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Michael Hudson writes The financial war against the economy at large:

Today’s economic warfare is not the kind waged a century ago between labor and its industrial employers. Finance has moved to capture the economy at large, industry and mining, public infrastructure (via privatization) and now even the educational system. (At over $1 trillion, U.S. student loan debt came to exceed credit-card debt in 2012.) The weapon in this financial warfare is no larger military force. The tactic is to load economies (governments, companies and families) with debt, siphon off their income as debt service and then foreclose when debtors lack the means to pay. Indebting government gives creditors a lever to pry away land, public infrastructure and other property in the public domain. Indebting companies enables creditors to seize employee pension savings. And indebting labor means that it no longer is necessary to hire strikebreakers to attack union organizers and strikers.

Workers have become so deeply indebted on their home mortgages, credit cards and other bank debt that they fear to strike or even to complain about working conditions. Losing work means missing payments on their monthly bills, enabling banks to jack up interest rates to levels that used to be deemed usurious. So debt peonage and unemployment loom on top of the wage slavery that was the main focus of class warfare a century ago. And to cap matters, credit-card bank lobbyists have rewritten the bankruptcy laws to curtail debtor rights, and the referees appointed to adjudicate disputes brought by debtors and consumers are subject to veto from the banks and businesses that are mainly responsible for inflicting injury.

The aim of financial warfare is not merely to acquire land, natural resources and key infrastructure rents as in military warfare; it is to centralize creditor control over society. In contrast to the promise of democratic reform nurturing a middle class a century ago, we are witnessing a regression to a world of special privilege in which one must inherit wealth in order to avoid debt and job dependency.

The emerging financial oligarchy seeks to shift taxes off banks and their major customers (real estate, natural resources and monopolies) onto labor. Given the need to win voter acquiescence, this aim is best achieved by rolling back everyone’s taxes. The easiest way to do this is to shrink government spending, headed by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Yet these are the programs that enjoy the strongest voter support. This fact has inspired what may be called the Big Lie of our epoch: the pretense that governments can only create money to pay the financial sector, and that the beneficiaries of social programs should be entirely responsible for paying for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, not the wealthy.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005Know Your Creationists: Kent Hovind:

Kent Hovind is an old fashioned fire and brimstone operator who tours the nation tirelessly giving Young Earth Creationism pep talks and offering to debate scientists who support evolution, in a manner disturbingly similar to traveling evangelical revival-n-heal'n schemes. His distortions of science and his underhanded tactics are legendary, even among his fellow Young Earthers.

Ken Ham of the Young Earth Creationist organization Answers in Genesis (AiG) has published a point-by-point critique of Hovind, where Ham goes on to conclude that fellow creationists should avoid using Hovind's arguments as they're riddled with errors and/or dishonesty. Allow me to put that into proper context: AiG is building a museum which depicts men and women living side by side in harmony with dinosaurs "Flintstones style" 6000 years ago, and has built several large dioramas of the Ark at considerable cost as part of their research into how Noah got all them critters on one boat ... So if Ken Ham is advising people that Hovind's claims are of dubious scientific value, can you imagine how far beyond the pale Hovind must be?


Tweet of the Day:

@AlecMacGillis @jonallendc I think of $450k as the David Gregory carve out. TV pundits totally on board with myth it’s hard to live on $250k
@TeresaKopec via Tweetbot for iOS




On today's Kagro in the Morning show, it's Fiscal Thingy-mania! Greg Dworkin joined us for a laugh/cry at blaming "both sides" for winning the election and expecting that to make a difference. So just what would the mechanics of a last minute deal be, that any single Senator could blow it u?. Hmm. Anyone know where Jim DeMint is? Plus, our UK friend, Gideon on everything from the NRA's nuttiness on violent video games, to Mitt Romney's self-depricating humor at the Al Smith dinner, to the lack of progressive policy representation on the Tee-Vee machine.


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