and the Jewish Mosaic Law of Leviticus 25,”

    The above confuses the words Moses and Jews.

    “Jew” is short for Judean, a person from Judea. The name Judea was derived from the tribe of Judah which inhabited the area of the Holy Land which later became the southern kingdom, the Kingdom of Judah. My reading of the Bible indicates the word Jew was not used until after the return from the Babylonian exile, a full millenium after Moses. So if Hudson is suggesting Moses was a Jew he is quite wrong.

    If Mr Hudson is suggesting there is a connection between Mosaic Law and modern Judaism he is wrong again. “The Talmud Tested” by 19th century hebraist and missionary to the Jews Alexander McCaul discusses 60 important examples where the Talmud contradicts the religion of Moses.

  48. Religious science fiction…..

  49. Buddy says:

    This is more magical thinking that an unrealistic and unnatural system- a private global credit monopoly enforced by war, bribery and assassination- can right itself with a simpleton’s adjustments like the socialists, Chinese and Mesopotamians knew of. The essence of debt jubilee is negation of the natural laws of capital to eliminate the equity in a middle class of productive people. Burden the people with an unjust monopoly on credit, and they begin to go broke in the way Jefferson foretold, homeless on the land of their birth. Next sabotage their staggering economy with a selective lockdown and mind control the subjects to believe it’s all virtuous, while great strides are being made in social justice. The slaves will compete to outdo each other in displays of madness. Then wipe out their debt like a validation of their madness, and allow the same credit monopoly to run another cycle, until each nation is finished. The mid tier landlords (whose savings compete with the credit monopoly as capital) get wiped out by the washing machine, but lenders of last resort are left whole and at the reins, exactly by the script.
    The Chinese and Mesopotamian dynasties encountered natural crises by doing what unchecked empires always do, exceeding their natural limits and destroying natural capital. Their lands suffered due to the very intensifications that were viewed as miraculous solutions to cultural impaction. The Chinese at one point in famine sold their children and bought their neighbors’. Sumeria ruined their topsoils by irrigating.
    Magical thinking is fine for a vacation but capillary action in soils works around the clock.

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