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…And Forgive Them Their Debts by Michael Hudson
Renowned economist Michael Hudson takes us on an epic journey through the economies of ancient civilizations. For the past 40 years, in conjunction with Harvard’s Peabody Museum, he and his colleagues have documented how interest-bearing debt was invented in Bronze Age Mesopotamia, and then disseminated to the ancient world. What the Bronze Age rulers understood was that avoiding economic instability required regular royal debt cancellations. Professor Hudson documents dozens of these these royal edicts and traces the archeological record and history of debt, and how societies have dealt with (or failed to deal with) the proliferation of debts that cannot be paid – and their consequences. Readers will discover how debt played a central role in shaping ancient societies, and how it continues to shape our world – often destructively.
Killing the Host by Michael Hudson
KILLING THE HOST exposes how finance, insurance, and real estate (the FIRE sector) have gained control of the global economy at the expense of industrial capitalism and governments. The FIRE sector is responsible for today’s economic polarization (the 1% vs. the 99%) via favored tax status that inflates real estate prices while deflating the “real” economy of labor and production. The Great 2008 Bailout saved the banks but not the economy, and plunged the U.S., Irish, Latvian and Greek economies into debt deflation and austerity. This book describes how the phenomenon of debt deflation imposes austerity on the U.S. and European economies, siphoning wealth and income upward to the financial sector while impoverishing the middle class.
Understanding Marxism by Richard Wolff
Not just for liberals! Desperately needed understanding for conservatives, not just those interested in economics (know thy enemy).
Why should we pay attention to the great social critics like Marx? Americans, especially now, confront serious questions and evidences that our capitalist system is in trouble. It clearly serves the 1% far, far better than what it is doing to the vast mass of the people. Marx was a social critic for whom capitalism was not the end of human history. It was just the latest phase and badly needed the transition to something better. We offer this essay now because of the power and usefulness today of Marx’s criticism of the capitalist economic system.